Professional Practice Courses in London

Advanced professional practice courses in will provide you with the necessary skills, knowledge and information to take your creative practice further. Whether your interest is in technical/digital skills, promoting or selling your work, or developing a deeper understanding of the cultural and theoretical context of contemporary creative practice, our growing range of courses will provide the know-how you need.

You may be interested in raising your technical knowledge in your subject to a professional level, or in developing a better understanding of the historical, cultural or critical frameworks of contemporary creative practice; you might be looking to improve your commercial and presentational skills, to reach a wider audience, or to develop a social and/or ethical dimension to your work through closer community engagement… whatever you need to add new dimensions to your practice, or improve your existing capabilities, you’ll find it here.

Starting in autumn 2020, we are rolling out a programme of professional practice workshops that will support every aspect of your creativity.

Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Any questions? Contact our visual arts team on 020 7492 2700 Monday - Friday between 10am - 5pm.

  1. Digital fundamentals 1: media and protocols for creative practice

    New
    Course Date: Fri 6 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Whether or not we use digital media in our creative work, we rely on digital tools and resources to disseminate, communicate and organise, both in our art or design practice and in our lives, generally. While most digital and social media tools now allow us to do most of what we need to without understanding how they work, it is sometimes still necessary, and important, to know how to work with the technology to ensure the right results, so that we can archive, present and collaborate effectively. This workshop provides a thorough grounding in digital media concepts and principles for visual artists, including: the fundamentals of how real world information is encoded in data and saved in file formats; how digital data is accessed, transferred, processed, archived, manipulated, both locally and via the cloud or sharing services; how and when to use different data formats and how these affect quality or accessibility; technical principles, and creative potential.

    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. The design brief

    New
    Course Date: Tue 10 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    This workshop provides and forum for exploring and discussing the process (and sometimes challenges) of working with clients over a commercial design brief or commission. While some design briefs are relatively straightforward, and perhaps require a simple rendering of the client's vision, at other times the client can be unsure of what they actually want, and it can be a frustrating, uncertain and time-consuming process for the designer to identify and produce a solution to what is, perhaps, a poorly-defined question. Referring to real-life examples, and case-studies, this workshop will learners through the process of making a pitch, deconstructing a brief to be certain of what the client wants and needs (and whether these are same thing), presenting proposals, and working within time, resource and financial constraints. These are invaluable skills for the design professional that are equally applicable, for the student, to project briefs and coursework.

    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.

    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

    New Evening
    Course Date: Fri 13 Nov 2020
    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. Reflecting on practice

    New
    Course Date: Wed 18 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    “What is your work about?” is a question many artists struggle to answer easily. The cycle of activity and reflection is a fundamental principle of creative practice, in which, as part of any attempt to address this question in any meaningful way, it is valuable to develop a paradigm for articulating one’s motivations interests, processes and practices. Examining and analysing these points supports the creative practitioner in defining their areas of concern, and leads to deeper understanding, which is helpful in articulating a position to explain, support or contextualise one’s practice, or to define specific research questions. That said, there is perhaps something of a paradox inherent in articulating visual thoughts in words. This professional practice module is designed to support artists in identifying where and how to begin articulating concepts, defining appropriate contextual frameworks, and identifying suitable comparators. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to define your interest and identify further appropriate research into specific themes, questions and areas of interest, culture or knowledge – all in order better to understand what you do, and why.

    For this workshop, please prepare to show a piece of work from your own practice that you consider to be unsuccessful, or alternatively a piece of work (in any creative medium) that you do not like, or do not understand.

    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: £0.00
    Concession: £0.00

  5. Digital fundamentals 2: imaging for print and 2D

    New
    Course Date: Fri 20 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    As artists and designers, we generally tend to observe a number of fundamental 'rules' when working with digital media for print-based or other forms of 2D output. These relate to processes or settings such as scanning, saving, resolution, image or data format. colour modes, compression... To a certain extent, much of this is received knowledge, and we don't necessarily know why we follow these rules. Knowing what they are based on, and why, is, however, fundamental to sound technical proficiency, and expertise, and knowing what these principles are based on allows us not only to produce work to professional standard, but also to exploit them to their full creative potential. This workshop will be of value to any visual artist who uses digital technology in their creative practice, from painters and printmakers to photographers and graphic designers. Coverage includes: principles and concepts underpinning digital imaging for print/static delivery: pixel/vector; resolution, scalability, application; acquisition, modes, formats and real-world constraints: file-sizes/compression/data integrity; relation to physical output (size, resolution, process).

    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. Design thinking: creative problem solving

    New
    Course Date: Tue 24 Nov 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    The term ‘design thinking’ describes an adaptive and reflective approach to problem-solving that is, in many ways, congruent with the kinds of processes that underpin creative practice generally, and is fundamental to the development of many of the systems on which the world’s current production, logistics, communications and supply depend. Although generally considered largely in relation to system design, information and interaction design, and product design, it is a way of thinking through and deconstructing creative and/or technical challenges that is equally valuable as a lens through which to examine creative process and problems in any discipline. In this professional practice workshop, we examine the 5 classic stages of Design Thinking, and look at how we can use them to refine our thinking processes, apply our insight and focus our imagination, to solve both creative and practical problems.

