Professional Art Practice Courses - Online & in London

City Lit’s advanced professional practice area offers a range of one-day workshops, which you can pick and mix to design your own programme of learning. New for autumn 2020, these will provide the skills and knowledge you need to take your creative practice further, (as well as some that might pique your interest), in the following areas:

Technical fundamentals and skills: the core technical competencies and underpinning technologies and processes we rely on: how to document, archive and present your work at its best.
Business and commercial skills: working with clients over a brief; promoting and selling your work; running studio or a creative practice; safeguarding your intellectual property; getting to grips with finances; costing your time effectively.
Theory, research and knowledge exchange: how to talk or write about your own work, including statements for applications; research questions and methods – of particular interest to those interested in theory, and in formal research.
Society, culture and ethics: the social dimensions and contexts of art and design. This covers artistic communities, making work consistent with your values, and examining art and ideas in historical and contemporary contexts.
Presentation and delivery: technical skills in creating presentations, structuring proposals and presenting to an audience. It’s all about communicating – clearly, confidently and effectively.

Many of these workshops are available for enrolment now, with many more coming in the next few months, all designed and delivered by many of our most experienced tutors across the School of Visual Arts. They will enhance your capabilities and support your learning on other courses you are currently studying, and you can sign up for just one, or as many as you like.

Keep checking back as the number of workshops and subject coverage increases. You are certain to find something that will help you.

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  1. Making a statement: how to write a strong application

    Course Date: Fri 5 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Almost everything we apply for as artists or designers has to be supported by a statement. Once we have identified that an opportunity or a proposal is right for us, we have to present a compelling case, which convinces the reader that we are a potentially suitable candidate. This is a different approach to talking about our interests or motivations as artists. In this workshop, you will learn how to consider your statement within the wider context of the application. What are the needs of the organisation behind the opportunity? How does your statement match them? This workshop will help you to see your statement from another reader’s point of view, so that you can communicate your ideas and points to the person reading it. You will learn how to consider the structure of your statement and to target it to the specific requirements of the application, whether for a course, job, residency, funding or an exhibition.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £89.00

  2. Fringe, street and festival arts: celebration and participation

    Weekend
    Course Date: Sat 13 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Street and/or festival arts have a history that can be traced back thousands of years, either as spontaneous celebrations or highly organised and ceremonial events. Activities of this type often draw on connections to the area, and to specific local and cultural traditions that go back generations, or have been introduced more recently with diasporas of various kinds, and, in so doing, have become part of the local culture and tradition. They can appear largely unplanned, or highly planned, but in either case, as with so much else in the present times, funding and support considerations are important. In this workshop, we look at some of the practical aspects of fringe, street and festival arts, including developing your initial proposal, planning and logistics, working with local authorities, groups and media. We also take a more playful and speculative look, in more general terms, at the possibilities of art and events that engage or surprise the public, considering theoretical interventions or disruptions in the urban environment.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £89.00

  3. Developing communities of practice 1

    Evening
    Course Date: Fri 19 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    What is a creative community? What does it mean to be part of a group of artists, designers or creative people? Communities maintain viability and relevance in ways that individuals can often struggle to achieve. Remaining a relevant part of the art world and engaging with issues with wider social significance is often easier as a collective, and arts organisations of all sizes increasingly emphasise the importance of groups, and their social relevance. This workshop, led by City Lit’s print area coordinator, examines experience gained working within the printmaking world, and establishing communities that have a life extending beyond the end of studies, exhibitions or projects. The workshop is relevant, however, to artists and designers of all kinds. In this first workshop, we examine what a community of practice is, how it might work, and what it means to be part of such a group. We will consider and share insights of how artistic practice can have greater impact through group activity, how group activity can be relevant to your own personal practice, and, through it, how you engage with society.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £89.00

