CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Professional Development

These are all the professional development posts I have done this year which are featured in my summary. Keeping them all in one area is important and useful in keeping my summary concise and detailed, without having to link every single page which can take away from the 700 word count.

  1. After University Plans – identifying my skills and areas I can improve and seeing which careers are useful to me.

2. Artist Residencies – research into what artist residencies are, finding relevant artist residencies websites, watching YouTube video about peoples experiences, finding potential artist residencies which I can apply to in the future

3. CV post, generic artist CV and Master CV – research into difference between artist cv and resume with examples and my own artist CV/Master CV showing all of my experience and information about me

4. Being an artist, exhibition post – research into different exhibition spaces, different websites/subscriptions you can use for exhibition opportunities or competitions, applications to exhibition opportunities and responses, reflection upon rejections and how I can overcome being rejected

5. Artist website – information about artist websites and their functions/uses, examples of artist websites that I like/don’t like, the process fof making my artist website on WIX

6. Online Exhibition – discussing the positives/negatives of having online exhibition vs one in real life, process of creating my online exhibition on artsteps, feedback of my online exhibition

7. Artist Statement – short artist statement for my website and longer website for exhibitions

8. My Website – my finished website with reviews of each page and screenshots

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

My Website

Here is the link of my finished website. I am very happy with the final look and I feel that the website reflects me and my work effectively. I like the fact that I included a banner of my two favourite artworks at the top of each page, alternating between colours in a thoughtful way. This allows people to see what my work is focused on even when not looking at the artworks page and pulls the website together.

The pages that I decided to include in my website are:

  • Home
  • About the artist
  • Artist Statement
  • Artworks
  • CV
  • Contact

Home Page:

Home Page
Home Page
Home Page

I have kept my home page quite simple with the banner of a purple cow and six images of my work to draw people in. I didn’t want to add any information other than welcome as all of the other information is on the other key pages and I didn’t want to make it too overwhelming. The simplicity of other artist websites is what I liked when researching artist websites and so I decided to apply this to my own website. I included my LinkedIn profile and art Instagram profile at the bottom so that people have ways to see more about me and what I’m involved with. These are showed in the menu and at the bottom of the page which gives people double the chance of noticing them.

About the Artist:

About the artist Page
About the artist Page
About the artist Page

Text says – I am currently a final year Fine Art student developing my practice in painting and developing my professional artistic career. With an interest in a range of subjects including architecture and animals in captivity, I am constantly developing my own unique style. Colour in particular is a big focus in my art as I love how playful and captivating colour can be and how colour can often change the perception of an image. I have experience in a range of media, although I have my own particular preferences that I keep coming back to including acrylic paints onto wood and lino prints. If my style or focus appeals to you, I’d love you to get in touch! 

I decided to include an ‘about the artist’ page so that I could give the viewers some information about me and my intentions while pursuing my passion for art that my statement may not have allowed me to convey. I didn’t have any photos of myself with my artwork that were professional and so I am hoping to get some taken in my degree show so that I am able to update the photo to allow the viewers to see what I look like in a professional manner.

Artist Statement Page:

Artist Statement Page
Artist Statement Page

Text reads – I am currently focusing on exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is so normalised in day to day life through farms and even animals in the countryside which we see when driving to places. I am hoping to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how being in captivity makes them feel and impacts on them. Colour is an important aspect of my work to represent how humans are often hypocrites who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t actually do anything to better the situation. Subtlety is important to me as I want to make people see through sympathy rather than disgust or outrage from violent imagery, the innocent imagery is very important to me. The idea of humans being regarded as more important than animals has always saddened me as we are similar in so many ways and animals deserve a lot more respect than we give them. There is more to animals than becoming a food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.

Artworks Page:

Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page
Artworks Page

I added a range of the art that I have created this term in clusters of animals, beginning with cows, then chickens and finally sheep. I have been working on some goat paintings and prints too but these aren’t yet at a standard to be uploaded to the website and so I will do this as soon as I finish them. I presented them in groups rather than muddled up as this is my intention for the degree show and the idea of clusters of animals is something I find interesting as animals are often separated into different groups in farms and different habitats. Some of the images look bad quality but this is due to some of them being done with pastels which creates a matted effect and is difficult to photograph. Overall I am really happy with this page and I’m looking forward to adding more as I progress with my project.

I included the titles of the pieces, material information and dimensions.

CV Page:

CV Page
CV Page

This is my CV page in which I have included a simple CV showing a small amount of information about me, my education and exhibitions that I have taken part in. I didn’t see the point in including areas where I have no experience as this would just be a waste of space and I am looking forward to seeing this develop as I gain experience in my artistic life. Again the short CV goes quite well with the simplicity of the rest of my website.

Contact Page:

Contact Page
Contact Page

This is my contact page which is quite simple yet includes a range of different information to allow my viewers to interact with me in a detailed manner which will help me to understand what they are asking. I am hoping that people do get in touch as it will help me to see how viewers feel about my work and whether I am meeting my intentions of my work.

Professional Development Studio Practice 3301

Artist Statement

Full artist statement:

I am focusing on capturing farm animals within their enclosures to explore farming ethics and how this affects the welfare of animals.

I use acrylic paints onto small scale board as I love the process of layering paints to create different textures. I have been using small scale board partly because I am used to working small scale from lockdowns last year, but also to emphasise that animal enclosures are often too small, and the animals are trapped within a space. I have started to incorporate abstract colours in my work, even adding unnatural greens to my realistic paintings to show how unnatural it is to keep animals trapped for a show for humans, especially since they are the animals which are killed for food consumption. I am focusing on creating a large amount of paintings as often farm animals like sheep are grouped together in flocks so this, though unintentional at first, works well with my theme.

Within this work, I hope to make the viewer feel empathy towards the animals and make them consider how it would feel to be trapped within a space. Since the lockdowns last year, people will already have some experience of feeling trapped which could affect the ways people interpret my work. By focusing on farm animals, I want to demonstrate the fact that they are deemed unimportant, either being used for show or slaughtered for food for a large amount of humans. The animals featured in my work have different expressions and look directly at the viewer which is ironic as it makes the viewer feel like they are the ones in the cage. This also demonstrates how farm animals have become domesticated, relying on the presence of humans to be fed.

When presenting my work, I intend to have an irregular arrangement yet place them close together to emphasise the confined space that most farm animals have. Going to different locations of farms or animal sanctuaries to collect primary evidence in the form of photos and drawings is important as places use different materials for the enclosures, which is why my work features both standard wooden farm enclosures and wire enclosures. Although both create a sense of being trapped, the painting of the goat behind the wire enclosure is a lot harder hitting and menacing, creating a sense of isolation. My work effectively portrays the confinement that farm animals experience in their lifetime that the viewer can hopefully sympathise with. To develop this idea further, I need to paint a lot more paintings of animals in their enclosures to create a herd of animals so that I can make my ideas more obvious to the viewer. I want to consider my uses of colour more as making my work too abstract can distract from the seriousness of the subject.

