• Emma Theedom

What is an Artist?

Updated: Jun 2, 2018

In our taught sessions today, we discussed what all the elements both personal and professional and how they make an artist. As this is professional development, I want to highlight the professional aspect of making it as an artist;

  • Applications - It's important to try and apply for art related opportunities, exhibitions, commissions, whether you are successful or not, you are being PROACTIVE

  • Adapting artwork to opportunity/brief - Be a chameleon, at times there will lots of opportunities which may require for you to adapt to make it

  • Commission work - No job is too small, find work which can help build your portfolio in art practise

  • Balance - Find balance in your work, art, social life and me time. You need to keep happy and healthy

  • Plan of action - Always try to keep a plan of action, whether its for the next couple days, weeks, months or years. Keeping a goal in mind will help you be more proactive

  • Support (Home, family) - Finding support from family and friends will help you reach that step further

  • Space - Find yourself a space to breath and focus on your art

  • Job will support funding - As I'm quite realistic, I know that landing your dream job is not as easy or quick as you think it may be. So, finding yourself extra income is always a good thing and helps support your art practise

  • Be realistic - Keep a clear head about reality and it's outcome

  • Time management - Keeping a diary with structure and a easy understanding of what you need to do in the day/week, will help everything fall into place and run a lot smoother

  • Know your weaknesses - Recognise your weaknesses and try to work on them

  • Keep interest in surroundings and look around you, find inspiration - Don't loose touch with the outside world, keep those creative juices flowing

  • Prioritise, be professional - Ties with time management, priorities tasks and don't overload yourself

  • Art Council - Even though it's not easy, think big in regards to whats available

  • Regional - Essex small art grants (Firstsite) - Work hard and apply for small grants across Essex

  • Networking - Self explanatory in any career, networking is key to a successful career

  • Social media - This is an amazing tool to use for artists and should almost be mandatory

  • Attend events, socialise and network - NETWORK, SOCIALISE, NETWORK

All of these should definitely help any artist towards being a functioning artist.

We also discussed what roles an artist takes on;

  • Admin

  • Proof-reader

  • Finance

  • Fabricator

  • Blogger

  • Facilitator

  • Jack of all trades

  • Life

  • Proactive

  • Writer

  • Film and book enthusiast

  • Traveller

  • Not to mention other jobs and hobbies!!

The list could go on, in the roles that an artist may take. It sometimes appears daunting reading it back on paper but, that's the life we live!

© All image and content belongs to Emma Theedom

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