30 Mar 2017
Graphic Design graduate Andy Evans didn’t just use his University experience to transform his own life – he also used his talent and ambition to celebrate a city and pay back his parents.
Andy Evans, originally from Birmingham, studied BA (Hons) Graphic Design and was told he was 'very dyslexic with unique qualities' after being tested in his first year at Staffordshire University.
He said: “I like to focus on the 'unique qualities'. Don't think about it as a negative thing, you have to work harder to do certain things but lots of people have things they can't do.”
Andy worked hard throughout his degree – at the same time as pursuing his passion of graffiti art under the secret identity Professor Pigment.
Professor Pigment, or Pro Pig, made it his mission to shout about the Stoke-on-Trent area and his beloved Stoke City Football Club through a series of spray-painted images which depict the City’s heroes – and despite media interest in ‘the Banksy of Stoke-on-Trent’, his true identity remained a mystery until just a month before his graduation.
Pro Pig launched an art trail of his work in the City and a film of his work Trail and Error: The Movie was premiered at Staffordshire University where he finally shed his anonymity and revealed that he was Staffordshire University student Andy Evans.
Staffordshire University Head of Visual Arts Mark Garner, who performed the welcome on the night, said: “This evening is the culmination of a lifetime’s dreams, experiences and passion for a city, its people, places and community spirit and soul. This evening could not have happened without the people of Stoke-on-Trent, the dedication of one individual and the strength and belief of a city with one purpose – to seize opportunity and ultimately their dreams.”
Now working in Manchester under the name Doddz, Defy the Oddz, Andy said: “Part of Pro Pig's message was about being proud of where we are, Stoke-on-Trent, and part was that you can achieve anything you want.”
After attending a design conference in his first year, Andy actively sought career advice from industry professional Greg Quinton. Quinton’s advice was 'Work hard. But think hard too.' a phrase that Andy used to title a book to showcase his personality and learning.
He explained: “If you send something physical that's on someone's desk then they have to read it and you can get inside their heads. They'll get loads of emails so think outside the box and put your personality out there.”
His ingenuity paid off and Andy secured a placement with a design agency in Manchester, working one day a week throughout the final year of studies, which has led to a full time position.
Andy continued to make headlines nationally when he revealed at his graduation that he'd paid off his parents mortgage.
“Since I was a little kid, Mum and Dad have taught me the power of hard work. From Mum working three jobs to make sure we can do things together as a family, to Dad working flat out to ensure food is on the table and the bills are paid.
“At graduation, I was able to finally do something I have spent the last five years trying to achieve - paying off the rest of their mortgage.”