I have done research into a range of painters including Henry Moore, particularly his sheep paintings as that subject relates to my work a lot. The works of Franz Marc and Andy Warhol were vital during my colour exploration stages and could help develop my work further provided I am more selective. I like the idea of presenting my work within a gallery on a white wall so that the viewer can fully focus on the work without too many distractions.

Short artist statement for website:

I am currently focusing on exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is so normalised in day to day life through farms and even animals in the countryside which we see when driving to places. I am hoping to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how being in captivity makes them feel and impacts on them. Colour is an important aspect of my work to represent how humans are often hypocrites who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t actually do anything to better the situation. Subtlety is important to me as I want to make people see through sympathy rather than disgust or outrage from violent imagery, the innocent imagery is very important to me. The idea of humans being regarded as more important than animals has always saddened me as we are similar in so many ways and animals deserve a lot more respect than we give them. There is more to animals than becoming a food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.

Short Artist Statement for Degree Show (3rd person):

Gemma Sly is exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is normalised in day-to-day life through farms and animals in the countryside which we see when driving. She has an intention to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how captivity impacts them. Colour is an important aspect of her work to represent the humorous irony of people who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t do anything to better their situation. Animals are more than food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Online exhibition

Since I have been having some difficulties being accepted into exhibitions due to the number of applicants or my work not fitting in with other people’s themes or the themes of the exhibitions, I decided to make an online exhibition on the platform Artsteps which I discovered last year. This will allow me to get my work noticed without having to worry about my work being rejected or fees until I have the time to make art for specific themes without interrupting my university study as if I focus on personal work I will fall behind with university work which wouldn’t be a good idea – especially as it is my final year of study.

Starting a new Exhibition
My chosen layout/format

I decided to go with the modern exhibition template as it reminds me of the exhibition spaces within DMU and I thought it would be a good idea to visualise how I want my work to look for the degree show and what changes I should make to improve the outcomes.

Adding images to my exhibition

I added some images of the work I have done so far including their titles, a description, measurements and tags to get my exhibition noticed by more people on the internet/artsteps site. I hope to add more images as my project develops so that I can work out what is most successful for my degree show.

Arranging my artworks on the wall space

I started to put my work onto the wall in clusters of animal groups – one chicken, one sheep and one cow cluster. I hope to make the clusters much bigger as I progress in my project and fill the wall in more so that there is a lot to look at. As my art works are rather small you have to get close to the images to see all the details but I like this interaction between the viewer and the work as it allows them to almost have an up close and personal conversation/exchange which works so well with my intentions.

Another view of the online exhibition
Image of the cluster of sheep
Image of the cluster of cows

I am happy with this exhibition so far and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses further as I produce more work for my project. I hope to receive some good feedback on what I can do to improve and I hope the scale of the online exhibition doesn’t put anyone off.

Publishing Exhibition

Title – Confined Animals

Description – Small scale paintings exploring animals – in particular farm animals – which are confined in small enclosures and have no quality of life, trying to draw on the irony of people claiming to care about animals yet doing nothing to help them through uses of bright colour which could be considered to be taking the seriousness of the issue away, even though the issue isn’t considered serious by most people.

Categories – Contemporary art and Paintings

Audio – none

Tags – Farm Animals , Paintings, Cows, Chickens, Sheep, Acrylic, MDF, Wood, Abstract, Colour

Changing Cover of Exhibition

I made the exhibition cover an image of the work on the wall so that people can understand my intentions and what the work is about.

Finished exhibition:

Chicken cluster and sheep cluster
Zoomed in on chicken cluster
Sheep cluster
Cow Cluster
Zoomed in cow cluster
view of all the clusters

My online exhibition –

Although making an online exhibition requires a lot of time due to glitches in the software, I am still glad that I made one as it allowed me to get my work out there whilst I try to get accepted into real life exhibitions which is proving to be difficult at this moment in time – the life of an artist. The online exhibition has allowed me to overcome these challenges and I look forward to getting feedback.

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Making a website

Artist websites provide a way of showcasing your work and gaining an audience with the potential to gain important contacts. Most artists have a website when they start their careers.

A clear menu is vital to provide easy navigation and good quality photos are important for professionalism. The site requires a concise summary and a short artist statement to give a clear idea of what your work is about. 

I have started to make a website on the Wix website which is a free platform specifically for websites. I have included the important pages being Home, Artworks, About, and Contact.

Information about my Wix site

Examples of artist websites: 

Robert Phelps has a very simple artist website with the pages included being portfolios, artist info, contact, shop, blog, and links to his social media. His work is categorised into different animal groups on his home page is successful as it makes finding specific work easier and is less

The format of his paintings being grouped together works well as it shows the similarities and differences between the work and makes it easier to navigate. Clicking on the images enlarges them, as shown in the image below, and includes information about the paintings which works well and is something I would like to include on my website.

Robert Phelps included a photo of himself on his artist information page with a selection of his paintings exhibited on the wall behind him. This image is suitable as it allows his viewers to have an understanding of who has created the work that they are interested in, although this isn’t always needed on artists’ websites as the images can be unsuitable which is why it is important to get a professional photo taken during an exhibition or a very formal private set up to ensure that the photo doesn’t lose professionalism.

I feel that the simplicity of the Robert Phelps website is effective as it allows the artworks to speak for the artist rather than the viewer being distracted by bold colours or distracting titles. It has a professional feel to it and is put together nicely.


Rebecca Haines Artist Website:

Rebecca Haines included these pages on her website:

  • Welcome Page
  • About the Artist
  • Artist Statement
  • Gallery One
  • Gallery Two
  • News
  • Contact
  • Resume

Rebecca Haines is another artist I have done research on for my project and so I felt it would be appropriate to look at her artist website for inspiration. I love the simplicity of her website as the banner of a picture of one of her artworks creates a nice contrast and draws the viewer in. I like that the Welcome part is a different colour to the menu as this again makes an area that pops. Rebecca Haines included a photo of herself in her welcome page which I like but I don’t have any professional artist photos with my work or in my studios so I may put this off until I am able to get a photo which reflects me professionally.

Rebecca Haines included another photo of herself in her about the artist page which is interesting as it shows her with two of her artworks which is good as it allows the viewer to connect the art with the artists and this is something I would eventually like to do when I have finished works. The information she included in this page is a very in depth biography which I find quite overwhelming but I would like to include something like this on my own website to give viewers more of an insight into me as an artist and my general intentions that I can’t put across in my statement.

I like that Rebecca Haines Artist Statement is short and sweet as if it would have been any longer I feel that it may have been overwhelming like the about the artist page. I love that she has included three different images of her work alongside the statement as this showcases her different final products she has created with her ideas and intentions. The artworks all include different animals and have very different effects which I find very captivating.

Rebecca Haines included two groups of work in her website, one called ‘gallery one’ and the other called ‘gallery two’ which showcase different animals and different techniques. I like this idea but I feel that if my works were fairly similar like these works are in context, then I would separate them through sub menus rather than having them have their own page but there may be a method or reason behind Rebecca Haines deciding to do this on her website.

