British actor Alan Rickman, best-known for his portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting from a young age. He attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and then the Royal College of Art.
This education allowed him to work as a graphic designer for the radical newspaper, the Notting Hill Herald. After graduation, Rickman and several friends opened a graphic design studio called Graphiti, but after three years of successful business, he decided that if he was going to pursue acting professionally.
He was awarded a place at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts after succeeding in an audition, which he attended from 1972 to 1974. While there, he supported himself by working as a dresser for Nigel Hawthorne and Sir Ralph Richardson.