• ARtChH

Interview with Visual Artist

What is your professional title?

I would rather describe myself as a Visual Artist as I believe I am much more than a title.

Why did you decide to go to The Art Academy and how did your education there influence your creative practice?

I came to London as an Au Pair knowing I wanted to do Art courses and one day I found myself walking through Borough and found this amazing Art place. The Art Academy.

I prepared my application full of hope and I finally got in. My time there was absolutely great. I learnt so much from all of the teachers and tutors. I would say my practice is mostly painting (not conventionally of course). They showed me a new world of materials and techniques I could mix with my textile knowledge.

Did your course at The Art Academy teach you about the commercial art world and the art market? What was the most useful thing about your course?

They did teach us how to present ourselves and how to prepare an artist statement as well as how to prepare your art for an exhibition, but there was not much more preparation in the course I took. I know they have expanded now and they are even offering a BA.

After graduating, how did you approach the art market as an artist? Did you want your work in galleries and art fairs or were you more interested in collaborations and commissions?

After I finished my Foundation Course City and Guilds invited me for an interview (as tutors from that university evaluated us at the end of the term year). Unfortunately, I could not enrol as they had already allocated all the bursaries. I went back to my country (Argentina) but couldn’t find any funding.

I really wanted to continue in the Art world but of course, this is a difficult path being a foreigner (or local), as I also needed to work to be able to pay for rent and living. I was more inclined to galleries as that is a more steady path, where collaborations and commissions can be more fluctuating.

I had the amazing opportunity of being selected as the winner of a Design competition by the Brazilian Brand Melissa where my Design and Art were put on a Shoe (Melissa Revolution).

On the side, I continue painting and designing, although I have a job that has nothing to do with Art.

From our research, we discovered that art students have a skeptical attitude towards the commercial side of the art industry. What are your feelings about the art market and the commodification of art?

I totally agree we are thought that Art should be this abstract and unapproachable thing. Artists that are “successful”, that sell a lot or are just more inclined towards being commercial are usually not liked by the more “traditional” ones. There seems to be this concept that puts the Artist in the struggling conflicted soul character.

We all want to have the opportunity to do what we like and live from it.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in the art world as an artist?

Being able to be represented by a gallery that will actually help you succeed is almost impossible. I could not achieve this yet.

On the other hand, I also struggle because I am more of a “crossbreed” as I come from Art and Design and I often feel people want to place me in one or the other category.

We are speaking to students about the art market. What advice would you give to students about entering the art world?

I would advise them to be true to themselves and to not feel the pressure of being successful tomorrow. Everything takes time and you can change your path as many times as you want. Also, don’t let anyone label you. You can be as many things as you want.

Finally, what changes (if any) do you want to see in the art market?

I would like to see more paid opportunities for young people. There needs to be a way for new talent to emerge and flourish. It is important to respect all the great artists from the past but it is as important to give the new artists space to thrive.

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