Since January we’ve been fortunate to have a group of graduates from Birmingham city university extend our fantastic team through an internship scheme. Bringing their diverse pool of skills and talents as well as their hopes and dreams for their careers, the Hub interns have significantly enhanced our community with their ideas, passions, and energy over their first three weeks with us. 

For their first week, we set them a one-week creative brief for them to use their own skills and talents to produce their own personal interpretation of Impact Hub Birmingham, it’s role in the city and what they could bring to mix to further enhance the mission. Each week we will be sharing their perspectives as well as the work our interns they have produced in their first week, 

This week we have Alex Nelson, graduate in Art and Design, sharing her interpretation of Impact Hub Birmingham.

My goal was to encompass the Hub

in one image that I connected to


When we were set this brief, I immediately connected it with a previous project I’d worked on: illustratively documenting area’s to build up 2D scenes, giving an overall sense of the original setting.

My goal was to encompass the Hub in one image that I connected to. From being in the Hub and observing what happens within it, I knew that I wanted to capture a sense of community – people happy and relaxed, children, conversation between members and work. I began by taking photos of people around the Hub to illustrate from, not overthinking and capturing them exactly as they are in the space. There’s always someone working in a visually interesting way, and willing to have it photographed.

Beginning the illustrative process in Illustrator, I built up line, tone, highlights and shadows over the low resolution images. Experimenting with transparency means I could layer images, blending and crossing to create interesting mixes and effects. But it isn’t just the people that make the Hub – what else visually encompasses the space? The windows that I had been staring at every day served as a piece divider in the back; the decorations, ‘BRUM’ letters, fairy lights and bike illustrations are all distinctive of the Hub. I also had to include coffee cups here and there as the Hub is super coffee-centric.

Some characters have slight edits; Lindsey, who works in the coffee shop, is in a coffee mug, and some objects, like books, are scaled a little larger to make them more visually interesting.

It took a little while to arrange it just right so that it’s initially a little bit of a muddle, but once looked at closer, easy to pick out individual characters and objects. I like how the final image turned out and it was mentioned that this format could work really well for a colouring book or similar media.


alex pic

Amy McCranor

Amy McCranor

Hi! I'm Amy, a Fashion Design and Communication graduate from Birmingham City University. Talk to me about fashion, art, writing and veganism :)