March Student Space

The viewpoint of a recent arts graduate: Emily Browne

  1. Many artists work freelance. 41% of creative workers are self-employed. Temporary work contracts can make for an interesting and varied career, though periods of unemployment between jobs are a reality for some artists.
  2. Freelance artists budget carefully. Being self-employed means you are without pension, holiday pay or maternity benefits. Contingencies such as falling ill or having children require pre-emptive financial planning.
  3. Artists self-promote. Having a good online presence shows employers that you are self-motivated and digitally literate.
  4. Artists love socialising. Networking events are the art world’s equivalent to job hunting, but with less misery and more booze. Whether you’re searching for commissions or trying to advance your career, networking gives you the chance to meet industry professionals
  5. Many artists form collectives to publicise and exhibit their work.
  6. It’s all about your portfolio. The visual arts are less grade-centric than other disciplines. You should focus on making your portfolio the best you can possibly make it. A good body of work speaks louder than grades.
  7. Some artists supplement their income with a second job. Doing so gives them financial security while they exercise their creative passions.
  8. Many artists take on internships to help kick-start their career. Working for a company can prepare you with essential industry skills and improve your employability.
  9. Job opportunities are growing. There are currently over 1.9 million people working in the creative industries in the UK.
  10. The creative sector is characterised by high levels of job satisfaction. As a result, the industry is highly competitive and jobs are sought after.


Credit: Emily Browne ( article featured in The Guardian)