  4. Artist talk: Hilary Rosen - The three fates monoprint

    Course Date: Mon 22 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Hilary Rosen trained at the Royal College of Art and is also a recognised prizewinner. Since leaving the Royal College of Art, Hilary has gone on to teach at City Lit and various arts schools around the country. Her subject matter for her work draws from a number of themes, including cityscapes, still -lives and the relationships of people to one another. She explores these themes through the media of oil painting, drawing and printmaking. Hilary is inspired by Greek Mythology, and this talk is based on her own work and that of other visual artists who have explored this subject through their work. Hilary will also discuss the construction of the monoprint and the combining characteristics of lino prints, stencils and layering.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  5. The archive: resource and practice

    Course Date: Tue 23 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    The archive is an invaluable resource for artists and designers, without some version of which it is virtually impossible to engage in practice in any systematic way. Whether it takes the form of sketchbooks, photographs, found items and clippings, internet bookmarks, or any combination of these and other items, the archive is a tool for organising, examining and reflecting. In this professional practice module, we will look at how to create and access physical and online archives, and how to use them in both research and practice, creating and organising personal archives. Many artists use the archive as a form of art practice: we will examine this, and how it differs from other forms of archiving. We will look at multiple approaches to storing information, organising it for accessibility, and working with the tools and perspectives of the archivist or curator, as appropriate to one’s individual practice.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £89.00

  6. Exhibiting creativity: alternatives to the white cube

    Course Date: Tue 23 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Who decides which artists get to present their work to the public, in what spaces, and according to what criteria? What role does the curator play in the decision-making process and how much influence do they exert over artists and institutions, in making these decisions? How do artists whose work is not ‘current’ (or which perhaps deals with unorthodox or potentially difficult topics) get to show their work? This professional practice workshop is a provocative enquiry and discussion of the role of the gallery in enabling creative expression, and the influence that decisions have on representation, or the imposition of an orthodoxy. How are artists responding to the limitations and impositions of the traditional gallery space–and the authority of the curator or agent–and finding opportunities in public or private spaces, and through technology? How are traditional galleries responding? We examine the ways artists and designers are making their own opportunities, and taking back control, finding innovative and creative ways to put their work before the public on their own terms.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £89.00
    Senior fee: £89.00
    Concession: £89.00

  7. Artist talk: Chris Hough - Russia and other tales

    Artist talk: Chris Hough - Russia and other tales

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 24 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Chris has been a co-ordinator of the City Lit Fine Art Course for over 10 years and looks back at his formative projects and residencies. A painter who likes to listen to other people and to use other media. He hates reality as an outcome, but tries to observe it closely. He is influenced by film, narrative and testimony and has often been most at home in somebody else’s country. In his paintings, the past often colours his present and his love of colour has left him with a deep respect for greyness.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  8. Artist talk: Heidi Wigmore - Extreme life drawing: strippers, shibari and the ballet

    Artist talk: Heidi Wigmore - Extreme life drawing: strippers, shibari and the ballet

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 25 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Heidi Wigmore is a visual artist with a drawing-based practice; dynamic female figures are prominent in her work. She has led 'live drawing' events in all kinds of spaces and places, from the Coliseum, Sadlers Wells and Tate Liverpool, to the ‘House of Hackney’ Shoreditch showroom, a tent at Port Eliot and a beach-side stage in the Virgin Islands...all the way to the Royal Academy's historic Life Room. In this illustrated talk she will describe how she is inspired by the 'live charge' of drawing the performative body and how it invigorates her studio practice. From sketchbooks to large scale banners and billboards, her work explores the perceived common language between contemporary strippers, classical ballet dancers, the extreme contortion of Shibari performers and the female nude of western art. Heidi is the Life and Portrait Coordinator and Fine Art tutor at City Lit.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  9. Lion © Matthew Ward

    Artist talk: Matthew Ward - 30 years of commercial photography

    Course Date: Mon 29 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Matthew Ward, photography coordinator for the school of visual arts and professional commercial photographer will discuss the seismic effects on the transition from film to digital capture through a personal career that spans over 30 years. This illustrated talk will look back through the changes in commercial photography practice and the influence these have had on published photographic images.