    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.

    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. Art is for now: temporary and situation-specific creative practice

    New
    Course Date: Wed 2 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Conventional notions of artworks as physical objects, which imply considerations of authorship, ownership and the spectator, are opposed in many senses by artworks and practices that are predicated on impermanence, or which subvert expectations due to the location or context in which they are encountered. This professional practice workshop is an opportunity, through a combination of presentation, and the participatory exchange of ideas and perspectives, to consider alternative modes of practice, and the possibilities presented by art that is made in, and for, the moment. We examine different interpretations of the word ‘temporary’, including concepts of relative duration, the ephemeral, and man-made demarcations and look at specific examples of work by artists including Fluxus, Beuys, Kaprow, Collective Actions, Brugera, Marina, Goldsworthy and Tempest. We also consider our own work and ideas in relation to a range of concepts and examples of practice in which the ‘product’ is not necessarily an ‘art object’, which prioritise the act or event over we might call the output, or in which impermanence or mutability are significant factors. These include; Merz; auto-destructive art; actions and events; sound sculpture; performance; land art.

    The workshop begins with some participatory exercises, and it will be helpful to have a small selection of drawing implements to hand, and a selection of materials of your choosing (eg: paper, card, cardboard boxes, tape, ruler, string or wire, a cutting mat or hardboard…).

    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

  8. Funding for artists and designers: how to make a strong application

    New
    Course Date: Thu 3 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Thinking about funding is more closely related to thinking about your practice than you might imagine. This workshop looks at how to get ready to apply for public funding so that when you come to writing, all the planning has been done and your idea has improved in the process! We will examine how funding will help you to develop your work, in the short, but also medium and long term, and how to find the sweet spot between what you want to do and what the funders are looking for. Public funding means that our work has to have a public benefit, so we need to show how it does this. The challenge of funding can make you reconsider your project in exciting ways. We will look at applying to Arts Council England project grants, partnerships and a quick look at local Trusts and Foundations. Finding a fit between your need and funding criteria is key; from there we will look at how to write an application to make a compelling argument.

    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

  9. The creative industries

    New
    Course Date: Tue 8 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Creativity is one of the areas in which the UK retains a leading position, globally, and much is made of the importance of the ‘creative economy’, and its value to the country. But what exactly are the co-called ‘creative industries’ we hear so much about? What is the value of ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ to the national and global economy, and does this extend beyond the overtly ‘creative’ pursuits of art, design and entertainment? How is so-called ‘creative thinking’ central to business, industries and services? In many countries around the world, the benefits of approaches to learning that are central pillars of ‘creative education’ are increasingly recognised in terms of their value in developing fully-rounded learners, and citizens. This workshop examines these questions, and considers the value of creative education in the context of a series of disciplines predicated on thinking related to solving problems, and its relevance for all aspects of contemporary life.

    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.

    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

  10. Open source software and platforms for creative communities

    New
    Course Date: Wed 9 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Open source software provides alternatives to virtually all the available commercial creative software, apps and platforms. It is generally free, or otherwise considerably less expensive than the commercial products, and, while generally less widely-used than what we might consider to be the giant 'industry standard' titles, generally benefits from an extensive and committed developer base, who tend to have a more generous attitude towards the community of users, and to be responsive to security issues through updates, patches and so on. This workshop provides a discussion space to: introduce the principles of open source software and the developer community; surveys and consider the available options for creative software; examine how alternatives to the standard commercial software titles can help users address concerns related to privacy, personal data and security. It also looks at the value of open source as an alternative to the uncertainty of subscription-based licensing, and the potential future risk, within the commercial model, of being prevented from using software titles you have paid for, when they are no longer the latest version, or being frozen out from accessing your own work if your subscription expires.

    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

  11. The artist's statement

    New
    Course Date: Wed 16 Dec 2020
    Location on this date: Online
    Building on the ability to reflect on one’s own practice, and the identification of interests, themes and relevant contexts, this professional practice module is designed to help visual arts practitioners to develop the ability to talk or write about their own work in coherent ways, and to articulate their intention, meaning or reflection in declarative or discursive statements. All artists are required to make statements at certain times, whether for exhibition, application for funding or study. In this session, we examine and discuss approaches to constructing a statement, based on specific requirements, and how to write or speak about one's work in terms of target audience, level of knowledge, and the length and depth required to articulate what work means and how it relates to ideas, themes and contexts. Although open to anyone on a standalone basis, this workshop will be of particular value to those who have completed 'Reflecting on practice' (VPP410).

    For this workshop, please select an image that you feel illustrates your 'subject'. This needn't necessarily be heavy on content, or meaning, you should just be able to make a connection between the work, and what you intend it to communicate.

    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

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

    New
    Course Date: Thu 17 Dec 2020
    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 potential 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 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

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