Staff in the Spotlight: Paul Parsons

December 20, 2018

At Havant & South Downs College, we have a number of highly skilled, dedicated and passionate teaching staff.

These lecturers go above and beyond to help our students reach their full potential.

We want to shout about these integral members of our HSDC community, so every month we will be finding out about the people behind our teaching excellence with our ‘Staff in the Spotlight’ feature.

This month we are recognising Paul Parsons who is a Graphic Design lecturer.

How long have you worked at the College?

Nine years.

Why did you choose the subject that you teach?

Art was my best subject at school but then I came to the College in the late 90’s and was inspired to focus on Photography and Graphics by the great teaching team at that point. Some of those same teachers helped me into teaching at South Downs College. Some of you may remember Martin Snelling, Oriel Southwood, Steve Lambert and Duncan Shepherd.

What was your journey/training before coming to HSDC?

I worked for nine years within the industry. My first design job was at the Portsmouth News as an advertising artist after which I became the head artist of an Advertising Agency in Southampton.

Do you practice the subject you teach outside of work?

Yes, I have a online gallery called in which I’m able to sell my work. I’m also an approved artist of Waterstone’s bookshop, I’m currently selling my work into a number of outlets in Hampshire. I’m in the final stages of creating a cook book, plus I have a range of clothing and I’m selling artwork in Nashville, Tennessee.

What is the highlight of your role at HSDC?

The people! Students are honestly the very best thing about the job. Sometimes the rewarding part of the job is helping people achieve a pass grade or a C grade when everything is against them in their home life. These are not the grades that would be celebrated in the press or by the government but they often mean more to us teachers then an A* by a brilliant student. I’ve been lucky to work on a number of live projects in which my students help raise money for the ‘Tom Prince Cancer Trust’, creating artwork in a children’s ward at QA Hospital and making an Animal book to help young children in Portsmouth read and learn about nature.

What kind of careers have your students gone on to do?

Working in big advertising agencies to setting up their own freelance business. So I’m pretty proud!

What is something about your job that people don’t know about?

You don’t design in Photoshop! EVER! By the end of the course my students will be great at using Illustrator and that will benefit them if they work in the industry.

What three words would your students use to describe you?

People person, happy and hopefully an Adobe Illustrator king (I know that’s more than three words!)

Read about more of our fantastic teaching staff by clicking here.