1st Oct 2012
What's It Like To Study... Fine Art
SAOIRSE CREAN studied Fine Art at Lancaster University, and now works in art marketing. She writes about her reason for choosing this course and challenges she faced.
In the first week of lower sixth, my art class went on a field trip to the Lake District. A whole week of painting and drawing, undisturbed and being at one with nature. At the start of the trip my teacher said, "After this week you will never see the world in the same way again. Everything will be a potential photograph or painting. You will always see the world through an artists eyes."
Mr Power was right, and some years later I was studying Fine Art at Lancaster University.
I think the hardest part of the degree was the workload. Juggling a full-time degree (studio practice and dissertation), a part-time job, relationships and the all-important volunteering and internships could prove to be quite taxing. But it also equipped me with excellent time management and organisational skills. The internships that I worked on were invaluable for my CV and finding a job after University. As one of my lecturers once said, 'network or die' - and this is certainly the case in the art world.
The first year is fairly structured as you spend time completing projects in each of the different disciplines: painting, drawing, sculpture and digital. There is also the opportunity to work on group projects and collaborations, which help to promote the studio culture.
Being able to explore the different disciplines proved invaluable for me. As with many fledgling artists, I began the degree thinking I would be a painter or drawer - but by the end of the first year I was specialising in digital and performance. In both the studio sessions and art theory lectures we would constantly analyse what was important to us as artists – what did we value in art? My work was about people and society, and I felt performance and digital media was the best way for me to express my message.
The culmination of any art degree is your degree show. This is your opportunity to present yourself to the world as a professional artist. Organising the degree show equips students with skills that are transferable to the business world of art. Through this I discovered my passion for arts marketing and went on to complete an internship in this area.
I now work for an arts marketing company in London, this is all thanks to the emphasis the Fine Art department gave me in the importance of networking, CV building and having a professional attitude. Understanding the history of art and the power that art can have - not just in reflecting what’s happening in our world, but shaping it as well - has helped me to see the world in a different way.