The news page includes any exhibitions Rebecca Haines is currently in or has been in the past, with images which I feel works well in allowing viewers to know what she is up to and where they can see her work in person. It also shows her success as an artist with some articles written about her as well. I don’t feel that I have got much experience with as many exhibitions as Rebecca Haines so I feel that it would be a good idea to leave this out for now and possibly add a page like this once I have more experience.

Rebecca Haines has a quite simple contact page which is interesting. I feel that I would want mine to be a bit more detailed but this format must work well for Haines. I like that she has included a range of her social medias at the bottom of the page for people to go and look at and find out more about her.

Rebecca Haines resume page has made it clear just how little experience I have exhibiting work but this gives me ambition to one day have this much experience and prove to myself that I can make it in the art world.

My website so far:

Home page of website

Pages I included:

  • Home – information about the website
  • About the artist – information about me and my journey with art
  • Artist Statement – short artist statement
  • Artworks – artworks from third year project, need to add second year work
  • Contact – page for people who visit my website to ask questions or make enquiries

I decided to alternate the banner at the top of each page, being the purple cow on the odd numbered pages (first, third and fifth) and the blue cow on the even pages (second and fourth) to make it more visually exciting. I decided to position these banners with the cows eyes being the main focus as I feel that the eyes are a reflection of the soul and allow the animals to communicate with the viewer

Purple cow on odd pages
Blue cow on even pages
About the artist page

I haven’t got an appropriate photograph of me with my artwork to upload and so I decided to make it one of my paintings for now. I also haven’t figured out exactly what I want to write in this section yet but I feel that it will give people more understanding about me combined with the artist statement.

Artist Statement Page

My short artist statement:

I am currently focusing on exploring the ethics of keeping animals, particularly farm animals, in captivity. This topic is so normalised in day to day life through farms and even animals in the countryside which we see when driving to places. I am hoping to give a voice to animals and allow them to communicate how being in captivity makes them feel and impacts on them. Colour is an important aspect of my work to represent how humans are often hypocrites who claim to care about the welfare of animals but don’t actually do anything to better the situation. Subtlety is important to me as I want to make people see through sympathy rather than disgust or outrage from violent imagery, the innocent imagery is very important to me. The idea of humans being regarded as more important than animals has always saddened me as we are similar in so many ways and animals deserve a lot more respect than we give them. There is more to animals than becoming a food for us to consume or a form of entertainment.

Artworks page
Artworks page

Contact page
CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Being an artist – exhibitions

  • Exhibitions – research exhibition specific websites and different art galleries
  • Making contacts in the creative industry – joining an art group of some sort to engage in crits and meet other artists
  • Competitions
  • Selling work – consider what sites to use

Since I don’t have a lot of experience on my CV and I’m not interested in pursuing a master’s degree straight after my bachelor’s degree, I feel that it’s a good idea to focus on getting my work into the real world through exhibitions and competitions which will allow me to make contacts and could lead me to gain some unique experiences/opportunities in the future.

Information about gallery spaces and exhibitions:

When it comes to becoming a self-employed artist, there are two questions you should ask yourself – What are your ambitions? and what are your hopes/dreams? The size of these ambitions matters as they show where you want to end up, which could be within the local art world, the national art world, or the international art world. There can also be crossovers, with some artists going from one to another throughout their careers. Most people begin locally and so this is something to consider, which city, place or practice do you want to start out in?

As well as different art worlds, there are also different exhibition venues including self-hire/manage, commercial and artist-run:

  • The self-hire/manage exhibition venues are very expensive and used by artists making specific work for people they know are definitely going to buy the work.
  • The Commercial exhibition venues include semi-craft shops and galleries in Cork Street. It is vital to be aware of all the different types of Commercial galleries and a good starting point would be to research London based galleries and then go to visit them in your spare time to see the types of art that are exhibited – then can understand if your work fits their criteria’s. Most often with commercial venues, you have to be introduced to the galleries before they even consider you in the exhibition – good idea to establish yourself beforehand and do a lot of networking.
  • Artist-run exhibition venues are often attached to studio spaces and artists collectives such as Two Queens in Leicester. The work in these venues doesn’t usually have success commercially but it allows artists to exhibit on their own terms without being told to change their work to fit a particular space or theme. Artists have also found non-gallery spaces to present their work since most galleries can be picky/closed off or difficult to get into.

Non-gallery spaces include empty spaces which are commissioned. Gardens, outdoor areas, work made specifically to be presented in particular venues. In some places, shop owners allow artists to use their empty shops whilst away to prevent areas from becoming derelict.

Garden exhibition example, Hillsborough

Billboard companies also allow artists to present their work for a cheap price or sometimes for free as this is advantageous for the billboard companies to create greater visibility and remind businesses that the companies still exist. Commercial companies often do things to benefit themselves.

Often using empty shops or other similar venues requires public liability insurance which is incredibly expensive as you are considered a commercial company. Artists are able to obtain cheaper public liability insurance through access which is an arts organisation that publicly buys public liability insurance.

A key area to research is art organisations. The A.N (previously known as the artists’ newsletter) is a good thing to subscribe to for the legality of being an artist and it has a lot of information making it a good service.

A.N has a section dedicated to art assistant jobs – both artist assistants and gallery assistants. It is important to think about your skillset and what skills may need to be developed to suit this job. These jobs are very variated, can be fun or difficult depending on how demanding the person/people you are working for are.

  • Artist assistant – gives you an insight into how the art world works which is important as it is a complex system. This also gives you the chance to build a network of connections that can come in handy in future endeavours. Can involve making cups of tea or sweeping the floor, even making the artist’s work.
  • Personal assistants – sometimes artist assistants can be promoted to becoming personal assistants which involves booking trains or materials for private viewings, sourcing things.
  • Gallery assistant jobs – often through internships, involve a lot of computer work via setting up websites, handling social media.

Finding exhibition opportunities:

Looking into opportunities on the websites Art Rabbit, Art Quest, Arts Hub, Arts Connect and many more will be vital for gaining exhibition experience as well as locating galleries that suit my personal style or do frequent exhibitions could also give me a better chance of being chosen.

Art Rabbit website:

ArtRabbit is a good site to use as it focuses on opportunities in and around Leicester which is convenient for me as I live in Leicester and I have lived here my whole life. I have no intentions of moving out of Leicester anytime soon due to finances so this will continue to be relevant for me for a long time – even after University.

Curator Space website:

Curator Space is a website which has opportunities for both artists and curators, as well as showing what is currently popular in the artworld. Since I first joined, I have found some exciting opportunities to apply for.

Art Quest Website:

Art Quest seems to have a lot more advanced artist opportunities involving science based ideas and activities which I find interesting. However, I don’t feel that I am educated enough on science based subjects and so these probably wouldn’t be suitable for me but I will look on the website regardless. It also included some interesting artist residencies which I will look into and add to my residency post.

