What Next?....

Uncertainty is not unusual for freelance workers, not having the certainty of a pay check each month is worrying, but I never expected to have the riches of the world with a life of an artist. Below is a list showing how I hope to surive in this world as an artist. 

- After graduating I will still be teaching workshops within Essex, (next one is in July)  and looking to get a car so I can get more of these jobs. By getting more workshopa i'll get more of an income to help live and make the artwork. By teaching once or twice a week, along side my retail job I will be able to keep myself a float as I keep making artwork and applying to redentices and open calls. 

- Fortunate for me I have enough space in my home in Essex to make work there, so I will do this until I have enough financially able to get a studio space within London. 

- Explained in more detail below myself and other artist will carry on the uncovered collective, we are currently looking at more spaces to exhibit (currently talking to a gallery near Oxford Circus) and have a artist film day in link with the MFA degree show. Caring on we hope to do at least 1 exhibit a year, if not 2. We also hope to look into creating studios for artist, where they will have a space to work and to exhibit. However we still have a lot to discuss on this matter and is not in sight for the near future but within 5 years time. Here is a link to look at the work so far - https://www.uncoveredcollective.org/

Uncovered Collective

Key Skills -

  • Working as a Team 

  • Project management

  • Marketing 

  • Business management 

The uncovered collective is a core group of artist (Myself, Fibbie Wong, Phillippa Kate Weaver, Mitchell Smith, Robert Verill, Sean Winn and Stanley Black that used unsual spaces to showcase artist work, given them the recognition that every artist wants.  

This started when Phillippa approached me at Who will provide, exhibit. Saying how well this exhibit was going and ended up being, she suggested that we should do more. I agreed, and little did I realise that myself and others where talking to the owner of the ugly duck a few weeks later. Phillippa made contact with Geralidine (From the ugly Duck on Tanner street) and was visiting the old factory space. We discussed what we would need to do to get this space for free and the complication of exhibiting in this space.  

After this we met as a group and organize to write a proposal, in which we listed the help of patrick Joeshp. Him, Stanley, Rob and Phillipa all wrote a proposal and though many rewrites and adjustments we managed to get a strong proposal. Then myself and Stanley sent off the proposal and waited. Though this process I was able to see how much details need to be added, and that it needs to be visual appealing. (As see in the photo)  

Once we were accepted (to be honest, I didn’t think we was going to be) we met as a group and realise we had a month and a bit to organized a show, in a massive space with limited buget. How hard could it be? We each gave our self-jobs, what I ended up being project manager and curation this project. Explain later in detail the Postopia section.  

With the uncovered we needed to get a website and a social media present together ready for this exhibit.  We came up with a mission statement what see to show a wide range of artists that we feel can make an impact in many sections of this world. (This statement is going to be rewritten as we learnt we need to be more focused in this statement.) Mitch and Sean with their magical powers, created a logo and website for the uncovered, with this I was able to create a social media present, to showcase the artist. This is something that I will carry on after this course, probably though a weekly takeover and updates of our artist work, as our main goal is to promote artist.  

After the postopia exhibit, it was made clear that we need to do more marketing so this is something we will take forward as a core group. The biggest challenge is to work in a group of people that all have different ideas. But being able to discuss and talk though these problems so that we are able to work well as a team. 

And as you read this, we are currently looking for a new space and you’ll be seeing a another exhibit by us in the near future.   

Postopia 

Key Skills -

  • Curation

  • Time management 

  • Networking 

  • Corresponding 

  • Marketing 

  • Install

Postipa was an exhibit curated in respond to the Ugly Duck open call on how is Technology changing Humans and the uncovered Collective took on this challenge. The main thing I learnt is to be able to work with little sleep and unearthly amounts of coffee, but I shall come back to this later.  

