Alumni Profile two years on: Beth Thompson.


Bethany Thompson graduated in 2014 having already started to work on an independent magazine publication: Counterpoint along side her own illustration practice.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-12-36-59Counterpoint started as an online only publication but has gradually moved into print and is now on it’s eleventh issue. Each issue is themed and contributors are invited to submit proposals for publication. In late 2016 the magazine was shortlisted in the Stack Awards for best use of illustration in a magazine!

Great recognition from judges Derek Brazell (writer and illustrator project manager for AOI/Varoom) and Cath Coldwell (Senior Lecturer Central St Martins, editor Lawrence King, former editorial art director, Observer London, Conde Nast Traveler in New York and at Hearst Magazines UK as design director for ELLE UK).

In addition to Counterpoint when Beth left Manchester School of Art she applied for and succeeded in gaining an internship opportunity at the Out of The Blue Arts and Education Trust – a print workshop based at the Drill Hall in Edinburgh. Click here for a short film about Out of The Blue

In 2016 the role of internship was due to come to an end but the trust promoted Beth to Studio Manager as a recognition of the contribution she was making to the on going success of the venture. This has created a great platform for learning, community engagement, the development of professional practice skills and has recently pulled in work for prestigious clients such as UNESCO to the print workshop.

At a recent reunion meeting with Beth in Edinburgh we discussed the importance of exposure to contemporary practice models and being professionally informed during the third year at MMU. In addition taking responsibility to look beyond the individual project brief and the degree classification for a sense of practitioner identity, and how was a vital reference point in the period post graduation.

Fundamentally Beth demonstrates that a willingness to collaborate and be proactive in accessing complimentary resources and learning beyond the immediate curriculum has created real opportunities. To quote Beth regarding the internship –  ‘….aim to make yourself indispensable and develop the role you undertake in any way you can’.

Counterpoint is available on-line and in the following outlets





  • Magma, Covent Garden
  • Magma, Clerkenwell Road


  • Magma, Oldham Street


Author: Ian Whadcock

Senior Lecturer Manchester School of Art, BA(Hons) Illustration with Animation course.