Arts Hub Website:

Arts Hub has a range of different opportunities including awards/prize opportunities, calls for artists, photography, visual arts and painting which makes this a good place for opportunities which will build up your CV which is very beneficial for employment down the line.

Applying to some exhibitions:

First exhibition application:

I came across this exhibition opportunity on artrabbit and decided to go for it as it looked like a good opportunity and could be a great way for me to gain experience to add to my CV.

My application

This is my application, I submitted three of my artworks to boost my chances of being chosen, as this isn’t guaranteed. Upon reflection, I feel hat I should have included the pdf explaining my work and concepts as this may not be obvious from just looking at my paintings – although I think it’s a good idea for people to come to their own conclusions. Now I have to wait to see if I’ll be selected for the exhibition in May 2022, I will keep posting updates here when I hear back.

Update about London Lighthouse Exhibition:

Response from London Lighthouse Gallery

Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in my attempt to exhibit at the London Lighthouse exhibition. This is the response I received on Tuesday 5th April 2022. Numbers of submissions and the fact I submitted work near the deadline meant I wasn’t selected. I am aware that my art may not be for everyone from one of my crits so I take this with a linch of salt. It is simply something that happens during the process of submitting your work to exhibitions, you win some, you lose some. Onwards and upwards.

Second opportunity application:

I came across this opportunity on Curator Space where you submit pictures of your work and information about it for the chance to be featured on an Instagram page. Although this isn’t a full on exhibition, I feel that this could help me gain more attention on my art Instagram page and get my name out there more, which could lead to more exciting opportunities in the future. Gaining more visibility could allow me to hear from other people about how my work is going and give constructive criticism to help me develop it further.

The condition of entries was work which relates to the natural/metaphysical world and since my current project involved ideas concerning the captivity of animals, I felt that this was a very fitting idea and I feel that I have a good chance of being selected for this based on this information.

My application

I only wrote a small bio and statement since it specified it being brief and so I was worried about overdoing it so decided to keep it short and sweet.

My application

I haven’t yet finished my artist website, I still have areas to improve and so I decided not to include my website for this reason.

Works I selected for submission

Although it said I could submit 5 images, it would only allow me to upload 3 even though the sizing’s were all correct so I decided to just upload 3 of the most successful paintings from the opinions of my peers during my crit. I feel that these paintings portray my project nicely and could help me to be successful in the selection process.

Information submitted about paintings

I added information about materials used and the titles.

Confirmation of submission

I am excited to see if I am selected for this opportunity and I found it quite interesting to see if I can get my work promoted in a different way than a physical exhibition through an online platform which could have a lot of visibility which could benefit me greatly in the future.

Update of application

Unfortunately my application for this opportunity was denied which I was a bit disappointed about but we move onwards and upwards. It is a part of life and your work isn’t always going to be selected. I just need to keep on applying and putting myself out there

Third opportunity application:

I came across this opportunity to be featured on the ‘Haus A Rest’ Zine, Instagram and Facebook pages for one month or more. Again, like the Instagram opportunity previously, this gives me a chance to get my work seen by more people and allow me to make more contacts which could be very beneficial for my artistic endeavours or future opportunities. The theme for submissions being consumption fits perfectly with my project, as farm animals in captivity often end up being sent to the slaughterhouse so I felt this was very relevant to my project.

My submission
My submission

Update on the Haus-a-rest submission:

Email about my submission

Unfortunately I wasn’t accepted for this opportunity as my work doesn’t fit well with the other work or theme and so they most likely meant a more literal sense of ’consumption’. They encouraged me to follow them back on instagram so that I can apply for future opportunities as they do them quite frequently so that gives me a good sense of worth as they seem to like my work.

Mutual following
Image of their instagram page

Having access to their instagram page allows me to see how diverse their open calls are and the fact that they include a range of different art works and styles on their page which gives me hope for the future.

Another Opportunity:

  • Closing Date – June 12th
  • Location – United Kingdom
  • Artform – visual arts
  • Artists can submit up to four artworks

website for more information –

  • Exhibition will run from 15th September – 6th November and is open to any medium of art
  • £5 entry fee
  • Work needs to have been created in the last two years
  • Short artist statement and websites can be provided
  • Successful applicants will be informed by Monday 4th July
  • Some awards up for grabs (£1000, £500 or £200)
  • Maximum size of entry for 2D work is 200 cm x 200 cm

Steps of applying:

  1. Read guidelines
  2. Pay £5 entry fee
  3. Complete submission form
My payment proof

I payed the small fee of £5 so that I could continue with my application. Usually fees are a lot higher than this so I was quite surprised – on the website it says it has reduced fees from £20 due to the long lasting effects of the pandemic which I thought was a nice gesture as a lot of people wouldn’t be able to afford an expensive fee.

Submission form

This was the start of the submission form which told me exactly what I needed to include.

My artist statement submission and artist website submission

I added my short artist statement and my website link which could come in handy if they see an artwork which they feel would fit in more with the exhibition, widening my chances of being accepted.

My application

This is a screenshot of me adding my artwork information and images.

These are the artworks I submitted. I feel that these are some of my strongest pieces and I hope that I get selected for this opportunity as it will allow me to build on my CV.

Application checklist

The form went through a checklist to ensure that I had done everything which I found helpful.

Proof of submission

I submitted my application form so now I have to wait to see the results. I am happy with my submission and hope to hear good news on Monday 4th July. Unfortunately the timing of this exhibition means I won’t have received confirmation until after I submit my CPS work but I have proof of application and in the meantime will do an online exhibition whilst I search for more exhibition/competition opportunities.

Cons of exhibitions:

  • Fees to enter your work
  • No guarantee that your work will be chosen
  • High amounts of people submitting work
  • Requirements for specific themes so may have to explore new subject matter
  • Can be stressful – lots of preparations involved in exhibitions
  • Sometimes receive negative reactions to your work – have to have thick skin and be able to take criticism (both constructive and non)
  • Amount of people who visit exhibitions vary so only certain people will see your work
  • In a large gallery there will be a lot of works selected and so your work could get overlooked

Although this is a good way of gaining experience for my CV and making myself seen by employers, there are also some cons as a lot of exhibition entries require money for you to submit your work and there isn’t a guarantee that your work will be chosen. In order to afford this, I will need to be making some kind of income which I hope will be through my creativity but I will go for any job to provide an income for myself and build up to a creative job when I get the chance to. There are also some that are free to enter so this isn’t always a concern but it may

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

CV Post – standard artist CV and master CV

The difference between an art resume and an art CV is that a resume is a summary, typically one page of recent work experience (employment) including relevant background for a job while a CV is typically a longer summary of artistic activities, endeavours, experiences, publications, skills and only relevant work experience would be necessary. 

The content of an art CV differs depending on what you are applying for including residencies, open call submissions, exhibitions, funding, studio applications, MA courses, creative industry, employment, project proposals, teaching, museum work, and gallery work. 

Master CVs – A master CV is required and it is something to which you add everything so that it builds a structure for all future CVs depending on what is required at the time. It is used to copy, edit, rearrange and structure specific CVs. Making CVs is a continuous process through life that will consistently change as more experience is gathered. 

