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“Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” – Harvey MacKay

In the latter stages of last year I decided that I wanted to find a middle ground between what I was doing as a job – working with challenging young people in schools, and combining this with the skills I’d acquired as an artist. Evidently I’ve never got the balance quite right as what I consider to be my art practice often feels very insular whereas my working life; by comparison, doesn’t really offer the scope for creative expression and takes up a greater proportion of my time. Whilst artists regularly juggle jobs with their artistic practice I often wondered whether their was a job that was robust enough to combine both of these interests without having to feel as though I’m serving two masters. Subsequently I had explored other options such as fulltime youth work and teaching (by way of a PGSE or GTP qualification). I also considered training to become a councillor although none of these ideas had any lasting appeal.

Perhaps what I’m thinking of is more a vocation than simply just another job. Being in a place where my skills, talents and interests intersect naturally rather than trying to force them together or oppositely keeping them separate as they are at the moment.

In many ways I hope that achieving this qualification and becoming an accredited art therapist would be more in sync with what I do as an artist. However it would be worth talking to other artists – who’ve trained as art therapists, to decipher how they’ve negotiated these dual roles. Alternatively how might being an art therapist negate one’s position as an artist in their own right?


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