Jodie Mae Holm of YUCK Collective tells us about her time at LCI Melbourne

Get the latest from Beat

Jodie Mae Holm of YUCK Collective tells us about her time at LCI Melbourne


The start of any chapter is full of doubts. Excitements and surprises, to be sure, but mostly you’re running on the nervous energy of the unknown. This might be especially true when you find yourself facing the prospect of higher education, and it’s even more accurate if you’re one of us: who hear the call of creative study. Whether you’re coming straight from high school, or you’ve experienced the adult world, it can be a daunting gamble.

Fortunately, LCI Melbourne – until recently, the Australian College of Design – takes a certain pride in making your artistic learning unique. Jodie Mae Holm, graduate and founder of the YUCK Collective, talks us through what makes study at LCI so rewarding.

“That was something I really loved about [LCI],” Holm – or Freakazoid, to family and friends – explains. “Big unis with a hundred people in the grade suit some people, and work just fine and have for years. But I really liked that there was only ever 15 people or less in my class. Especially in a course where it’s not as simple as, ‘Learn this, this is right, this is wrong,’” she says.

“Art is so hard to teach, and to grade. So being able to have a really personal relationship with your tutors and the students around you is something that’s really strong at [LCI]. You get this big sense of everyone helping each other out, bouncing ideas off each other. But it was really nice as well to see classes and assignments where we did have to go and put on an artist market, or put on our own show – where you deal with outside people and gallery managers. I think that’s really valuable, and I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to do YUCK if I hadn’t experienced that at uni.”

One of the greatest hurdles that any student artist will face – be that in visual arts, performance, or writing – is exactly that; dealing with people beyond the classroom, and finding some way to continue your passion once the study stops. It’s no secret that finding a career in the arts can be difficult, and this is where finding practical exposure in the industry becomes invaluable.

“There are so many options. You’re not locked in, so you have all these options, but then you’re also faced with having to carve your own choice. Even to be an artist, it’s not that simple. There’s so much to it, and it’s very much an individual pathway. But we were definitely encouraged and pushed to do internships and always told that we could bend any sort of brief or assignment to suit what we were interested in.

“YUCK officially started May last year,” she elaborates. “We were all in the same boat, needing a support network to get art out there and do things without having lots of money and connections. I’d wanted to do it for a while, but I was studying, learning more about having shows and the importance to your career of having things to put on your art CV, networking, and when we were learning about all that, it was a little bit daunting. You have to write proposals, contact big scary galleries, mount your work really professionally. And then we had a few assignments where we had to actually put on events, and once we started doing that I saw how easy it was to source other options and do things on your own terms.”

For those who have been flirting with the idea of dipping into the world of art and design, but who may feel intimidated at the prospect of sharing work with others for the first time, or finding their passions assessed and evaluated, well, Holm knows how you feel. The reality, though, is far more inspired.

“One of the best things,” Holm says, “[was] being pushed to challenge myself and the way I was thinking. They didn’t favour any technical artist over a conceptual artist, everyone was given the same amount of time and their work was considered and valued. It’s not throwing you in the deep end, but pushing you to test out ideas. Having an institution where you can do so, and have that advice, I’m so grateful.”