So I took a short break from my work…… and used the time to take stock of how things had gone over this last year – thinking about how I wanted to move on.

What ensued was the inevitable list. I surprised myself with what the list contained though, as it wasn’t a case of what I will do, but more a case of what I WON’T.

Last year, I made the decision not to enter any open exhibitions in which there was a charge. I stuck to that one and don’t feel that I lost out in any way.

In 2013………

· I did donate my work to one auction this year – it was in aid of a Liverpool artists studio that had been effected by recent cuts. My work sold and I did receive 45% of the sale, but despite now being ‘invited’ to donate to many other art auctions, that’s a ‘No’ from now on.

· I will not invigilate. I used up too much of my precious leave on this and ended up exhausted. If an exhibition needs someone to sit there, I will walk away from it

· The biggy – I will not work for free.

I sent two proposals off in the last month and one of them was a paid opportunity, in which the applicant had to set out their fee. I applied for a similar thing to this last year, and stupidly thinking I would have more of a chance if I gave myself an absolute minimum fee, I sent it off. I didn’t even make the short list.

This time, I used the a-n artist’s fee chart. To be honest, I felt a little fearful of my own demands and I hesitated before pressing ‘send’. It’s done now though and if I don’t get through, at least I will keep my dignity.


Yesterday, I did the long drive to Leeds to pick up the work from our last SCIBase exhibition – ‘Inhospitable 1.1’ at 64 Wellington St. ( one of East Street Arts (ESA) project spaces )

Packing up the work and loading it into the car, we had a good chat about how the year long project had gone. It was a huge achievement , but whether we’ll do it again………. ? Possibly maybe. But getting home last night, I left all the work in the car and thought……..I need one big long break! It’s really difficult balancing work, art and life : (


In the last two weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to have been offered several opportunities. The first, I wrote about in my last blog… the £150 mural. They had so many applicants, I’m still waiting to hear about the outcome of that.

Secondly, I received an email from someone who had seen my books on Saatchi online and wanted me to have my work in ‘Praise of Beautiful Books:’ A Selection of Books by British Artists’ Book Makers and Fine Presses.

Fantastic I thought! Until I looked at the website and it appears that I have to pay them. £65 for a single page and £120 for a double. Ho hum

Then there was the special price for joining AXIS – £21

….and another opportunity to apply for an exhibition at the Castlefield Gallery…but first I would have to be an associate member to be in for a chance . Only £60.

I went bankrupt without even leaving the comfort of my chair this week.