    Image Caption: Lion photographed in Clapham, South London. - Trained Circus animals were banned by councils so retrained as photographic models.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  10. Artist talk: Carol Justin-Wilhide - A history of Japanese woodcut

    Artist talk: Carol Justin-Wilhide - A history of Japanese woodcut

    Course Date: Tue 30 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    This inspiring talk by artist and printmaker Carol Wilhide Justin will introduce you to the fascinating history and development of Japanese ukiyo-e prints during the Edo period. Find out about how Japan was almost totally cut off from the rest of the world for almost 250 years and uncover the beauty of their ukiyo-e prints that were eventually opened up to the West in 1865. Discussing selected prints this conversation will explain how Japanese ukiyo-e prints electrified contemporary artists and paved the way for Modern Art.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  11. Artist talk: Rod Judkins - How to ensure your major creative project is a success

    Evening
    Course Date: Wed 31 Mar 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Most respected publishers and agents ask authors not to submit manuscripts. So how does an author get their foot in the door?



    Join bestselling author Rod Judkins who will take you through the 5 steps needed to complete a significant creative project successfully. He will use his current book, Make Brilliant Work, to be published in June 2021 by Macmillan, as an example. His illustrated talk will guide you over all the obstacles to getting a book published by a major publisher (or undertaking any major creative work) and show you how to overcome them. He will give you an insight into the publishing industry's workings, copyright issues, publicity, approaching an agent, and many other subjects.



    Rod Judkins has had four books published, the most recent, The Art of Creative Thinking, was a best seller in many countries and translated into over 12 languages.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  12. Artist talk: Monika Kita - Beyond history: the space in between

    Artist talk: Monika Kita - Beyond history: the space in between

    Evening
    Course Date: Thu 8 Apr 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Monika Kita is an artist whose work encompasses photography, video, film, and sound. Her practice is concerned with the subject of loss, with a strong emphasis on space, time, and history. Memory as a psychological journey inwards adds an important dimension to her work. She is particularly interested in landscapes but also derelicts buildings such as atomic power stations and disused military objects in the context of historical events. Alongside the rather personal nature of such inward contemplation about time and loss, Monika’s works could be also viewed as time documents that record, remind and warn of the dangers of global alienation and destruction.



    Her work has been presented in many individual and collective exhibitions and shown at BBC Shorts, East End Film Festival, and Venice Biennale. The talk ‘ Beyond History – The Space In Between’ will explore the core themes and methodology of practice.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  13. Artist talk: Chris Gray - What is art school: education through the ages

    Artist talk: Chris Gray - What is art school: education through the ages

    Course Date: Fri 9 Apr 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    Art schools have changed dramatically from the Renaissance era of apprentices studying under the guise of the master to the liberal expressive freedoms that students enjoy today. In this talk, Artist Chris Gray will take you through the historical developments and transitions, presenting a lineage between these 2 seemingly separate worlds. Drawing on his own personal experiences as a student that moved from contemporary to traditional art education, this talk will truly highlight if there are lessons we can learn from the schools of old.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  14. Artist talk: Mario Lautier Vella - Looking both ways

    Artist talk: Mario Lautier Vella - Looking both ways

    Evening
    Course Date: Mon 12 Apr 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    In this illustrated talk, Mario will talk about some of his work and the ideas and themes that shape his practice - from ideas around looking and being looked at, cinema to surveillance, public personas to private lives, dressing up to stripping down.To we are introducing a series of free talks lead by the tutors themselves where they discuss their unique art practice including what inspires and motivates them and how they make their work.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

  15. Artist talk: Clare Barton-Harvey - Drawing breaths: the art of mindfulness & drawing

    Artist talk: Clare Barton-Harvey - Drawing breaths: the art of mindfulness & drawing

    Course Date: Fri 16 Apr 2021
    Location on this date: Online
    In this inspiring talk, hear about how integrating mindfulness with drawing (art-making) can lead to greater inner resourcefulness and enrichment, whatever level of experience you have. For beginners to drawing it can help you to get started, and for those with more experience in drawing (or art-making), mindfulness can support greater resilience in your practice, allowing for more sustained engagement in your work. (The talk will draw on basic scientific research, Clare’s 26 years of personal practice as well as course and learners feedback).

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee: £5.00
    Senior fee: £5.00
    Concession: £5.00

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