Do you ever worry that you’re on the wrong track with your practice?

We posted this question on our Instagram on 23rd April 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. All the time.
  2. I so often see calls for mural proposals that sometimes wonder if it would be better for me to think more 2d. Then a few years ago I was focusing on how to make my hand held sculptures more applicable for submitting to group gallery shows. My solution ended up being too interesting for the original problem but now I am left with these interesting objects that I don’t know how to define. Actually that I struggle to define them isn’t a personal issue but I feel like when you push things out of your studio others want a clean category to put things in. Isn’t that someone else’s job?
  3. At the moment, actually maintaining a practice is difficult for me at least! I think a lot of folks are struggling with creative isolation and even with the beginning of things starting to open up again, feeling a bit daunted. Thinking literally, going down a creative cul-de-sac from time to time is part of the journey!
  4. I also think that sometimes you can get into a “comparison is the thief of joy” kind of thing with your practice, imagining you’re the only person to ever have doubts/have can’t be arsed periods/feel a bit ‘sod-it’.
  5. Everyday!!
  6. All the time! 😬
  7. Constantly, so I call it a heuristic practice (to give it purpose/to make myself feel better about it 😳)!


I’m intrigued by the divide between those who make art for it’s own sake and those who need to make some money out of their art… I find monetising my own art quite difficult. Would love to hear other artist’s POV on this.

We posted this question on our Instagram on 16th April 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:

  1. When you find the answer, let me know. 🙌 😂
  2. It’s a mixture of both for me. Getting back into drawing & painting has helped my mental health. But, whether other people like it, or are willing to buy it is another matter. 😣
    I think if you can make money with your art or from an element of your artist practice then that can allow you to dedicate time to your work, there shouldn’t be shame in wanting to make a living.
  3. I started by making art for arts sake, then started to sell it, now i sometimes feel pressure to make art to sell rather than make it for makings sake. Currently in a making it for making sakes period. 😂
  4. I do both, I make art for its own sake but also with the intention of selling it (girl gotta eat!) or transforming it into another saleable product. Making prints, cards other printed products (and dare I say the word ‘marketing?’) is an art form in itself. I went through a phase where I tried to do more ‘commercial friendly’ art – but it didn’t work on the sales side! It wasn’t true to me. So I went back to creating art for arts sake or what was a truer reflection of me and people connect to that (then they buy it…) We speak so lyrically and romantically about art and what it is, sometimes I think that adds a barrier between artists and non-artists which shouldn’t exist (how many people say to you ‘I don’t get art’) But It’s just a skilled career like anything else. Personally I want to create & I want to sell. I feel confident doing it! Monetising can be difficult, you almost have to look at it with a different brain. Take the emotion out of it (there are 2 pieces of mine that I’ll never sell because they mean a lot to me). Personally I sometimes struggle with commissions (people will often ask for pet portraits and that’s not what I do so I don’t take them on – but there is money to be made there!). Adding a price tag doesn’t take away from the integrity of the work though. I want this to be my full time career (I still have a part time job for stable income taking risks has never been my strong suit!) Not sure how helpful this comment is, I went on a bit. It’s like a dissertation topic, this question, haha. There’s no right way to be an artist just do what you want.
  5. It depends. I’d struggle to just make art for the ‘selling’ market, my practice & what drives me to create isn’t monetary. But we’ve all got to make a living & I use my creativity in other ways to pay the bills. I think it’s about finding the right balance that works for you.
  6. I am always apprehensive about spending the money to have a reproduced item available for cheeper easier sales. (Prints, stickers, booklets). It’s a spend money to make money thing but I am paranoid of option of spending money and selling nothing. I guess I am worried about trusting my audience to support me.
  7. Both carry very different meaning for me and both feel really important to me. Paid work gives me confidence and a sense of success, but i don’t often sell the work I love (at times I have hated making this work for production and design companies). Then, the work I make for the sake of it is the my most authentic and important. I would even feel uncomfortable selling this work because it is sentimental and feels a part of me 🧠🫁🫀

New Peer Support Feature!

