Alumna showcases key campus locations through illustration, and shares her journey after graduating

A purple background with pink circles on with Abby holding an illustration of Pilkington Library in front of Pilkington Library.

Abby Wu graduated with a degree in Design Innovation from Loughborough University London in 2019 and has since visited the Loughborough campus to recreate drawings of iconic spots.

Two hands holding an illustration of Hazlerigg with the Hazlerigg building in the background.

After graduating, Abby returned to her home country, China and is currently based in Guangzhou where she has pursued a role in the industrial investment department at Nanfang Media Group. Within this role the alumna maintains her connection to art and creative design through managing and strategic planning of large-scale digital economy, art, cultural and creative industry projects. Abby facilitates and coordinates contacts and communications within the industry to ensure the successful execution of projects.  

She has always had a large interest in illustration and in addition to her position at Nanfang Media Group, she has established a personal we-media account on the Xiaohongshu (RED) social media platform as an illustrator, where she displays original artworks, engages in brand planning, and designs collaboration projects. 

Abby created an illustration of the Hazlerigg Building, and it was selected as the winner of the annual Christmas card competition in 2018. Abby has recently returned to the UK and visited the Loughborough campus. During her stay she illustrated other spots on campus and captured these on camera. She illustrated many locations including Pilkington Library and Loughborough Students Union.  

Abby spoke to us about her work and life after graduating from Loughborough University London. 

We asked Abby about her inspiration for making the Loughborough campus the topic of her illustrations. She said:  

“Making the Loughborough campus the focus of my illustrations stems from the deep connection I developed during my time as a student. After three long years of the pandemic, I finally had the opportunity to return to Loughborough in May this year as an alumna. Stepping foot on campus brought about a surge of emotions, with memories flooding back as if the cherished moments were just yesterday. In 2018, one of my drawings depicting the "Hazlerigg" Building on campus was selected for the University's annual Christmas card. During this visit, I embarked on a new series of illustrations, capturing the architectural beauty of the school. These artworks serve as a testament to my heartfelt reunion with Loughborough once again.” 

She continued to explain the motive behind her chosen locations:  

“The formative experiences of every Loughborough student in these locations collectively form a vivid tapestry of our youth, capturing cherished memories. It is my aspiration to utilise these iconic buildings as integral components in crafting a gift that will preserve our shared memories, share, and exhibit the beauty of Loughborough with a wider audience.” 

Two hands holding an illustration of the LSU lobby in front of the LSU lobby. the image depicts sofas chairs and people studying and sitting around the room

We asked Abby what first inspired her to start illustrating: 

“I have had a passion for illustration since a young age. I pursued formal training and education and honed my skills through practice and self-study in the field. Illustration is a medium that allows me to extend my thoughts, ideas, and all my knowledge and values. Through the continuous process of creation, I strive to maintain my curiosity, express my desires, and foster personal growth. It is a skill that can be developed sustainably, and it is something that I am willing to do and believe I can excel in. For me, there is still a long artistic journey ahead for learning and experiencing.” 

Abby spoke to us about the reasoning behind choosing to study at Loughborough University London. She said:  

“When deciding on my master's degree, Loughborough stood out to me due to the comprehensive program and geographical position. The program of Design Innovation at Loughborough University offers a highly comprehensive and well-structured curriculum. It places significant emphasis on both design practice and management. Additionally, being located in London, widely regarded as the "creative capital," provides the advantage of faster access to the latest cultural and innovative developments.” 

An illustration of the glass Loughborough University London building in the middle of the illustration and trees to the left of it. Signature on the image reads 'Loughborough London'

She went on to explain what studying at the University has meant for her career: 

“Attending Loughborough has had a significant impact on my career. The education and experiences I gained during my master's degree provided me with a strong foundation and skills that have been invaluable in my professional journey. During my master's program at the Loughborough London campus, I not only accumulated professional knowledge and skills but, more importantly, this experience shaped my values and way of thinking. The Design Thinking course cultivated my critical thinking abilities and explored possibilities for innovation. By participating in collaborative project courses, I gained practical opportunities and professional development support, which encouraged me to prioritise reflection and explore new methods and approaches in my subsequent work. This allowed me to provide better solutions and services.” 

Check out Abby's work on Instagram.