It’s not been an unusual sight to see me carrying stacks of work between the Ecclesall Road area and Shalesmoor for the last few weeks, as I’ve been getting all of my work down to my studio in preparation for my exhibition. I’m terrible at finishing off little details, such as signing my work, and putting mirror plates on canvases, so I’ve been trying to get on with that side of things. I’ve also been stitching like crazy, trying to finish off my cross-stitch and a self portrait I’ve been working on for ages.

The promotional side of things has taken up a lot of my time, but I’m happy to say I’ve had some response, and I’ve been mentioned in The Star newspaper, as well as having been contacted by local magazines.

I still have lots of work to do before the opening on Friday, such as preparing some information and prices to accompany my work, but I’m confident that I’ll be ready on time. I’ll start hanging my work on Thursday.

People keep asking me if I’m excited, and, although I’m sure I will be on the opening night, I’m not excited at the moment. It feels like I’m just sort of doing my job, even though it’s the best job in the world.

My biggest worry is that I won’t have enough work to fill such a large gallery space. Find out if I manage it this Friday by coming down to say “Hi”.


Exhibition Planning

I have my first solo exhibition on 4th April at Gage Gallery in Sheffield, so I’m busy trying to prepare.

I’ve got some work to get finished off, as well as all the usual planning and promoting to do. Over the weekend I finished a set of 9 canvases painted with pills. I’m intending to hang them in a grid and they will probably be the cheapest work available at the exhibition. I’m also stitching like mad to try and get a cross-stitch finished in time. I didn’t particularly intend for it to go in to the exhibition, but since it’s under way I’d quite like to get it in.

Along with new work, I also have lots of bits to finish off on other pieces, such as painting the sides of box canvases, or signing paintings. I haven’t really given much thought to the curation yet.

I’m particularly struggling with getting into the promotion of the event. I’m trying to write a press release, but I’m finding it difficult to find the right words. I should also get organised and send some invite out, but I seem to be so distracted at the moment.

Other things I need to get sorted are ordering some business cards, and I wanted to get some postcards printed, but I think it may already be too late for that.

Anyway, I can console myself with the fact that work is getting made, and I’ll be knuckling down this week to get on with promoting.

Follow my blog to see how my preparation progresses.

If you’d like to come along to the opening evening, you can find information here:



Graduate Studios

Me and Michael Borkowsky and currently putting together a plan to create a set of artist lead studios for recent graduates in Sheffield. I wanted to write a blog about why I feel that this would be a great idea, so here we are.

I found University frustrating due to the lack of guidance on “how to be an artist”. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that, although I was attending a BA in Fine Art, very few students wanted to go on to be artists, and therefore there was no real need to teach us how to follow any particular career path. We had a few very helpful guest lecturers speak to us in our professional practice module, but that was all really. I spoke to teaching staff, and asked them questions relating to working as an artist as I thought them up, and sometimes they struggled to answer me, although now I can see why. I think that, situations come up in a real world environment that you just can’t give an answer to in an academic institution.

There are two areas that I felt were most lacking: firstly, the emphasis that should be put on just getting out there and doing something/ making contacts, particularly while you are still at university, so that you can lay the foundations for the next step of your journey to becoming an artist. I personally tried to do a lot just from my own initiative, such as networking through social networking sites and making links back in Sheffield ready for when I returned to my home city. However, if I had known, I would have done much more and tried to take the most from my time as a student, since I had an income (from my student loan) and a free studio space! Secondly I feel that there should have been so much more encouragement to make your own work and develop your own ideas. I understand that a university has certain criteria that needs to be met, but I don’t feel that such a rigid structure works in an art context.

So after leaving university I was just kind of left to it. The foundations I had put down through social networking and links back in Sheffield were a huge help to me (which I why I think there should have been more encouragement for students to do this while they can), but that was all I really had to get myself started. It felt like most opportunities were open to people who had been out of university for at least a year, and I didn’t have the experience to get me into a residency as I would have liked.

And so I come back to the idea of graduate studios. Me and Michael both think that it would be a welcome idea to have an intermediate platform that welcomes recent graduates and helps them to develop their own practice as an artist in a real world environment. We are aiming to find a venue that can provide both studios and an exhibition space for graduate artists. We would provide support and advice, as well as planning a program of events, such as talks and workshops.

Our plans are still in the very early stages, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the idea, or even just for you to say “Hi” if you do, or know of something similar yourself.


Inspired by another artist, I’ve decided to make a list of the goals I have for art related work this year. I particularly want to improve my CV by working on a range of different art related projects, such as planning events. Alongside this I want to keep on producing my own work. So far I haven’t been keen to sell my work, in order to get together a good body of work, but this year I hope to start making some money from it.


Solo exhibition

I have an exhibition at KIAC booked for April, and I need to start making arrangements for this now.

Art Market

I’m already starting to plan how this could work and talking to people about potential venues.

Curated exhibition

Together with Michael Borkowsky I’m thinking about planning an open call to artists based on the theme of computer gaming. On my part this is largely a planning task, involving organising all aspects of the exhibition.

Get work ready to sell

I have a couple of smaller projects currently underway that I really need to get finished. Part of the problem is requiring money in order to make money, but that’s just life I suppose!

Provide workshops

I want to plan and present new workshops, as well as making myself more available to venues.

Get more involved

This involves visiting more exhibitions, making more contact with various people, places and media, and trying to get my work shown in more venues.

I love writing lists, and hopefully this list will help me to focus and achieve the goals I have for 2014.


Juggling Jobs

I’m frustrated at the moment by the lack of time spent on my art work and other related activities, such as visiting exhibitions. The problem is that I have to have a part time job to support myself and my practice, but I want to be working full time as an artist. At the moment the hours of my part time job are increasing, further squeezing the time I can spend on my art work. I knew when I decided to become an artist that finding the time (not to mention money!) would be a challenge, and I dedicate as much time as I can to my art work, but I had hoped to have progressed further than I have by now.

So practical head on, what can I do? These are some options I’ve thought of;

1.Find a new job

2.Look for artist opportunities, such as residencies

3.Apply for funding to help with projects

4.Sell some work and merchandise to support myself

Ideally I’d like a mixture of the above solutions, working part time and further supporting myself and my practice through sales of work and funding for new projects. I have an exhibition planned for early next year, so I hope that that will provide me with a bit of exposure, more experience, and an opportunity to sell some work.

I knew that being an artist would be difficult, but it’s much more than just a career, so giving up is simply not an option.