During the 2021 Artist Discussion Peer Support sessions, we have been discussing what it means to be an artist and the skills now required to pursue an artistic career or practice. We came to the conclusion that as artists we often have questions we really need to ask but sometimes feel embarrassed or unable to ask or just don’t know where to find the information we need.

To help us all and to guide each other, I have set up an anonymous way to ask those burning questions relating to your practice. I will post questions on the @artdiscussterm social media accounts for other artists to respond with their thoughts.

Example questions:

  • How do artists apply for funding?
  • Should my artistic practice cover different mediums and topics or should I refine and channel my practice into one subject, medium or area?
  • Artist mentorship or find your own way?

New Class!

TERM art classes introduces their second guest artist course, with the incredible Rebecca Sammon leading 4 sessions to inspire your creativity through drawing and mark making. For complete beginners to practising artists. This is a pay what you feel course from £28 to support artists. Ticket price covers the full 4 session course dates: Tuesday 13th, 20th & 27th April & 4th May 2021. 7-9pm (London UK Time) LIVE via Zoom followed by an optional informal group art chat 8:30-9pm (GMT).

Rebecca Sammon is a British artist currently living and working in London. She studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton, Painting and Poetry at Kansas City Art Institute and The Drawing Intensive at The Royal Drawing School. She recently exhibited the solo show ‘Moon Shell Sea Swell’ with Blue Shop Cottage in London, and has had work acquired by Soho House and private collections globally. Her bold, poetic pieces pulse with vibrant immediacy. Often Rebecca’s pieces are inspired by abstracted elements of nature interacting with human forms within imagined landscapes, moving from suggestions of mythical narrative into the more ambiguous, fluid space.

TERM Art Classes present a 4-week online course to unlock your creativity through activities that release the potential of your imagination with guest artist Rebecca Sammon. By harnessing drawing from the imagination, you will experiment with intuitive mark-making, subconscious drawing and visualising text excerpts to find and hone your creative voice. You will explore composition and figurative placement throughout the course, and build the confidence to make work as unique as you are.

  • Emphasising play this course will help you find freedom and fun in your creativity.
  • The course will expand your knowledge and confidence in manipulating art materials.
  • Exploring the potential for drawing from the imagination to make your work as unique as you are.
  • Practice drawing without looking and subconscious drawing.
  • Working from text excerpts to visualise and trigger imagination.
  • Exploring composition and building figurative placement throughout the course.
  • Each week will focus on different ways of exploring composition and narrative and encouraging intuitive mark making and colour exploration.

You will need to bring a selection of the following materials to this course. No need to have all of the items listed, but you will be exploring colour, so make sure you have at least one coloured material:

  • Paper (Suggested – 220gsm smooth heavy weight)
  • Felt tip pens
  • Willow charcoal
  • Oil Pastels
  • Chalk pastels
  • Coloured pencils
  • Ink
  • Coloured paper
  • Watercolours and paint brush (Suggested – with watercolour paper)

Some suggested places to get these art materials:

You do not have to be an experienced artist to join this course. Join us for portfolio development, practice or fun!

Co-ordinated by artists Klaire Doyle and Anna FC Smith based in Manchester, England.

Introducing Us

Hiiiii! Zooming is life 💯

We thought we’d introduce ourselves for anyone interested:

Liz, Klaire and Anna are all members of Cross Street Arts and Associate Artists of Wigan Steam who support them immensely.

Liz is a Wigan-based artist who, along with founding Artist Discussion, is a creative, digital and story-telling workshop facilitator. She is also a full-time Digital Inclusion, Research & Engagement Lead Officer. She loves watching and learning about birds, aquariums, rock pools and silly cat & dog jumpers. @e_lchapman

Klaire is a performance and interdisciplinary artist, as well as an arts educator. In addition to Cross Street Arts & Wigan STEAM, she is an associate artist at The Birley Studios. Her work has been internationally acknowledged since 2014. She enjoys Atlas Obscurer adventures, true crime podcasts, bold lipstick and marmite! @klairedoyleart

Anna is a multimedia research artist, curator and arts educator, based in Wigan. She is a trustee at GRAFT. She has exhibited internationally and her research writing has been published. She loves geeking out on uni lectures on YouTube, Blackadder, fluffy animals and themed parties. @annafcsmith