After being selected from our proposal, we realised that we had little time and money to do this exhibit. (Begins the lack of sleep) knowing there was a chance that we would be accepted for this exhibit the uncovered collective started to collect works and put out an open call for other artworks. Being we knew we only had a few days to set up we wanted the curation to be completed as early as we can and also giving ourselves time to get a large amount of artwork to fill the space. We sent out the proposal (seen within the side gallery) to the second year MFA year group and later open it up to the first year MFA and the sculpture students in Wimbledon. We also charged the artist £25 each to help fund the exhibit.  

Being project manager, I had a collection of tasks to do, including responding to emails that we setup just for the uncovered collected that all the core members could log on to. I would have to email the artist and the Ugly Duck, making sure each member was doing their job and that this whole process was going smoothly. This is something I had to keep on top of, so every time I would have a coffee break I would also check my emails. 

After getting all the art proposals, we called the help of Marley Treloar who has experience with working with me and curating shows, spent many hours talking and discussing the best way to set up this exhibit. We at first set the artworks that needed certain requirements, (as we couldn’t make new holes in the space) then work around them. After this initial plan, myself Marley and Stan went to the space to confirm this plan and map out the lighting. After this we called the lighting company and hired the lights, unfortanly we couldn’t go with the company the ugly duck suggested so had to chase around these other companies to get the best deal.  

We also had to buy Black out curtains, extension leads and other tools, that we have looked at as an investment for future exhibits.  

During the time of curation and lighting, I was also trying to get a social media present and I would do artist showcasing to promote the artist that would show the people what they may see within the exhibit and get them interested in coming to the exhibit.  

Knowing we had little time to set up the work, myself and Stan went in the day before to set up the lights, what ended up being a very long job, ready for the set up the next day. Due to previous commitments I couldn’t be at set up until 5:30pm, once I got there, I saw that some off the artwork wasn’t what proposed, so we had to work around the plan and move the artwork. Once again this was a late night. Then the next day we had the private view.  But like most of this exhibit no matter what we done; nothing ran smoothly. We tried to print the maps in one of the UAL uni’s close to us, but we didn’t have any luck. So, Myself and Stan ran to argos to buy a printer, so we can print the maps on site and print out how many we need at a time. Luckly we didn’t have to pay for drinks as that what the ugly duck provided.  

Then the private view and exhibit went down as a success! With 550 visitors in total, I was pleased with this number as it was in February and from past experience, I have found February not to be as popular. Also, the artists seem to be happy with how the exhibit went and gauging the visitors reaction though invigilating the exhibit was well liked. From this we did learn that we need to do more promoting and this is something that we will take on board for the next exhibit.  

Who will Provide? 

Key Skills -

  • Finance

  • Install

  • Curation 

Who will provide was an exhibit that was held at The Crypt Gallery and the theme was inspired though St Pancras New Church's wish list that was created in 1995. 

My role was to be in charge of banking with Livi. Due to a pervious group exhibit (Conflict in February of last year) we already had a bank account so we just carried on from what we left off. So our first job was collecting money from people to pay for the exhibit and help to pay for other things; but as we know, money is not something people easily give away.This was just a case of reminding people to pay, or them letting me know of their situation; granted some people didn't pay right up until few days before the exhibit, but they did let me know of their situation. During this time, we also had to pay for the space. This did come with some annoyance, emailing back and forth with Ann (the gallery manger) with didn't types of paper work did become tedious. If I exhibited with this space again I would rather just meet up with each other and get the paper work done face to face.

I know this can't always be done, but it would be quicker to do it this way. However after reading though the paper work and having a stressful few day waiting to see if Ann had received the payment, willing to send me over a receipt, this was painless. Next was posters/handouts and drink, luckily Stan took it on himself to do the drinks but did go over budget but £50, but this was resolved as we did have money spare. The posters (that Sean design) was quick and simple as we only printed a few as we done most of our promotion online. However the handouts was a bit harder as this was one of the last jobs to do and we was being funded £200 from the uni to do this. Yet we was using the university printers, and we needed to get the money funded to a company, so though emailing back and forth, we managed to sort this out last minute.    