Master CVs include everything related to your professional artistic life. This includes but isn’t limited to: 

  • Artist statement (short) = usually a paragraph, changes as your work develops. Summary of the content and drive you have for your project, summary of practice, not you. 
  • Awards
  • Biography = section for more established artists could start to articulate this now for a head start. A short narrative describing your journey, where you started to where you are now. Look at examples online 
  • Collaborations = consider putting together some proposals, get comfortable talking to people about your work, consider how you can develop your work 
  • Collections = tricky one but could motivate you to be more visible. Anyone who purchases your work such as art collectors, museums, or galleries. Organisations or colleges which hold your work. Consider donating work to organisations? 
  • Competitions = sign up to newsletters for new opportunities, apply for as much as you can 
  • Contact details
  • Curation = consider putting together some proposals, get comfortable talking to people about your work, consider how you can develop your work 
  • Education = only ever need to put your BA or above onto artist CV
  • Exhibitions = college, second-year exhibitions. Use a narrative approach to give more information including rationale, curator, artists, type of work. Enter competitions, open calls for exhibitions, organise your own exhibitions, collaborate, add forthcoming activities 
  • Internet platforms = only have art-related content on social media outlets. Professional and focused, keep social life off of them 
  • Networks = join a-n (artists information company), axis, arts professional, artists union England. Could consider more professional networks like outdoor arts in the UK, printmakers council, for art history, royal society of sculptors. Memberships of local art collectives, studios and specialist workshops. 
  • Publications, press/text = hone writing and pitch ideas to build/encourage others to engage with your work. Has anyone written about your work or you? Be proactive and contact the press, journals, blogs to encourage writers to review the work. Pitch your own writing, ideas, reviews on online blogs, websites, magazines. Approach online art sites to feature work or offer interviews or q+a. Use links to direct readers to sites where your work has been written about. Use the blog to develop a critical voice. Put together publications, zine, pamphlets. 
  • Professional memberships = join a-n (artists information company), axis, arts professional, artists union England. Could consider more professional networks like outdoor arts in the UK, printmakers council, for art history, royal society of sculptors. Memberships of local art collectives, studios and specialist workshops. 
  • Projects = consider putting together some proposals, get comfortable talking to people about your work, consider how you can develop your work 
  • Residencies = apply for some 
  • Skills = what tech do you know such as photoshop, premier pro, laser cutting. Practical skills like spot welding, slip casting, screen printing, driving license, first-aid certificate. Taken any technical/professional courses to support creative knowledge 
  • Work experience = only included if you are applying for something involving employment. Vital to focus on activities within the art and creative industries, don’t include a list of retail jobs. If you haven’t done arty jobs then consider how you have extrapolated skills and experience which would be relevant or transferable. Apply for employment in more related areas. Volunteer for creative organisations 

If you don’t have a lot of experience, you can approach it in two ways by building on what you have done from an honest viewpoint or working harder to gain more experience. 

To do’s: 

  • avoid clutter, faces, bright colours and patterns
  • Stick to monotones 
  • Don’t include photo unless it is asked for 
  • Personal details vital including name, number, email, website, blog, social media 
  • Use clear layouts and formats 
  • Aim for one or two pages maximum when established 
  • Reverse chronological order (most recent at top) 
  • Concise and relevant information 

My CV:

Gemma Sly

Currently based in Leicester

Email –

Artist, Painter


  • 2019-2022 Fine Art BA (hons) De Montfort University
  • 2018-2019 Foundation in Art and Design, De Montfort University, Distinction
  • 2016-2018 BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design, Leicester College


  • 2022 Degree Show, De Montfort University
  • 2020 Southwark Park Open Exhibition
  • 2019 Foundation Show, De Montfort University
  • 2018 Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design Show, Leicester College St Margaret’s Campus


  • nil


  • nil


  • nil


  • nil


  • nil

My CV is quite empty as I haven’t had a lot of experience and never had the confidence or money to apply for exhibitions when I was younger. I wish I would have tried to find more free opportunities but I can’t change things and I’m hoping to apply to a lot more opportunities in the near future to make my CV a lot more impressive.

My Master CV:

Gemma Sly




Experience working in retail and a school

Currently studying Fine Art BA (Hons) at De Montfort University


Exam Invigilator – Fullhurst Community College, Leicester

April 2019 – June 2019

Setting up exam halls with adequate equipment, helping students with enquiries, being a scribe for students who need help, enforcing exam boards rules and regulations, tidying up exam hall

Crew Member at McDonalds – Meridian Park, Leicester

November 2016 – October 2017

Greeted customers and handled payments via a POS system, prepared raw food materials to cook over 30 menu items, maintained clean dining areas, restrooms and work stations by routinely sweeping, mopping, replenishing supplies and getting rid of waste, worked with colleagues to maintain a smooth operation and high standards of customer service during high volume rushes


Fine Art BA (Hons) at De Montfort University, Leicester – October 2019 to 2022

Diploma of Higher Education: Foundation in art and design at De Montfort University (Distinction), Leicester – September 2018 to June 2019

Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Leicester College (St Margaret’s Campus – Triple Distinction*), Leicester – September 2016- June 2018

GCSE’s at Fullhurst Community College, Leicester: Art (A*), English Language (A*), English Literature (A*), Maths (B), Core Science (B), Additional Science (B), French (B), Geography (A) – September 2011 – June 2016


Adobe Photoshop

Microsoft Office

CPS 3302 Professional Development Year 3

Artist Residencies

There are a range of different residencies with some artists moving from one to another throughout their life, also known as altering modernity or nomads. The different types of artist residencies are aimed at different stages of artistic careers, some for established artists and others for emerging artists.

Types of residencies:

  • Non-funded residencies – for a mix of affluent amateurs and people who have a lot of experience. Res Artis website offers lots of opportunities.
Res Artis website offers residencies all over the world
  • Part-funded – free accommodation/studio space but no travel (although the travel costs can be funded by art organisations so research is vital.)
  • Fully funded – very competitive. high standard and high application numbers.

During COVID there were online artists’ residencies but they were incredibly hard to control and translate, in-person residencies give a sense of time and place.

Most artist residencies keep in touch after and follow your artistic career afterward – a very rewarding process. Some residencies even allow your family to come which is great for single parents or parents struggling with child care – even though children can be distracting. Some residencies are project-based, some offer technical support, residencies respond to a theme. There are a lot of exhibition opportunities after you take part in an artist residency.

Artist collectives are a good idea as they offer conversation opportunities and discourse, artist talks, lectures, crits. It is much easier to get funding for collectives vs as individuals. Collective studio spaces give you support, both physical and psychological support, motivation. Collective exhibitions are more likely than individual exhibitions.

Location is very important within the art world with different places offering different opportunities with different places suiting people for a range of reasons.

After university, a key problem is accessing facilities, so an artist studio is a good idea. Budget is also key as materials can be expensive.

