Five ways to turn your hobby into a career
There aren’t many people who are able to carve out a career from their talents. Fortunately, with a rise in digital creativity and handmade goods, the art and design industry is booming with more jobs than ever. From illustrators, to art directors and calligraphers, there’s a growing market of buyers wanting beautiful pieces of art that are exclusive to them.
Whether you want to develop your creative skills, get your work noticed, or learn how to expand your network, here are five ways you can take your talent to the next level.
Your portfolio showcases your skills and knowledge, but also your creative flair – it’s what makes you stand apart from others in the industry and is your most important asset. Creative directors love to see these, so try to include a variety of work, but just remember- less is more. Whether you like to doodle or paint, its important to keep your most impressive artwork in one place – you never know when you might need it!
Networks are essentially a group of individuals who are also part of the same industry. Your first network will usually be made up of people you study alongside, if they continue to stay in the industry. They are extremely useful in offering a platform to seek advice, support or feedback on a project. It’s also a great place to discover potential job opportunities.
There are more formal organisations you can join, like New Art West Midlands, who advocate for artists in the region through fundraising, policy and more.
There are a growing number of platforms that support artists and designers; some of which you’ve probably used yourself. Etsy, eBay and most social media provide a base to showcase and even sell artwork. You can create a community of people who have the same artistic style and interests as you. They can also provide some fantastic inspiration for your next piece!
There is very little that can substitute real life work experience – it’s an opportunity to learn new skills, but more importantly, teaches you how to put those skills into practice. According to the Creative Industries Council, there are 6,910 cultural businesses across the UK, so the opportunity to learn from others is in no short supply!
A specialist qualification in your chosen field can really give you the edge when going up against other budding creatives also looking to start their careers. You’ll get to learn best practice across the industry, whilst understanding the theory behind the work. It also provides a head start in building a network and gaining valuable industry experience.
There are lots of avenues to help make your mark in the art and design industry. Fortunately, Walsall College can help you paint the right picture with our specialist art and design courses that include fully equipped art workshops, as well as painting and drawing studios. You also have the opportunity to stay on to achieve HNC/HND, Level 5/6 courses, which are equivalent to a university level degree!