Saturday, 23 April 2011

Task 1 - Day 1

Tell me, why you wanted to become an artist when you began your further education? How has your understanding of being an artist evolved since this date?

Jenny: I wanted to become an artist because I have always loved to draw and make things more than anything else (this is starting to sound like a badly written UCAS statement!).  When I initially applied to art college, I wanted to study painting, but as I went through my first year studies at DOJCAD, I found I was more interested in working in a multidisciplinary manner.  At the beginning of my studies, I had a poor understanding of the professional practice involved with being an artist, and I do not think until I graduated did I start to glean a clearer idea of ways to support, finance an develop my practice.  Studying at Goldsmiths on the MFA certainly opened my eyes further to the endeavour of 'being an artist', the majority of achieving this is about getting 'on with it', and creating opportunities for yourself and your peers.

Liz: I guess I have always felt at home with the arts; visiting galleries, working in the art class, drawing, sketching, doodling, making, photographing - the works. I went to see Wolfgang Tillmans at Tate Britain when I was 16 and fell in love with his photography, I wanted to make work like that. I went back to school and told my art teacher that I wanted to do Fine Art Photography at the GSA but never thought I could or would actually do it, safer to do English Lit or Journalism maybe?? Then she said 'of course you should do it, you should only ever do something you love in life or you will never put your all into it'. And so I broke the bad news to my mum - 'I am going to try and be an artist'. I think she has just about forgiven me now, in fact I am sure she secretly likes it.

Since I graduated from Glasgow School of Art, (A place I adored and will always want to go back to) I had an initial six months panic about my life, but then 'indecisively decided' to try a bit of everything - internships, workshops, being an art teacher's assistant - the usual. In fact I tried to do so much that I actually forgot about the one thing I enjoyed the most - my practice, creating my own work. After a few years now though I have actually come to the conclusion that you need to surround yourself in a variety of creative environments - this way you can always stay inspired and hopefully opportunities come up where you can develop your work, skills and general professional practice. And by juggling a mixture of artist career paths - you can afford your dinner too.

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