Guest Blog by Scott Crawford
This is our pilot year of graduate and new maker support. Currently live on our virtual programme is our 2017 Scottish graduate exhibition, Materialise. View the exhibition here. We invited one of the exhibition participants, Scott Crawford, a graduate form Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, to give us his honest perspective on ‘Life after Art School’.
Starting Out and Life After Education
“Much is made of the educational experience which often comes before a career in the creative industries; however I now find myself at the exit point of this stage in my life. Throughout my time at university, conversations surrounding the often dreaded question ‘What are you going to do when you leave university?’ were frequent, but I now realise that until you experience it for yourself only then do you understand advice passed on to you previously.
Having graduated 6 months ago, my experiences have taught me a lot already despite not actually making any new work so far. Having just moved into my first ever studio space in Glasgow this week, this should be happening very soon – but I have quickly learned that simply being as proactive as possible and presenting yourself to the design world is the best way to get ahead. Personally, I have exhibited at New Designers’ exhibition in London, and also as a result of that been shortlisted for the MADE.com Emerging Talent Award where I was invited as a guest to a number of London Design Festival events recently. I would say that any publicity is good publicity and anyone looking to establish themselves should apply for as many awards, grants, open calls and exhibitions as possible, as each relatively well known one I have been part of has led to at least some contact regarding collaborations or possible another exhibition as a result.
Giving specific advice to those looking to start a career in the creative industry can be difficult as each and every case is so unique and different, but in general hard work really does pay off. However, I do feel the one piece of general advice I would follow is to unapologetically express yourself in your work. In my earlier years I had tried adopting different styles in my work, but in the previous 12 months I have made a concentrated effort to really understand what my personal brand is, and this has probably been the main reason for my recent work being the most satisfying collection of objects I have produced thus far. For anyone in the same position as myself, or soon to be here, keep working confidently and putting work out there. Opportunities are always available, but at the beginning finding them yourself is crucial.”
Coming up soon…
… a re-scheduled version of Opportunities to Connect, a professional development day for new makers and recent graduates. Bookings will be taken early in 2018.