Ok, first things first this woman is awesome. I mean she used to be a priest, now shes an award winning glass artist. What a career change!
I must admit her first work, Domestic Gospels, wasn't my cup of tea. They seemed a bit plain and simple. But I guess if she had explained the idea behind it, which she didn't go into at the time, it would have made more sense to me. I understand that they mean a great deal to her personally.
Her talk that she gave at the University of Sunderland was particularly interesting and informative from the point of view of someone trying to break into the world of glass. She really did deal out some hard truths. One thing it did make me realise though was that I cannot wait to not be a student. So I can just make stuff and move on, not having to keep flogging a dead horse for months when working on a module.
Victoria had some great advise when it came to starting your own business and how to succeed. She did an amazing job of changing careers. As a mature artist she said she had it tough, as there aren't as many opportunities out there as there are for young artists.
Her advise was invaluable. Prompts questions and planning that I hadn't thought of before. Below are a few of the questions and advice she had in the talk and my answers and musings to them.
1. Have an articulated plan for the whole picture. How are you going to make money? and not just from the art.
My goal to to make glass for the film and television industry, as well as personal commissions. I have no aspirations to solely produce artworks, but I might make a few things that take my fancy. I plan to find jobs in various hotshops making production work. Eventually either settling and creating my own hot shop, or going to New Zealand and begging Wetaworkshop to take me on.
2. Do voluntary work to build up skills and experience.
I began volunteering at the National Glass Centre during Summer 2016. This was amazing experience and allowed me to not only keep up my glass blowing skills but to also improve. Since November 2016 my volunteering changed into paid casual work, currently I'm averaging about a day and a half each week.
3. Do lots of research.
Well I think all my lecturers can agree that i'm not very good at that. But i'm trying and hopefully getting better. *love dropping a bit of glass/art info in a conversation*
4. Have a support structure: Professional and emotionally.
My friends and family are amazingly supportive. Especially my mum. I might casually mention something in a conversation that I want to do and 10 minutes later i'm inundated with links to websites and details shes googled. She's amazingly supportive that way.
Victoria has a wonderful caring and kind attitude. She's full of grit and determination. It's not hard to see how she became such an inspiring artist. I just hope that I can be even a little bit like her and achieve my goals.