• Emma Theedom

My first year...

Updated: Jun 4, 2018

Obviously, deciding what you definitely want to happen in the next year is quite tricky considering you never know what's just round the corner or how much you may procrastinate... All that aside, I think I can pin point what definitely will happen in my next year and how it can help aid mt professional practise. Let's break it down.

  • Moving our degree show to London (FREE RANGE, July) - This is the BIG event and it starts straight after I finish my degree. My class have been planning this for quite sometime and it should hopefully be a turning point for some of us. Exhibiting in London - especially at such a massive event - should really kick start us into experiencing promoting yourself as an artist and doing so, in a professional manner. For the last couple of months we have been researching best ways raise funds for this event; as it does come at a considerable cost. We've explored raffles, exhibitions, crowdfunder pages, boot-sales and of course everyone has been chipping in. It's proven tough but not completely out of reach. We have also been researching the best designs for physical hand outs to visitors, deciding whats easiest to read and whats easiest to hold. We have also been contacting various places for catering produce at the private view of this event. This is something many of us have never experienced arranging matters like this and it can come as a challenge. But, after this event I think it will become very clear how presentation can be just as important as the artwork; you need other elements to draw the crowd in and interesting ways to inform them of your work. This event will also teach myself and others the importance of curation and how difficult it may be in smaller area (compared to our degree show at Colchester). We will have to work well together as a team for the process to be hassle free.

  • Applying for a teaching degree course (Exact course is still undecided) - As explained in the previous blog post it is one of my ambitions to become a teacher so this is would be the next step to pursue that career. I am just undecided whether I want to apply for the part-time or full-time course. I am favouring towards part-time because I want to earn money alongside my studies, I want to start having a steady income which I can save or go towards my living expenses or maybe help aid the cost of making artwork. If I were to go full-time, I would expect I would be studying intensely and not have much time for anything else, which I don't really want to happen. I have lots of extra curricular and also I have started a new job, but I would be finished in a year. It's a tough call.

  • Continuing my jobs with my local theatre group Abigail's Performing Arts which include Assistant Director, Teacher, Set and Prop Designer and Marketing Design and participate in the next production Sleeping Beauty the pantomime - This is my hobby as well as my passion and it's a business which is growing and I feel my hard work, passion and effort is needed within this company. Plus, I enjoy it enormously and I wouldn't want to give it up. I can see myself improving each year in this field and the only way to keep progressing is to continue on as I am doing. Also with this job, it gives me access to male and female actors who might potentially be interested in being involved in my art study, ie. my portrait photography.

  • Complete a private commission alongside Molly Harriet for a garden wall mural in Colchester - Colchester School of Art sent an email out to all pupils in the at department to become involved in a commission deal for painting a member of the public's garden wall. Myself and another student, Mosley put our names forward for the job. Though I haven't painted an outside brick wall before, I have had experience painting inside bedroom walls, that being a mural in a nursery. So, I have some relevant experience and knowledge to take with me to this job. But despite that, this commission is going to teach me how I am going to price the service I'm offering, how to maintain and operate it professionally and it also improves my social skills in approaching customers.

  • Continue to perform in my band Acoustically Blonde - Music is also another passion of mine, something which also brings me an income which goes towards my studies and living costs. Acoustically Blonde have no intention of disbanding.

  • Continue working at Gosfield Private School - I was lucky to land a volunteering role at Gosfield Primary School in January 2018, my role is to help assist the art department in any way and also help with the prep school in the afternoon, with general TA duties. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to help aid my PDP studies and also give me a firsthand insight to what it's like teaching at the higher level I would like to pursue. Although it's very basic, assisting duties such as, cleaning the art studio and arranging materials in the correct places, I actually get to help guide the pupils in their research and help broaden their ideas and improve their practise. This has become quite a privilege and it's making me look forward to my time in teaching. I hope to progress and maybe one day be employed by this school with my desired job title. I will continue to volunteer and build my way up within the school doing what I can to help the departments where needed.

