This is my blog for Professional Practice 2 where I will be looking at how people in the creative field promote themselves and how galleries and foundations promote artists.
Jelly Green is a great example of how to keep the same voice through different platforms, for example Instagram and her website. Websites are often presented in a more professional way, where as Instagram and other social media platforms don’t have that connotation. This is because there is a closer connection with Instagram and the audience, it feels more personal as people go to your social media to see what you are up to on a regular basis where as websites are often used to see the final product, look at previous work as well as to find other information, for example how to buy artwork.
When you look at Jelly Green’s artwork on Instagram there is a three image layout this is also found on her website when you look through ‘Recent Work’ and ‘Past Work’. Imagery is clearly very important to Green as she has a large photo on her home page and there is another large photo on her about page, these photos feel like her artwork and her posts on Instagram as these large photos on her website show her working in the jungle, the environment that she recreates in her paintings. Green likes to share progress photos, sketches, time lapses, her studio space as well as images of finished paintings, these photos of her drawing in the jungle have a similar feel, but look more professional, as we see her working, or in the case of the photo on the home page we have a her hand, a pencil, an open sketchbook and a closed sketchbook on the ground.
The website is easy to use, simple and effective, there is a menu in the top right corner which can take you to ‘About’ where she has her biography and past exhibitions information, she also has a ‘Press’ section, where she promotes articles written about her, Green shares this information on her Instagram as well. Green uses similar language throughout her Instagram posts and website keeping it all simple, easy to follow and professional.
In the ‘Recent Work’ page she has images of work from 2016 – 2020 and ‘Past Work’ which shows work from 2013 – 2017. This is a little confusing as the years overlap, asking the question what constitutes an artwork being in the ‘Past Work’ page vs the ‘Recent Work’ page if there is artwork from 2016 – 20117 in both. Is this website not updated as frequently? The artwork is also not in chronological order, which is what I was expecting, which makes me wonder what is the order? Is there an order?
Overall, both the Instagram account and website are easy to understand use and there is a common feel though both, there is a lot of green in her paintings and this is found in her website design as well as Green’s Instagram profile picture (a close up image of one of her paintings). This is a useful tactic and something I will consider using for myself.
I was a part of a virtual group exhibition at The Art Station in February 2021 titled ‘Congruous’.
Link to exhibition: https://theartstation.uk/exhibition/congruous/
The exhibition consisted of the level 6 Fine Art students at University of Suffolk.
For this exhibition we worked with The Art Station, most of the communication was through our tutor. We had deadlines for when we needed to have information, posters, photos and most importantly the video of the exhibition ready so that The Art Station could approve it. This process went really well, The Art Station were really accommodating and supportive. Most of the work for the exhibition was approved without any issues, it was just the poster that needed fine tuning to make sure The Art Station logo was clear and wasn’t too close to anything else, which was easily fixed.
Every time I am a part of an exhibition I am improving my skills with time management, communication and working as part of a collaboration.
This was an interesting experience, as it was originally going to be a physical exhibition at The Art Station but had to become virtual due to COVID-19, The Art Station was a joy to work with, and hopefully there will be future opportunities for me to work with them again and use their amazing exhibition space.
The Art Station was also kind enough to let us do an Instagram take over on their account. Although this was challenging to organise it was really useful, thinking about what would work as an Instagram post on a different account. We each had a day Monday – Friday where we organised 2 posts including the text and hashtags we wanted to use to go with the image. We also had as Instagram story as part of the Instagram take over where we shared images that showed what inspired our artwork. We were not able to have access to the Instagram account ourselves, so we had to email the 2 posts and the images for the story to our tutor so that they could be posted on our allotted day.
Link to The Art Station Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/the_artstation/?hl=en
These are my notes from visiting artist Ann-Marie James on making a living as an artist.
James took an unpaid work experience placement at a museum, and joined a group for young people interested in the arts at Kettle’s Yard.
Don’t underestimate the use of collaboration and developing your skills as a collaborator. These connections and skills can help you later on in your career as an artist.
Finding out what kind of artwork you want to make can take a long time. It can take a while for an idea and the expression to come together.
If you come away from a degree with just one core idea or a key interest to explore and carry further, then that is a lot. As it can take a long time to find our voice.
Write to galleries and ask if they have any unpaid internships, you might get a job where you can gain experience on how a gallery is run. James started working an unpaid internship where she worked one day a week, this lead on to further work in London working at other galleries and museums and paying jobs.
In her final year of university James worked at Timothy Taylor Gallery one day a week as an unpaid intern and on Saturdays was a paid receptionist. After leaving the university James was offered a job at this gallery as an exhibition assistant she stayed there for six years and worked her way up to the position of artist liaison her role was to work with half the galleries represented artists and to balance the needs of the artists with the needs of the gallery. James was responsible for every aspect of the shows by those artists, and this would often include producing a book to accompany the exhibition she would also support the artists’ careers in every way. Through this she got to learn what an artist’s day to day looks like and learned the unwritten rules and conventions that underpin the gallery world and how it connected to other aspects of the art world.
Art Quest is a really useful resource for finding opportunities as well as The Artists Newsletter.
Advice for making it as an artist – keep going and keep making artwork.
Build up a CV of exhibitions.
Opportunities can be found through the connections you make. Friends made at art school can form a community that may connect you with future opportunities and you can do the same in return. It is in your best interest to be collaborative, supportive and kind towards your peers rather than seeing them as competitors.
Building relationships, connections and a community is really important as you support one another and share information and opportunities. As well as generate your own opportunities by applying to lots of open calls and competitions.
Even if you don’t get an art residency, exhibition or win a competition one year, keep applying as you might get it the next year or the year after that. Don’t give up trying and putting yourself out there.