Set-up is always an easy job, it just involves manual labour and solving how to hang the work without damaging the work and space. Due to not being able the curation team being able to visit the space before we went in, the set up team was standing around whilst we waited what to do. Once we know where to put the work, it was easy to do. The works with complex hanging the artist came and set up the work themselves, what saved us time. The hardest thing to do was to sort out the spot lights, for most of the day we couldn't get them working. Luckily Ann visited us, what was sorted by turning on a switch. (Not my most shining moments). Unless I tell you how to hang work with a nail, I can't go into much detail apart from that it went smoothly.  
 

I did help with the curation team with a few suggestions, like swapping Patricks and Robs work, as it didn't next to Fibbie's work, but I didn't want to say to much as it wasn't my job.  

The private view was a good turn out and overall I was pleased with the exhibit. However when we do our next group show I want to do more with marketing, as I felt more could have been done. For example more social media or sending out invites, but this is something that we can discuss as a group

Conflict 

Key Skills -

  • Finance 

  • Logistics 

The ironic thing about this show, it's titled conflict and that's how I first felt with this show. I wanted to exhibit along side the rest of my peers, I know how much of a struggle it is working with a large group of people, know it was 36 people did put fear in my bones.  

This started as me and Zegla talked about doing a group show, we discovered that the Student Union do them, after  talking as a group and Stanley filling out paper work we got the space at Chelsea. In one of our first meetings as a group we picked a theme and a size limit to the work, Conflict and 12" x  12". We had time to make this work throughout the Christmas break. Fortunately I had idea for my work as I wanted to mock up an idea of my 134 series. I wanted to make this work, to see how the public thought and reacted before exploring the idea more.

Whilst we had more meetings before January, these gave the fountains to our exhibit,  the meetings in January to made things final.  After our first meeting in the new year, we made clear what the teams were and set deadlines, to help to process go easier. Myself a Livi, was in charge of banking, and our first task was to £10 from 36 people. 

As a group we agreed that if we all chipped in £10 this would help with posters drinks and bits and pieces. Once myself and Livi set up the account everything became easy to do as long as you planned it well. The easiest way I found the easiest way to keep on top of this was a excel sheet, I could mark off everyone who paid and also do an expenditure sheet, so I can see our outgoings and incomings. Our main thing to do was to promote it, easy way to do this is posters. However there was some different of opinion; Stanley made some posters, that I found quite humours and affective. This posters where aimed at the other UAL universities, whilst they  gave all the information for the exhibit they also made fun at the other  universities (Unfortunately I don't have an image of this poster to show).  I found this affective because  your trying to get a reaction from them in which you'll get them to visit the exhibit. Stanley later put these around the other campuses. But, these posters weren't liked by the whole group and later change the posters to Sean design (as seen on the left) what were clean and eye catching. These were later put around the campuses and shared across social media. I later reimbursed anyone that spent money on posters, I asked them to give me a receipt for my records.  

My next job was refunding the install team any money that they spent on tools/materials for the exhibit. This wasn't hard as once they gave me the receipts I gave them the money back and added it to my spread sheet so I could get a clear image of what we was spending. 

 Then came the private view, the first time I saw the exhibit up. I was impressed with how the curation team paired works together, so they would bounce of each other. My favourite grouping what the four in a square, you could see that all the works focused on material. Also by having that touch of red on Robert piece, it's allows to have a break from the greys and beige. I feel the best position piece was Zelga's mirror, it confronted you, as soon a you walked in. You became the artwork, looking at your inner conflicts, I feel anywhere else this piece would have been lost in the room.   

We had a good turn out on the private view, just ashamed we didn't have enough space for our visitors. As you usually do, you network on the private view, hopefully by talking to the visitors something may come from it, but nothing as of yet. I had good feed back from my piece, as people enjoy it. This may help me in focusing my practice. Once again I reimbursed people, this time for the private view, for drinks/cups.  

During the week it was up Myself and Livi, invigilated one afternoon. This wasn't hard as we had less than a handful of visitors I think this was due to the time of the year where the weather is horrible. Then when the exhibit was over, it was taken down. Job done.  

