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.

QUESTION 17

Where is the best place to find commissions and opportunities?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 14th August 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. Arts council art news mailing list? Curator space? From other people 😉
  2. Curator space and following “open calls” on social media platforms 🙌
  3. https://www.artistopencalls.art – “Run by artists, for artists. This is a service for visual artists, to bring you the best UK and international arts opportunities, residencies, open calls, commissions, bursaries, arts funding and arts jobs. We also bring you UK artist workshops, open studios, artist talks and exhibitions.”

QUESTION 15

Do you ever worry that sharing your art/ideas on social media can lead to being copied?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 29th June 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. Yep, had it happen to me.
  2. I think it depends on the circumstance. If your work inspires somebody to try a similar technique but put their own style on it and make it completely different then it wouldn’t be such a bad thing however if somebody actually approaches you to explain they are going to start doing exactly the same style and products because they love your idea and push it out in the same field then they start replicating everything you do including insta posts (this happened recently) then that is another matter entirely.
  3. I worry a bit about it and I feel as if I’ve seen it happen (though not sure I could prove it?!), however I also feel like I’m not a big enough name to be choosey about where I share my stuff… 😂
  4. Honestly, I don’t feel like my ideas are unique enough or my platform is big enough for that to be a problem.
  5. I don’t worry about my work being nicked particularly because of the type of work I create. I do however worry about project and workshop ideas. Especially when you offer proposals for a commission, it can make you feel vulnerable and at risk of losing ownership. I try to trust in the people I work with or potentially work with and hope they wouldn’t do something so disappointing and WRONG. 🤨 I also think for digital artist and Illustrators it’s more of an issue, how do you promote your work whilst maintaining control, particularly on social media, It’s really difficult. I’m not really sure how you get around some of this really, I think I could do with some advice on this! 😖
  6. A professor at uni once said to me (when I was stressing about my ideas for work) that everything has been done in one form or another and you use your own ideas to give it a new and different twist. If someone likes your work enough to copy it you should consider it a complement, but I do agree that copying exactly is very discouraging as this has happened to me and it stopped me working for quite a while.
  7. Well, I have come to the conclusion that thieving scrotes and plagiarist feckwits should not rob me of my happiness in being able to share online. Also, see Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon and Picasso “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Art in the Archives

Learn about Wigan Borough’s art history and create your own art with the help of guest artists Anna and Klaire.

Join us in Leigh Town Hall for 6 fantastic Art in the Archives sessions. Anna and Klaire will spend each week delivering a lecture about the life and work of artists connected to Wigan Borough with research from the archives. These classes are combined with practical art activities inspired by the lectures for you to take part in. By the end of each class, you will have new found knowledge on the work and life of a fabulous artist. You will also be equipped with new techniques to improve your own art and to embed your understanding of the artist. These classes welcome all abilities.

Due to COVID restrictions, visitors will be required to wear a mask whilst onsite, unless you have an exemption. There will be multiple hand washing facilities available.

QUESTION 14

Can you become a successful artist with no formal training?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 18th June 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. Absolutely 👏 Some of my favourite artists are successful “outsider artists” like Morton Bartlett, Judith Scott, and Sam Doyle 🙌
  2. Yes. You simply redefine ‘success’….🙌
  3. YES. Let’s just stop with the labels lol

QUESTION 13

How much consideration do you put into the materials you use? 

We posted this question on our Instagram on 11th June 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. I am freakin’ obsessed with materials, but also a bit disloyal as I want to try EVERYTHING! 😂 But I don’t know if I think about them so much as with them..?
  2. I try to make work which will stand the test of time, but sometimes feel the need to be “f**k it, I’m gonna use this cos I love it!”
  3. When working in 3d materials are everything & I spend a LOT of time considering which are best to use, it’s integral to my practice.
  4. I just get this urge like ill have this this and this and go with it, its really random when it comes but they are my most favourite times to create, alignment. 🌟
  5. I LOVE THE COMMENTS AND ADVICE! 💚 In relation to this question; I have started to take my materials choice more seriously. For quite a lot of my current work, I use discarded materials, literally rubbish. However, I’m quite partial to a really good piece of paper. In addition, thanks to the suggestions from the marvellous Paula Fenwick Lucas. I’m now looking into making my own paper from my endless note taking! 😍