You don’t have to connect with a huge amount of people or generate a large amount of money for a show or project to propel you and your career forward.
Opportunities can also be found through social media such as Instagram.
Teaching is another avenue to help support you through your art career, so go for it if you are thinking about becoming a teacher or guest lecturer.
- Establishing a community, which over time will become many intercepting communities this will help you find and generate opportunities that will build your career and meaningful relationships.
- Hard work and perseverance – dealing with rejection and learning how to hustle
- Don’t think of one work being more meaningful than another because it is all part of a broader picture.
- It is a lot more fun if you don’t think about the end goal as what you might describe as “making it as an artist” instead focus on building a creative life that you enjoy and allows you to constantly evolve.
At the end she showed us this video of Susan Hiller giving advice to young artists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW_iV66S694&ab_channel=LouisianaChannel
Tips from Susan Hiller
- You can be creative in any field
- Try not to be too mislead by other people’s views of what you are doing and thinking
- Don’t be afraid to be you
- Don’t worry about money all the time
Question I asked – “What advice do you have for getting into teaching?”
Answer: teaching came later for Ann-Marie James when she was invited to Chelsea College of Art & Design where she did a lecture on a stage and had to be mic’d up, and the next teaching opportunity was in a more relaxed setting where she was invited to do graduate tutorials at Wimbledon. Most of the teaching opportunities came from former tutors inviting her back to speak and evolved from there.
Another question I asked was “what are some different ways of getting a residency?”
Answer: open calls, she expanded on this by giving some advice, that when you are looking at open calls look at who has done it in the past and reach out ask for advice and what are they looking for.
Tom Hunter link: http://www.tomhunter.org/blog/
Little Brown Mushroom link: https://littlebrownmushroom.com/blog/
Comparing Little Brown Mushroom Blog and the Blog section on the Tom Hunter website.
The Little Brown Mushroom blog has a function where if you click on an image it enlarges the image and you are able to look through all the photos. However you can’t see the text that accompanied the image in the blog, this is useful so that you can get a better look at the images.
The most recent post on the Little Brown Mushroom blog was 29th November 2017, and the second most recent post was published 19th July 2016. Whereas the most recent post on the Tom Hunter blog was 8th April 2021 and in the year 2020 there where 10 blog post published. So the Tom Hunter blog is kept up to date, whereas the Little Brown Mushroom blog for now has been left, this could be the reason why the blog is found in the ‘past projects’ heading on the website.
Tom Hunter’s blogs have a read more function so that you can read the first few sentences to see if the blog will interest you, if it does then you can read the full blog. Hunter’s blog posts on average tend to be around the same size, around 250 words or less. Most of the posts involve sharing links to galleries Hunter is a part of, articles talking abut Hunter and his work and information/updates around his work. These are professional topics that help people keep up to date about where they can see his artwork and learn more, but there isn’t any insight into the process or blogs talking about the thinking, in progress information or anything personal. There is also a lack of continuity within Hunter’s posts as some of them are in 3rd person (or is written by someone who is not Tom Hunter) and some are in first, this can cause some confusion, as you don’t know who is writing the blog. The Little Brown Mushroom blog posts vary in length as some are short updates where links are provided to help and support and some posts are longer and more anecdotal and you get a real sense of personality. I enjoyed reading the Little Brown Mushroom blogs more than Hunter’s blog posts, this is because I tend to be interested in learning about how artists talk about their work and their process rather than just lots of updates.
Hunter has a section to the side that advertises his book, and if you click on the image of his book it takes you to an amazon webpage to buy his book, making it easy for people who come across his blog to look into and potentially buy this book. There is also a function to the side where I am able to see his latest tweets, however he hasn’t included a link to his twitter, but there is a link to his Facebook page. Even though he has an Instagram he hasn’t used this opportunity to promote his Instagram. Although I like the use of the recent tweets as it gives you a quick glimpse into how frequently he posts and what he posts about, I think it would be a good idea to include a link to his twitter and Instagram accounts to make it easy and clear and keeps all of his social media accounts together. You can click on the ‘9 days ago’ part of the recent tweet and it will take you to the twitter post, but it’s not obvious. The Little Brown Mushroom blog hasn’t included any social media information, even though there is an Instagram account by the same person. The Little Brown Mushroom blog is also not utilising the opportunity to promote their social media.
I attended one of the virtual events at the University of Suffolk’s careers week (26th – 30th April) titled ‘Suffolk and Norfolk School Centred Initial Teacher Training – Routes in to teaching’. As I am currently interested in becoming a secondary school art teacher, this was a brilliant opportunity for me to learn more about one of the largest school centered initial teacher training programmes in the country.
What I leaned from this event
- A good rule of thumb is that your degree needs to relate to at least 50% of the subject you want to teach.
- When applying for courses make sure they are different teacher training programmes, because if all three are the same then you will either receive three acceptances or three rejections.
- It takes 40 days for them to respond to your application
- Bursaries can change every year (the amount of money and the subject area)
- SCITT programmes tend to have more in school experience than university courses
- This programme supports you with learning about classroom management and how to asses students abilities and needs
- They don’t place you in a school that is more than a 40 minute journey (this could be car, walk, public transport) they take you into consideration when they pair the trainee teachers with a partnering school.
Questions I asked:
What qualities do you look for in potential secondary trainee teachers?
Answer: passion for the subject that they want to teach, to know why it is important and the value of that subject. As well as being committed to teaching and making a difference.
What support do you offer trainee teachers to acquire a job once qualified?
Answer: we support trainee teachers with the interview process and applying for jobs and if they keep getting rejected, then we will look into why that is and help support them so that they can improve and get the job next time. It is rare for students to not get a job within teaching once qualified.