Coming soon… Online Art Feedback

If you are an artist or arts professional, we need your help!

Liz is seeking to set up a quick and easy way for artists to receive professional feedback about their art, work processes and to learn how to develop their artists practice. Artists will be able to submit art to be critiqued and request help with their artistic development.

We are looking for artists/arts professionals to become ‘Art Feedback volunteers’ to help in the process. You will be contacted by Liz when a new request is received and asked to provide constructive and fair feedback. In return, we will feature you on the website and across our social media platforms.

Apply to be an art feedback volunteer

QUESTION 25

I would really like to hear from artists who are also on benefits – specifically, disability benefits. How do you make it work? How do you develop your practice when you can’t physically do the amount of work required to support yourself as a “professional” artist? I’m honestly at an impasse. I can’t invest in my practice because I’m skint. I can’t apply for grants because they could mess up my benefits. I can’t manage paid employment. I’m just… stuck. How are other disabled artists making this work?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 21st February 2022, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. I’m on benefits and personally I feel like I’m in a Kafka novel, as someone who is from a closed of society and a working class background, I hate to let people down I absolutely hate it. I want to provide for my family.
  2. You can earn under £130 (I think that amount, may be £140) a week without it affecting Employment and Support Allowance, and I think Universal Credit, but you have to inform them. Earnings don’t affect Personal Independence Payment. 

QUESTION 24


Our first question of 2022! A few open calls are asking for proof of insurance when you apply! Can I get some advise on artists liability insurance, where to get it / tips / tricks and any other advice? 

We posted this question on our Instagram on 19th January 2022, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. @axisweb membership provides liability insurance & are fantastic at other artist support. Can’t recommend them enough! ✨

2. So of course, I have to recommend @axisweb 😁

3. Good question! I hear good things about @axisweb and @anartistsinfo 👍 I think I could do with some info myself on memberships and who offers good support for artists! 🤔 Not sure what other artists think?

4. Seconding the Axisweb suggestion, Axisweb Membership information for specific insurance deets – included with Axisweb Network Associate Membership currently £25 per year or £2.50 per month.

QUESTION 23

I need inspiration! Please help me out by giving me a theme to work on. It would be great to challenge myself with things I don’t normally work on.

We posted this question on our Instagram on 3rd December 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. The thing that has puzzled you or made you most angry this week.
  2. Join TERM art classes – either Wednesday life drawing or Thursday Art History for inspiration and new ideas 💡❤️🙌

QUESTION 22

If the last decade of studio work was more about doing the work and not about getting feedback on it; how should I think about getting letters of recommendation to apply to grad school?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 26th November 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. Could you ask small galleries, curators and even past tutors or artist friends to look at your portfolio and write you recommendations from that perspective. Also look to show your work by applying to some spaces on open calls and then you can quickly build relationships with some galleries/curators that you can ask for recommendations.
  2. Like a job reference/referee. Find someone who knows your work, will write positively about it/you, and who has some professional profile/reputation within the field.

QUESTION 21

What tips are there to help keep your art feeling fresh and new?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 1st October 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. I think this is a hard question to answer! I’m not sure it needs to be fresh and new. I suppose it depends on the art work you are making. I stick with a theme and tend not to move too far away from it although I use a plethora of techniques and media. I think finding a comfortable theme (that I also love) has helped me to develop my work.
  2. Having an over active , strong imagination. Fantasy of alien world’s. strong surrealistic concept’s. Thinking about my Art often keeps me awake at night and I end up painting in the middle of the night. Often I’m Exhausted by day. But nobody said the life of an Artist is an easy one; live to paint & paint to live.
  3. Experiment with new techniques and technologies (even if you aren’t making work you’d show, just making tests). Read more around themes you are interested in for extra inspiration. Then bring these new ideas back to your core interests and themes to build on and push your practise.
  4. Try new methods and materials in workshops.
  5. Keep reading.
  6. Keep a sketchbook.
  7. Use a material or style you haven’t used before. Step out of your comfort zone.
  8. Visit a new place and take photos, document what you find.
  9. Set small challenges / write a selection of themes or topics and pick one out at random.

QUESTION 20

I’m looking at my work and sketchbooks and seeing a theme of starting a series only to peter out – or simply, never coming to any conclusion with my ideas. I’m getting really frustrated and overwhelmed – it seems that I can’t even finish a sketchbook, let alone a series. I’m sat in my studio wondering what to do next and instead of feeling YAY! paints!, I’m feeling PRESSURE!! DOOM!! Any Advice?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 24th September 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. I always go through bad patches when nothing is working for me. After flicking through sketchbooks – take a walk, do the washing up, ride a bus or a train and look out of the window. Do something outside of your art that is a partly mindless task and give your brain a chance to reset and for ideas to bubble to the front without any pressure.

QUESTION 19

I’m trying to make an artist website, does anyone have any tips on the best sites to use plus any do or don’t for creating a website?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 27th August 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. I spent ages looking into this earlier in the year and in the end decided to do it myself using Squarespace. It was pretty easy (I’m no tech wizard by any means!) and I was happy with the results. I know there’s a few good website builders out there.
  2. I wanted to use square space but it just seems so expensive – Wix is what I use as it’s reasonably easy to use… may switch in the future though 🤷‍♀️
  3. Portfoliobox is the best one I’ve found so far! Easier than wix, similar to squarespace, and about half the price of them (and sometimes they have offers). But no one seems to have heard of it! You can get a free mini website first to try. Easy to use and they are helpful! Used it for a number of sites including thebirley.com.
  4. Typepad, used them for years / 14 days free trial. Paid service so YAY no pesky or inappropriate ads! Link in my Linktree £6.20-ish per month for 4 blogs/1 author – good support, etc.

QUESTION 18

I’m looking for tips on writing a successful artist bio and CV. What is the difference and what should I include?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 20th August 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. 📝 An artist bio is a paragraph of 50-100 ish words summarising things like your name, location and arts practice/medium of art. This can be used as a concise summery when applying to art opportunities.
  2. An arts CV is a document listing residencies or exhibitions you have been in, or shows you have curated, or shows you have performed in, or any other involvements. You may not show a CV very often, but it comes in handy as a record of achievements ❤️
  3. Bio is about you – CV would be experience or statement specific/tweaked to meet an oppo, call or job application – quite often you are asked for a CV no bigger than 1 side of A4 so be selective – no-one wants to wade through 10 years worth.