  • Start my new part-time job as Health Check Worker within the NHS - Starting this job will help me to gain new skills and receive have a steady income to help with living costs and studies. I have been looking to find an interesting job title which wasn't 'waitress' or 'bartender' to help me earn money through studying. I wanted something that was slightly more challenging and I know I would enjoy. My friend within my art class already worked at this company and suggested I apply. I'm glad I got the job because I'm very excited to be learning something new. If I decide to go part-time in my teaching course, this will be the work to help me build up some money to help achieve my plans. Although this job is not necessarily anything to do with art, it's definitely a path I didn't expect to take and I'm rather keen to get started.

  • Decide whether to go part-time or full-time in my teaching course - If I go full time, during my first year will mean that I will complete my teaching course. If I go part-time it means I will still be studying. If I choose to go full time, I should expect that I'm going to be heavily involved in studying for this degree and that I wouldn't expect to be doing many extra curricular activities or working that many shifts in my new job, which isn't desirable for me. to have some applications for jobs in my career already sent off. If not, I should expect that I would be well on my way to doing so as soon as possible. As, I know myself and I know that I would be dying to get working full-time. I have up until roughly August time to make sure my application is sent off, but I plan to complete the applications and send them off to education centres once I have finished my degree. I want to make sure I prioritise completing this degree, at the best of my ability in the short time frame I have.

  • Making art - This may decide on whether I go full-time or part-time for my teaching course. If I go full-time, I could be almost certain that I wouldn't produce many, of it any artwork at all, due to the high intensity of the course. If I were to be part-time and working, I feel confident I would be productive and produce some artwork, maybe continuing on my 'IN WITH THE OLD' series. This could be a great opportunity however, to start something new, maybe refurbish my painting skills. Obviously, it's extremely important to keep up art practise as we all know, practise makes perfect and it helps you improve and broaden ideas and inspirations. But I want to allow myself some time to study, work and earn money in this year. If I produce art, it will be a bonus but if I don't, I won't be disappointed in myself.

  • Sell artwork - With the artwork I already have, mainly talking about my 'IN WITH THE OLD' series. I feel like I would benefit by trying to sell them as framed or unframed artworks. I do believe there could be a market for my new media images and I want to try my best through this year to sell some. I read articles and Saatchi Art kept popping up as the best in the market. I have set up a page ready to use once I have found an affordable and reliable print company to print my artworks, unframed or framed and when I have set up a good system for myself regarding product care and postage. Selling artwork is obviously the dream and will make me take that step from art student to an artist, I can only try my utmost best to making that step.

  • Turn my garage into an art studio - For some time I have been desperate to turn my parents garage into an art studio or at least storage for my larger work and all my materials. My dad has been pushing to get this sorted in the next year or so, so I will be setting this as a goal in the Summer holidays to empty that garage and figure out what we could do to make it the best space we can. Having my own space means that it gives me a place to sit with my own thoughts and that space will be specifically for art and nothing else. As much as it is fun to work from home, home is home and there is lots of distractions and I don't like the rhythm I now have when I get home and think, 'oh, I could probably do some work now I've sat down.' I want to eliminate the work state of mind from my home and use it solely to be myself, relax and unwind my thoughts for the next working day. I believe it's important to keep things separate in life, especially when I have a lot of extra curricular and hobbies on the back burner. If I carry my thoughts into my next duty, I spread myself thin and that's when I begin to stress.

  • Go on holiday to Portugal to relax - Most importantly, spend time with loved ones to restore the soul which is good for the heart and head!

You'll notice that one of those bullet points are in italics and the reason for that is, it's not 100% certain as of yet, in this present state of mind. With the garden mural, it's been an unorganised start due to myself and Molly meeting deadlines at university and not finding time to contact the gentleman, so as my contact with the client has been poor, we may not be in his best interest, but I will still try none-the-less.

Everything else on this list is certain as most are already in place such as, the Sleeping Beauty pantomime, setting up the Saatchi Art account which I have already done - but need to figure costs for printing works to send etc, performing in my band, FREE RANGE and of course my holiday to Portugal.

There are many other little things that are happening in the year such as, turning 25 (eek). But I don't think I could physically write down everything as there would just be too much to say, however, I believe I have pointed out all the main points and everything relevant to progressing my professional development in my career, for the next year anyway.

© All image and content belongs to Emma Theedom

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