Artist residency advice/experiences:

Art residency video

Although I learned a lot about artist residencies in my lecture, I wanted to find more information so came across this video on YouTube for more information. It is about an artist residency in Beijing and the experiences of artists within that residency.

In the video, the creator had a friend who had been running an artist residency and was going to be running an exhibition from this residency. An interesting part of this residency was that it was in a fairly remote location and it was a small residency with a maximum of 20 artists. The video showed clips of the artists in the residency at work with large-scale paintings which I found very captivating, even if I don’t ever get the chance to take part in an artist residency I would like the chance to attend a residency exhibition. 

Screenshot of an image of the residency space from video

The exhibition involves connecting the artists with some collectors to give them the chance to sell their work which is a good idea, especially with large-scale works as transporting them back to the artist’s home would be rather difficult. The artists were very busy creating work which highlighted to me how you have to be prepared and have high motivation. This video showed how a range of people from different backgrounds, at different ages and stages of life are brought together in residencies. 

First resident experience – Tom travelled a lot and moved into different industries, didn’t have a physical space to create work. The residency gave him the time and space to concentrate and be really productive. He tried to avoid social media and his phone so he could completely focus and take advantage of the space to just do art in order to relaunch his art career after a long period of not doing art at all. He struggled to make a living in art and so was making a living in other sectors which is a sad reality for a lot of creative people.

Screenshot from video of Tom and his paintings in the residency space

Second resident’s experience, Karen – she was from America and had graduated from art school a long time ago. She had a lot of opportunities arise in her life and got caught up with them including being involved in an art magazine which she did for around nine years. The residency is her opportunity to relaunch her art career after over 20 years of not painting. She wanted to put herself first for once and focus on her passion for art. 

Screenshot from video of Karen working in the residency space

Third resident’s experience, Max – originally from London but works in the US worked as an artist for a long time, quite successful. Over five galleries over the world represent him. He’s a curator, museum manager and had been involved in a range of projects over the world. Teaching art. Took this opportunity to relax and discover China’s local art scene to give him inspiration. 

Screenshot from video of Max in residency space

Hearing people’s different reasonings for doing the residency was really interesting for me as it showed that even the most successful people in the art world sometimes need a break and people who don’t have much success are resilient in their passion for art and want to push their artistic career. A key observation is that they all wanted the time and space to just focus on art without any outside distractions which they couldn’t do without the residency.

An alternative of artist residencies is renting an artist studio near your home town but sometimes moving away from the place you live works wonders for inspiration. When asked what makes his residency stand out, Steven said they offer a unique experience for the artists to network with local galleries, collectors, and museums so that they could build up connections and contacts which can be referred back to even after the residency is over. A networking opportunity. However, it is not guaranteed that the artists will sell their work but it is a good possibility. 

What is an artist residency and should you do one?

Information learned from video:

  • Some people do an artist residency every year in the summer
  • An artist residency is an opportunity for artists to work outside of their studio in a new environment where they can focus on creating art, reflecting and researching.
  • It is an escape from your reality
  • Lots of different artist residencies out there – some are collaborative and others are independent. ‘
  • Some collaborative residencies involve doing art and mailing it to a person from another country and vice versa until a whole project is built up and then the different members of the collaborations meet in a designated place for residency for one month in the summer each year in which they can focus on the body of work they created and develop it even further together.
  • Residencies differ in length – sometimes a month or two, sometimes six months or even a year.
  • Studio residencies are located in many cities and countries meaning you don’t always have to travel a huge distance – you can sometimes commute
  • You are able to meet a range of new people including mentors, art collectors, curators
  • You get a lot of crit opportunities during residencies
  • Online residencies have started to become more popular due to covid and they have had good reception so will be sticking around
  • Applying for a residency – think about what you are looking for – travel/local, alone/with family, collaboration/working individually, funding/able to pay. The things you need to apply for a residency are typically a letter of motivation (kind of a cover letter saying what project you want to work on), project proposal in which you break down all elements of your project (the residency will know if you have any specific needs from this and will know what to expect), artist CV, artist biography, artist statement and portfolio (possibly letters of recommendation)
  • expenses of residencies vary depending on the type of residency. Sometimes you can get grants or funding which you apply to from different places – have to give a detailed list of materials, travel expenses. In most studio based residencies you have to pay to use the studios and be a part of the program.
  • some artists look for residencies that give them access to specific equipment including but not limited to ceramics, print and glass
  • Some residencies give you a brief or require you to make art about a heritage site or the place the residency is in so it is good to take that into account and read the fine print
  • Benefits of a residency – you have time to focus on you and your passion. Time is valuable as an artist. It is a good CV builder. You make a lot of connections. Press opportunities, exhibition opportunities. Artist talk opportunities

Artshub Residency page opportunities

When looking up Residencies that I could apply to for when I’ve finished my degree, I came across the Residencies Opportunities Page on Arts Hub which includes a range of Residencies in the UK and other countries with the chance to win residencies in some cases through competitions or exhibitions which I felt was interesting. I came across a lot of interesting opportunities but some of them had fees and this is something I need to take into account when applying.–shifting-terrain/6301?fbclid=IwAR3NFkWeNcZ7LKpf2Nf3JMGMCOMgbeiNMqh1KZzplD3RDDvCOoXSGrS02bI

I found more details about the opportunity on Curator Space, finding out that it is an opportunity for women artists based in the East Midlands with two residency spaces up for grabs which is based in Derby – not too far from where I live at the moment. The deadline for submissions is the 31st May which gives me a lot of time to apply once my work is submitted for marking.

Online residency opportunities:

  • Deadline – June 30th 2022
  • Location – National/online
  • Artform – All arts
Information about the Residencies
  • Residency fee for a one month residency is 270 euros (£227) and two months is 450 euros (£378.35).
  • What you get from the residency – regular meetings/activities, usually 3 sessions per week. Weekly live meetings with artists for crits and reflections of progress. Advice about social media presence and artist websites. Discussions with previous residency members. Online exhibition at the end of residency. Being presented on their blog. Become a permanent member of their international artist network.

Unfortunately I don’t have the money right now to join this residency but I found researching into an online residency was interesting and a good option if I don’t have the time to travel or dedicate myself to a residency full time. I feel that an online residency would be limiting in terms of space as you would have to find your own studio space or work from home but you will have access to people who can give you advice, crit your work and even influence your work with their own, an option which you most likely wouldn’t have without the residency.

Art Quest Residency Opportunity:

When I was looking for opportunities and exhibitions, I came across Art Quest which had some interesting science based projects and some different artist residencies which was insightful and something to consider for when I’m finished with University.

I came across this residency which is available for an arts practitioner or a collaborative group for a 6 month residency in South East London. I find the project quite interesting as you get to work with families and children to create a narrative about their life and as I am interested in working with communities I feel that this would be a great opportunity for me.

More information about the residency –

Information about residency from website
Information about residency from website

Unfortunately, I don’t have the right specifications for this residency as I haven’t co produced any cultural projects, delivered workshops or released any publications. However, I still feel that researching into this residency has been beneficial in the sense of allowing me to know just how different artist residencies can be and the different options out there. I am hoping there will be a residency like this again in the future as it really interests me.