Overall this was good experience as exhibiting as a group.

Shh.... & Freud Muesum 

Key Skills - 

  • Curation  

  • Collaboration  

  • Time management    

  • Networking  

  • Presenting  

You may wonder why these two exhibits go hand in hand as they talk about different subjects. Well is as simple of keeping in touch with your contacts and knowing who you can work well with. Marley Treloar is a fellow artist that I have worked well with for the last 6 years and though the years we have made work together and curated shows together. However these past two shows were turning points in my artwork and Marley in her creative career.  

With the Freud Museum, Marley needed to work with an artist that would take inspiration with her research and the Freud museum. To me, when I think of Freud, I can’t help but to think his fascination about mothers. Marley research was looking into Anna Freud theories about child development, between us it was decided that I would make work about my relationship with my mother. However because I wanted the work to fit with the space, (also had limitations within the space, what I had to consider when making the work) my practice took a big change and ended up changing my whole artistic practice.  

After we had our concept, we presented the idea and research. Not ever doing something like this before, I wasn’t sure how to approach this. I spoke about my past work and how I'm using this research to develop my work and make this new piece. 

 

The outcome was ‘You lost your mum at 23, what about me?’ that sat well within the Freud museum and myself and Marley got experience working in an established place.  

 After this the next project me and Marley worked on was Shhh.. This was an exhibit her and another curator worked on. They want an exhibit that gave a voice to the voices that don’t always get listen to or that are put on the back burner. Marley wanted my ‘What type of mother could I be? and ‘No Matter how are I work’. These works were never exhibited before, so I was worried how they would work in a gallery space.  

Once in the space, I was able to help Marley set up, and see how my artwork works in a gallery setting. I was worried that this work would get lost due to its 1 to 1 scale, but it worked. By having the text on my work, it’s gets audience to stop and read the work unlike the paintings I done before.  

Hanging the other works was easy to hand as we can drill into the walls, and any works that was hard to hang the artist came to hang it themselves. The exhibit had a lot of space, what help when talking about big subjects.  

Overall my connect with Marley is one that is valuable and on that I hope me and her will work with in many years to come.  

Workshops

Key skills-  

  • Teaching  

  • Time management  

  • Thinking on your feet 

  • Social skills  

  • Online promotion 

 

Though out the two years of being on the masters I have also taught workshop a crossed Essex and done private tutoring. I have taught many subjects; painting (Acrylic, Oil and water based Oil), drawing, gold leaf, book making, comic book making and life drawing. Though all of these workshops I have learnt to prep in advance and have options to change the class if people are struggling with the task at hand. I have taught a wide range of age groups youngest being 5 to the oldest being 73 (Never too old to take up art, hey?), finding that children are easier to teach and older people tend to be stuck in their own habits. But I found by asking people how they usually make art, I am able to find new ways for them to learn that is more comfortable for them.  

The most challenging workshop was teaching painting acrylics, to a group of older women that wouldn’t listen and take on board the task at hand. After much discussion with them trying new ways and asking them to do it, in the end I had to let them make the mistakes to then teach them the ways to do it.   

I’ve also had to change things when I was working with an autistic boy. When I found out I was, I asked the mum if he had any triggers and what his favourite colours where. This was so I could make him as comfortable as I could and allow him you enjoy it as much as he can by getting his favourite  things.  

I also do demos in art shops; this is where I used the art medium in the shop so customs can ask me questions and use it at home. However, cause of this I was able to make contact with a mum who wanted 1 to 1 teaching for her boy. So because of this, I also now do private tutoring.  

When promoting my workshop, I use social media as I can make the post specific to the area, I am teaching. This also lets people who I have taught before that I am doing another class. This has helped me get more people interested in the classes and even if they can’t make the one I am promoting they look for other dates to join.

 

I love doing these classes and seeing someone skills change within a matter of a few hours. I will be carrying teaching these classes after the masters.  

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