creative career

Creative Careers: Starting Out in Art

Despite what many people may think, the creative industry here in Britain is thriving like never before. So much so, that in 2017, the value of the sector stood at £101.5bn — which was a significant increase from its £94.8bn valuation back in 2016.

With these incredible results, the industry is becoming an extremely popular place to work. There were around 80,000 jobs created in 2017, and that figure doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Areas of work often include: advertising and marketing, architecture, crafts, design (product, graphic and fashion), film, television, video, radio and photography, IT, software and computer services, publishing, museums, galleries and libraries, music, performing and visual arts, animation and visual effects, video games and heritage.

These jobs all require a person to be creative, which shouldn’t be too difficult if this is something you want to do. However, one area (or talent) that can relate to all of these diversified roles is art. People are interested in this too, as the phrase ‘art jobs’ has around 40,500 searches per month on Google, which has notably increased over time. This highlights that there is an interest for paid work, and for many, that means transforming their current hobby into an actual income.

If you’ve got the passion, make it happen!

You need to love the industry you work in, so using your spare time to get involved with the wider community is extremely valuable. If you love what you do, you’ll welcome mass appreciation from others in the same field.

Although talent depends on who you ask… you’ve got to be at least competent at what you do! When it comes to unleashing your creativity, you need to offer a message in everything that you do. You need to tell a story, sell an experience, and be thought provoking while offering some sort of vulnerability in your work. Art is all about empowering every emotive feeling in your body and is not about getting the perfect shot in the gallery for social media. If you’re looking to do something in your spare time, you could even craft personalised street signs for your friends and family!

The importance of education in the creative sector

You should always strive to do your best while you’re at school and be grateful for the opportunity that you have. It wouldn’t be fair to say that grades aren’t important and can open a lot of doors, but it’s important to understand that they don’t determine your future.

For art lovers, taking the subject at GCSE level should be an obvious choice. Following the grade that they receive, this will determine whether they can then continue the subject as an A-Level, or at college where they will likely complete a Level 3. Students may have to sit a Level 2 at college if they failed their GCSE — however, this will be determined by the course leaders and a strong portfolio could push you straight onto Level 3.

When you move into sixth form or college, you’ll be studying for a further two years. During this time, you’ll likely host your own exhibition with other students and showcase your work to the public. This is an amazing thing to include on your CV and personal statement when it comes to the next academic step… university!

In the last five years, there has been an evident decrease in the number of UCAS applications for Creative Arts and Design. The deadline analysis from January 2019 found that only 215,330 applied, in comparison to the 224,630 that applied the same time last year.

You’ll learn different things on different courses. If you’re studying a history of art degree, your course will be heavily theory-based with a lot of written work. However, if you’re studying a subject such as fine art, expect this to be more practical with workshop-led lessons and tasks that may contribute to your final grade. Most undergraduate art courses last for three years in the UK — however, if you study abroad, this could be up to four years.

Best Uni’s For Art & Design:

  1. Royal College of Art
  2. University College London
  3. University of the Arts London
  4. Goldsmiths, London
  5. The Glasgow School of Art
  6. Loughborough University
  7. University of Oxford
  8. University of Brighton
  9. Edinburgh College of Arts
  10. Lancaster University

Apprenticeships are another option to look into. This is for the artists who know exactly what they want to get into — whether this is costume design, graphics, visual effects, animation, product development or more. The number of apprenticeships available are endless, and the stigma around getting them has finally been removed. For those thinking about an apprenticeship in art, know that you’ll be learning directly from industry experts — which isn’t necessarily what you’d gain at university. You’ll likely be working full time and 100% be earning a wage too. From this experience, you’ll be able to work on real-life projects and familiarise yourself with the working environment of your respected field. Check out apprenticeships opportunities offered at Mediaworks, a creative search agency in the North East here.

How will you be making your name known in this industry?



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