BA Fine art graduate from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
What have you done since graduating?
When I finished uni I joined the print studios in Edinburgh, but could no longer afford the travel costs or time to get there.
I am currently a play worker for Stow Kids’ Club, which provides after–school care for children. I got the job last February with the aim of gaining the experience required to get a place on an artist’s residency. A residency is an opportunity for an artist to develop their own practice, but usually also involves an element of community work.
As the after–school club work is only a few hours five days a week, I spend the rest of my time working on my art. I am registered as self–employed and have my art in a couple of local galleries. I have also exhibited in the Fens, and my first solo exhibition is on show in Cambridgeshire. I have just set myself up a small space in which to print, as it was print–making I specialised in at university.
Did your degree in fine art provide you with the relevant experience and training needed for your chosen career?
My art degree was instrumental in getting me where I am. My time at university benefited me in several ways. It provided me with the opportunity to specialise in certain areas, and so to improve my understanding of technique and process. It also gave me the much needed confidence that I could continue to use my art beyond university.
Did the academic side of your degree help you in the same sort of way or was the practical side of your degree – actually experimenting with your art – more beneficial?
Both academic and theoretical aspects were important and beneficial. They prepared me for a life in the arts beyond university. Compulsory modules in professional practice covered many aspects of being a professional artist, including how to approach galleries, information on residencies, websites, CVs, and listing opportunities for artists. These modules were helpful while I was selling my work and in being a self–employed artist.