The Post Art School Era

Things which are truly useful to me now, like putting together a portfolio, writing proposals, being business-oriented and working out commission rates; are all things I learned on my own. I would have benefited in learning about these things at varsity, rather than how to think about art, which I believe should be an autonomous process. A Fine Art degree exposed me to the world of Fine Art and gave me resources to create works for that world. When it was over, I had nothing to show for myself. Everything I had made seemed contrived to fit into that world. But I came out knowing the rules, and which rules were worth breaking.

Being taught how to do something creative can sometimes sterilise your work and stamp out the 'pure' nature of your style and process. I've spent a long time trying to unlearn my degree because I felt like the experience had done more damage than good. Being in a creative environment no doubt influenced my choices, with the added pressure of talented peers, accomplished lecturers and looming exams. It was a struggle to remain original, and see an institution as a facilitated resource rather than an answer. In the two years since leaving school, I've started redeveloping my style and trusting my personal taste.

I’ve definitely learned more on my own, than I did in Art School. I think my degree would seem a lot more helpful if there were no internet, or if I wanted to be a gallery artist. But I suppose overall, I would say yes, it was worth it, because it was the first step in the right direction. But now, this is where the real work and the real growth is happening.