Res Artis Residency Website –

Image of home page of the website

An interesting part of the Res Artis website is that it includes residencies in all parts of the world which makes it a great source for if you decide to travel for a residency. This is something I would be interested in but I need to consider my finances – even if funding is available, I’d still like to make sure that I am comfortable financially just in case. I also think that I would find going to a different country on my own quite scary but it would be an amazing opportunity so I’d have to work over the fear. I feel that residencies in other countries would open me up to a lot more valuable connections and I will have the experience of living in a brand new area and learning about cultures which I would find very exciting.

The website takes into account a lot of factors including:

  • Location – region, country and city
  • Disciplines – ceramics, glass, printmaking, sculpture, visual art
  • Artistic Facilities – library, metal work tools, exhibition space, woodworking tools
  • Practical Facilities – car, cleaning, internet, kitchen, private areas, shared spaces, places for family
  • Studio type and size – private, shared, live studio
  • Duration of residency – 1-3 weeks, 1-12+ months, 1-1+ years
  • Organisation type – artist run, foundation, government, hotel/guest house, museum, gallery, not for profit
  • Residency fees – yes or no
  • Setting – rural or urban
  • Accommodation type – private or shared, apartment or house or cabin or room
  • Working languages
  • Companions allowed – children, partners
  • Wheelchair accessibility – yes or no

I decided to do a search for residencies in the UK as I don’t want to travel out of the UK just yet. There are 13 available in the UK which is a fair amount but they are spread out quite far which surprised me.

I selected Newcastle and London on the list and no residency fees to see what results I would get so I looked into the residencies to see if I would like them.

Residency 1 – Unit 1 Gallery Workshop, London

Images of the facilities
Images of facilities
  • 3 months access to studio spaces with natural and professional lighting
  • Working above the gallery space
  • Networking opportunities with artists, curators, collectors and public
  • Guidance from gallery directors
  • End of residency solo exhibition
  • Open to artists of all ages and backgrounds
  • Cannot provide housing for the resident currently
  • Application cost is £35

Criteria for selection:

  • contemporary practitioners in fine art ‘
  • must be able to travel to London for the duration of the residency
  • open to collaboration
  • create relationships with gallery visitors

Residency 2 – V&A, London

Images of facilities
Images of facilities
  • Allows artists to activate the museums collections through their work
  • Residents carry out research and create innovative unique work
  • Only accepts applicants in response to an open call – define an area of the collection for themes/mediums they want the resident to explore
  • Duration of residency – over 6 months
  • Number of studios – 3
  • Shared studio
  • No accommodation offered
  • Provide residents with funds – £12,000
  • Expenses paid by artist – travel, housing, food, supplies
  • Residents expected to do a workshop and public talk

Residency 3 – D6, Newcastle

Images of facilities
  • Artist talks and networking events are arranged for residents
  • They offer funded residencies throughout the year
  • Promoting role of artists in the sustainable development of towns/cities
  • 1 month residency
  • 1 private artist studio
  • No accommodation offered
  • Networking artistic facilities
  • Open call

Out of all three residencies, I feel that the first one would be suited towards me more than the other two. However, commuting to London everyday would be very expensive, even getting accommodation in London would be too expensive and so costs are definitely something which I’ll have to take into account before applying for residencies.

My plan:

As soon as I’ve finished with University, I am going to find some residencies taking place at the end of this year or the start of next year which I can apply to in order to develop my CV and gain experience, as well as making connections in the art world. I feel that waiting until the end of this year/the start of next year will give me some time to get a part time job and make sure that I am financially able to do a residency as even the ones with no fees have other costs that need to be taken into account such as materials, living costs and travel. It is my ambition to do at least one artist residency in my life, hopefully more if I get the chance as it is an incredible opportunity.

CPS 3302 Professional Development

After University plans

At this moment in time, I am unsure of what I want to do after my University degree. I know that I want to go straight into a job and then consider doing a master’s course in a year or two if I decide it is something I want to pursue but I am currently in no rush. I feel that doing a Masters straight away would just be a waste of time and money as I have had enough of education for a while and would like to gain experience for my CV as my experience is quite limited at the moment. I also feel that I am unsure of what subject I would want to specialise in and so I feel that this is important to consider in depth.

Things to consider about a Masters

At the moment, I don’t feel that a Masters would be suitable for me as I don’t have the drive for it yet but this is something to consider in a year or two when I feel more up to continuing my education and pushing myself further. At the moment however, my main focus is to get a job and gain experience for my CV.

Things to consider about a Masters

Another factor that puts me off doing a Masters straight away is the cost as I would like to experience doing a Masters in a place outside of Leicester where I have lived my whole life and so as well as course fees, I would need to factor in living costs which isn’t financially possible for me at the moment and so I would be in a much better position to do so in a couple of years when I have some savings.

Things to consider about a Masters

Another thing to consider is what grade I am going to get in my degree which could affect my chances of being accepted onto a Masters degree. I am currently unsure of what grade I will get as I find University grading can differ a lot from tutor to tutor and can be harsh and so I wouldn’t want to make the effort doing the application just to be rejected if I end up with a lower grade than I want.

Things to consider about a Masters

I don’t feel that I am ready for a Masters straightaway as I feel that I have burnt myself out during my degree and lost my passion for art as I have felt that my work is never good enough and so I would like to build my confidence and ensure I am at a time in my life where I will get the most out of my Masters rather than wasting the good opportunity and not doing the best of my ability.

Although these websites gave me a lot of information, I felt it would be good to watch a YouTube video or two to hear people’s own experiences and how they navigated life after University in terms of doing a Masters. This reassured me also as I have no idea what to do and I can be too critical about that sometimes but it is completely normal.

Pros and Cons of Masters

Although I already know that I don’t want to do a Masters straight away, I felt it would be beneficial to see whether a Masters would be beneficial to me anyway and who Masters are mostly suited to. I found this YouTube video which went into a lot of detail and I found it useful to hear all the points.

