Yesterday, I went to a talk at the Walker Art Gallery, by Enzo Marra –  a John Moores painting prize exhibitor.  I’ve wanted to go to a few of the talks, but haven’t been able to as they all fall on work days. I’m always interested in how an artist approaches talking about their work as I struggle myself.  He was a little nervous and totally unpretentious, which made him feel more human,  so I warmed to him. Confidence always puts me off.

Since deciding to go part time, I’ve been reassessing a lot of things. I wouldn’t say that things weren’t working out, but they could be a better.

I’m taking advice….

I thought about a check list I’d been given after recently becoming a Castlefield Associate. Well, not so much a check list,but notes from a talk given by Castlefield’s Director Kwong Lee about ‘Getting your work across online and in Writing’.

The talk happened before I became an associate, so I was glad to be sent the info. The notes recorded comments made by several curators who were in attendance.

The website was top of the list. Hmm yes, mine hasn’t been updated for a long time…. Its too time consuming to update all of my recent work and I don’t know what to do with it. It is set out in sections though (as recommended) so it isn’t a total fail. I need help.

Statements: Don’t oversell yourself. Well, yes, I pass that one. I’m happy with a couple of lines.

CV’s….. Don’t include everything.  This prompted me to flick through the John Moores  catalogue to check out the artists CVs.  Most had done depressingly loads…. how do they get the time to do all of these?  I was tempted to ask Enzo what he did for a living ( I still refuse to accept artists make a living solely from their work)  But I thought that might be rude.

I was surprised how many of the artists in the catalogue had entered so many art competitions. There was a ‘thing’ a while back about not paying to enter, this must have  been swept aside …maybe as there’s no other way of getting your work out there?

‘Don’t use the word ‘art’ or ‘artist’ in their web address or twitter….it looks naff’

‘When an artist does nothing but post their work on social media its a real turn off for me… it should be a mix of things so that you can sense who they are’

Yes, I agree with that one.

Having said that, I’m going to post an image of the altered ceramics piece I’m showing next week…..  (hope that’s ok )

‘The Birth of Icarus’



I’ve had so many conversations with various people over the last few months about time…… well, about time and money – what’s more important?

The reason for the conversations is that finally….finally after months of deliberations, I’ve requested to cut my work hours . Not by a massive amount – just from 5 days to 4.

I’m tired, its as simple as that. This month, I haven’t had 2 days off together, but I’ve still managed to produce work for an exhibition,  visit more outside exhibitions (Biennial – done most of it now, Mark Leckey at the Grundy in Blackpool and The Jam exhibition – at which I had a really interesting conversation with photographer Francesco Mellina, who talked about bands he worked with (inc the clash) needing motivating occasionally too during their day jobs !  )   keep the house and garden presentable (sort of)  manage one of East Street Arts temporary spaces in Liverpool and see friends and family on my precious days off.

I can’t keep it up though.

As well as one major exhibition (Threshold, for which I made the house installation) there’s been a lot of small ones this year that I’ve been involved in. Some maybe haven’t been as good as others, but the important thing is, they’ve kept me going.  Anyone who works full time, will know that it’s easy to give up any passion they may have as its simply just too draining to keep it going.

I feel like I’ve just been winging it and  I’ve been lucky so far ….  but  ….

I know in the big scheme of things an extra day off isn’t huge, but it means that I can do more ‘meatier’ work that I can spend a couple of consecutive days on instead of just a few hours here and there. It also means that I won’t have to turn down so many meetings and events, as I’ll have more flexibility.

Money-wise….hmmm…I’m still not 100% sure how it will work out, but for me, choosing between time and money – Time wins.




I recently filled in a survey in which I was asked ‘what percentage of your time do you spend on your work?’

I didn’t have a clue, so put a random figure of 20% on it as I fit my work round my paid job.

It was only afterwards, that I really got thinking about it. What do I class as my time?  The time I am physically making something / the time I’m thinking about it/ the odd notes I jot down as I’m doing something else / the time I spend doing admin ????

Its really an impossible thing to answer.

It me feel like I was treating my work as a bit of a hobby by saying 20%.  If I actually include all of the above its a much bigger percentage than that.

I wish I could re call my answer and start again :-(