So my degree show approaches and the New Designers show after that and for those I need a business card and a press pack.
Ill start with the business card.
I chose Vistaprint to make and print my business cards. They offer a huge range of options for card stock, finishes, special finishes, special designs with a range of options for uploading personal design templates or using one of the hundreds they have right on the site.
I chose to adapt a simple design that they provided. I spent some time considering the image I wanted to use editing it on Photoshop so that it was better suited. I played around with type fonts and found I preferred the cleaner simpler type faces as they are easier to read when they are at a small scale. I chose to go for a single sided card after playing with images on the back side and details spread over the both sides as opposed to just the front. I think all the details on one side works fine, its not too crowded, and I like that people can jot a note or a couple of ‘buzz’ words on the back of the card that may aid in them remembering me or something I said or what they thought of my work. I don’t like glossy card so I went for a think stock with a matte ‘deluxe’ finish. I am happy with my business card and think it looks professional. I hope I do not find that the image is too dark once I actually get them.
Now for the press packs.
I have ordered 10 clear plastic wallets at A5 size and 10 USB memory sticks which are pretty flat, not too chunky for a press pack like a lot of memory sticks I saw whilst researching. My business cards will go in there along with my artist statement, CV and a memory stick with images of my work both low resolution (for web) and high resolution for publications. All the things I print need to be produced on good quality paper. I am a little unsure about the plastic wallets that I shall be using and may decide to source something more ‘premium’ and aesthetically pleasing looking as everyone knows first impressions can be important.
Today an hour and a half workshop with Jon Pigott encouraged us to start developing our artist statements.
Some of the key points I will highlight.
The statement does not need to be an accurate ‘true’ disrcription of the self, it is about the artist in relation to their work, and this changes over time. When writing it is important to remember that I will want to change my statement many times in all likeliness.
Jon described to us his core 4 points that an artist statement should cover:
- What is it?
- What is it for?
- What are the values imbedded in it?
- The materials and processes used.
Is important to consider the relationship between the material and the idea, but also to keep things short and snappy and to talk about ones self in the third person.
A good source of inspiration can be found online on galleries websites where artists statements are often posted. A good example is the Crafts Council Wales website. Art Quest .com also has a good how to write a good artists statement article.
So a good statement gathers up the values, materials, processes and a metaphoric or poetic sense of values too.
So to wrap up Jon ended by giving us a loose formula to follow and adapt for our own.
(Your name /collection) makes (things and adjectives), inspired by(….). Using (materials and processes) these (things) are for (who/where). This work is a metaphor for/a poetic exploration of/an embodiment of (….).
Jon has suggested that we print out a statement that and look at the work we have made, does the statement reflect the work? If not one has changed and the other must follow.
The second Professional Practice lecture given by Ingrid Murphy concerned researching opportunities available to us once we leave university. She started by explaining that in preparation to this lecture she allocated herself 30 minutes to intensively research as many post graduate opportunities as possible. I was astonished at the shear amount of possible leads and information she managed to gather in a short time. The list was pretty wide and all encompassing, I suppose individuals in the class will have much more focused and concise searches. She showed us a whole host of sites, forums, newsletters and much more that will be invaluable, there were loads that I wrote down but I’m not going to list here. She has suggested that we take a similar approach in the first instance. Hopefully I will get around to making a post of the results of my search.
When I conduct my search I shall initially look at artist residencies, post-grad education, work in creative technologies spheres, competitions, start up opportunities and interns. Then I may expand my search to other forms of employment, I think I would make a good technician at an education institution. Although I don’t think I would want to do this for ever. Creative technologies are high up on my list.
Our third lecture dealt with writing a good C.V., it seems there are many ways of doing this and that it is best to have a range of C.Vs for different job types. It is essential to maintain an up-to-date C.V. which can been fine tuned and crafted over time. It is essential that it is well written and looks good and is to the point. First impressions count. Ingrid also suggested keeping a detailed log of jobs you’ve applied for as a record to refer too.
So I all ready have a basic C.V. I think where it is lacking is a more detailed skills section. I think I have quite a lot of skills that I have not put down. As I conduct my job search for possible jobs I shall try and tailor a C.V. towards certain type jobs. This should be a good exercise for when I need to start applying for the things I want to do!
This week professional practice lecture concerned self employment, getting started, tax, insurance, small print of residencies and terms and conditions of working for certain people and in certain ways.
The morning the class received a talk from practicing ceramics artist Anne Gibbs who also works for the council to do with a creative community department. Her work is mostly landscape based, her physical outcomes are influence by her everyday collections of objects, her drawings and photographs from her travels. She has participated in a lot of residencies taking her as far as Philadelphia, USA, and to Tokyo in Japan. Closer to home, one residency she undertook was at PDR research center on the Cardiff Metropolitan Campus specifically aimed at getting artists interested in digital technologies for creative means and outcomes.She produced several small outcomes using a variety of machines such as very high end 3-D printing, CNC milling and sophisticated scanning techniques.I am really interested in doing residencies like this, as well as wanting to practice and develop more traditional ways of making but I feel right now my focus may shift to more digital means of expression and production of ideas.
Her handmade ceramics work is mostly delicate and fragile, taking the form of small compositions of colored and textured objects. She also has made plenty of display stands and cases. The work is intriguing and draws you in for a closer more intimate look.
The professional practice lecture took the form of a discussion between Anne Gibbs, Ingrid and Pip concerning work after university, setting oneself up as a creative practitioner and things to look out for, common pitfalls to avoid and general advice about living and working – trying to balance the two well.
Important Points Mentioned
- Professional Quality Photos of your work
- First impression is everything
- fail safe and easy, tested packaging
- Some application processes take a long time (such as for residencies)
- You can copy and paste bits, rewrite sections for other applications etc
- Ensure the residency you are applying to is really suitable for you! is there a communal sense? solitary work? costs that are included? hidden costs? the location and the facilities available to you, material availability and costs? BE SURE OF ‘TERMS AND CONDITIONS’
- If contracts are involved, what is the contract, do you understand it, can you influence the contract? If so ensure that things at least cant work against you in some situations, if not for you.
- Consider packaging carefully, some countries have strict packaging regulations i.e. sustainable wood for wooden crate packages, weight of package.
- It may be best to produce a package system, that is easy for people to unpack and then repack securely.
- If self employed then remember to register as so and to then ensure your tax returns are properly sorted. Consider hiring an accountant.
- INSURANCE! This is so vital and important, ensure your insurance is also the correct type for you and what you are doing.
This session was really good and I look forward to next Mondays Professional Practice lecture.