Information learned from video:

  • A masters is a postgraduate qualification done after a Bachelors degree which allows you to go more in depth in a specific subject
  • Masters are good for people who know what direction they want to go in, they know the industry and sometimes which specific roles they want
  • You need a different mindset going into a Masters compared to your undergraduate degree – they are typically only one year so you have to have more focus, not a lot of time for fun or a social life. A Masters is viewed as an investment
  • Cost of Masters – typically £8,500 but it varies depending on the course and location. Living costs aren’t covered so it is quite expensive and you miss out on a year of wages which you would have earned if you went straight into a job rather than doing a Masters
  • A Masters does give you a chance to earn more than just having an undergraduate degree but this isn’t always guaranteed. More of a chance of employment too but again this isn’t guaranteed
  • A Masters isn’t vital in getting the best roles, you can still be successful without a Masters – its not a necessity
  • Who should highly consider doing a masters? – someone who has done research and found out that doing a Masters is essential in getting a job – in some sectors having a Masters is much more beneficial such as Law and Engineering so you can niche down in the subject and make yourself more suited to your dream role. If you want to maximise your potential. Someone who got a 2-2 in their degree might feel that they didn’t do too well and a Masters could help hide that qualification as that could hinder your chances with some companies. Someone who wants to pivot their subject and move to a different specialism
  • Why you shouldn’t do a Masters? – If you’re unsure about what you want to do as a Masters is an investment, not a way for you to avoid adult responsibilities or keep in the university lifestyle life. If you can’t afford it right now it would be a good idea to wait until you’re in a better financial position. Some universities prefer masters applicants who have experience in industry and so depending on where you want to do a Masters this is something to take into account

Information learned from video:

  • 1) Gap Year – go travelling or get a part time job so you still have a lot of free time. Last year of freedom before going into the working world full time. Going to different countries for the experience. The part time job ends up funding these opportunities.
  • 2) Getting a job – Lots of different jobs out there and the jobs don’t always have to link directly to your degree. Some degree subjects offer graduate schemes after uni which are helpful and train you in the role that you want to pursue. Some graduate schemes allow you to gain different qualifications.
  • 3) Building your CV – people often realise after uni that they don’t have a lot of experience and so focus on building it up before applying for graduate schemes or applying for their dream jobs. Getting an internship, either paid or unpaid depending on what is on offer. Internships last different amounts of time and so will be suitable to some but not to others. Volunteering is another good option (either in the UK or abroad). If you don’t know what you want to do, you can dabble in different things throughout the year and try different careers to see what best suits you. It might make you feel disorganised and out of place but it will help in the long run.
  • 4) Masters – so many different types of post grad courses in different areas with different specialties. Have to consider how much you pay for the course vs how much you’ll get back from it, is the investment really worth it?
  • 1) Gap Year – go travelling or get a part time job so you still have a lot of free time. Last year of freedom before going into the working world full time. Going to different countries for the experience. The part time job ends up funding these opportunities.
  • 2) Getting a job – Lots of different jobs out there and the jobs don’t always have to link directly to your degree. Some degree subjects offer graduate schemes after uni which are helpful and train you in the role that you want to pursue. Some graduate schemes allow you to gain different qualifications.
  • 3) Building your CV – people often realise after uni that they don’t have a lot of experience and so focus on building it up before applying for graduate schemes or applying for their dream jobs. Getting an internship, either paid or unpaid depending on what is on offer. Internships last different amounts of time and so will be suitable to some but not to others. Volunteering is another good option (either in the UK or abroad). If you don’t know what you want to do, you can dabble in different things throughout the year and try different careers to see what best suits you. It might make you feel disorganised and out of place but it will help in the long run.
  • 4) Masters – so many different types of post grad courses in different areas with different specialties. Have to consider how much you pay for the course vs how much you’ll get back from it, is the investment really worth it?
What to expect after graduating from art school

Although looking into ideas as to what to do after university is helpful, I decided to look into people’s experiences of graduating from art school and the challenges they faced with getting an arts based job as I felt this would be more relevant to my own experience and build my confidence if I see other people’s successes.

Things I learned from the video:

  • Art school does not adequately prepare you for the financial realities of being an artist
  • A lot of art graduates are confronted with the realities of working alone for full time hours
  • Some artists get normal jobs to fund their passion and make savings before taking the leap to making art their main source of income and work on art full time which allows them to focus on art opportunities more such as exhibitions
  • Some people create and sell work but don’t manage to see any profits building up – it is bound to happen when you take the risk to focus on art full time
  • You have to consider how to become financially efficient – consider working from home and converting garage into art studio, means there aren’t any extra expenses. Make sure living expenses are reasonable
  • Figure out how to keep material expenses low as it is sometimes the only way to maintain being an artist full time. Framing one of the biggest expenses. Building your own frames would cut those costs down massively. Working on panels is quite inexpensive. Working with other shades of yellow than cadmium which is the most expensive will cut down costs.
  • Be creative with materials and experiment. Find a job with freedom which pays well, flexible schedule or even part time so then you have a stable income yet can still pursue your art. Then you don’t have the financial pressures
  • Teaching could be a good route but it’s not guaranteed that you will have the time or energy to do your own art alongside teaching

Interesting comments about peoples experiences on the above video:

This comment was interesting as it showed the harsh reality of wanting to pursue art and how difficult it can be to make a living and even get accepted into shows which is something I myself have experienced this year and it makes it really difficult to keep motivated.

I really relate to this comment in terms of feeling nervous that you won’t get a career doing what you love. I just have to see what happens and keep pushing myself to get a job that makes me happy. I hope I get there some day

Finding a job/ job sectors suitable for me:

The job I get maybe a normal retail job for me to get experience but I am hoping to discover an artistic job so my degree hasn’t been a waste of time. To assist me with finding jobs that are relevant, I started to do some assessments on the ‘National Career Service’ which uses your interests and skills to recommend relevant job opportunities. If I do end up in a normal job then I will still work on my practice in my own time and build up a strong portfolio to make me look good to potential employers in my preferred industry.

National Careers Service home page information
National Careers Service home page information

The assessments are used to identify skills you already have, your interests, your work ethic, and good things about you that make you suitable for certain jobs. Each assessment takes around 15 minutes to 30 minutes and there are 10 in total. I am working my way through them all so that a report can be generated for me which will give me jobs that would be suitable for me individually as well as suggest areas of improvement which could greatly benefit me.

Personal Skill Assessments
Work-based Skills assessment

I finished my assessments and downloaded my report:

My Completed Assessments

My report:

Here is a copy of my Skills Health Check that you can download and view. I have also attached a range of screenshots in case any technical problems occur.

My strengths
A strength and area of development
Area of development
My interests and suitable job families.
Job families I’m not interested in
My job approach style
Job approach developments and motivations
My motivations
Working with numbers results
Working with numbers tips and written information results
Written information results

I am really glad that the report gives me thorough information about my strengths and areas for improvement with tips as I now know what I should work on to build my employability and make a good impression on employers.

I am going to speak to a careers advisor when I have the chance so that they could recommend some more detailed information and specific jobs rather than ‘job families’ as I feel this could be an eye-opener and could allow me to find a career I feel gives me a purpose and allows me to make the most of my degree doing something I love. However, I have learned that the University careers advisors are more tailored towards academic careers rather than creative and so I feel I would need to find a careers advisor more tailored towards creative subjects.

In my search, I selected ‘Creative arts and design’ for the job sector and ‘East Midlands’ for the location as I can’t see myself moving too far away any time soon due to finances and family. Unfortunately there aren’t any art graduate jobs nearby and so I need to consider finding general entry level arts jobs rather than graduate jobs.

Jobs related/linked to my Fine Art Degree

“Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.” – This gives me hope as sometimes I worry that I will be limited to certain jobs and I sometimes worry that I will never be successful but I need to stop worrying and have faith in the process.

  • Make a portfolio
  • Enter Competitions
  • Enter work into exhibitions
  • Network/make contacts
  • Voluntary work could be beneficial