Professional practice

Professional Art Practice Courses in London & Online

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. Artist talk: Emilia Netto - Inspiration and the design process: how the design process can lead to unique outcomes
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Join Emilia Sutherland Netto, designer and maker behind the jewellery brand Ember & Ore. Emilia has a BA Hons Contemporary Crafts degree from Plymouth College of Art. She has worked in the jewellery industry since 2012 in various manufacturing capacities and has taught jewellery making since 2013. More recently she has obtained two diplomas in CAD/CAM with an emphasis on jewellery manufacture. Emilia believes in using a mixture of modern and traditional manufacture and design techniques to achieve highly detailed and sculptural outcomes.







    In this talk Emilia will discuss the sources of inspiration behind her work and the various stages of her design process. With useful approaches, techniques, and a live demonstration this talk will be valuable to all with an interest in art and design.



    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
  2. Artist talk: Chris Gray: What is Art School? Education through the ages
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 30 Jul 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
  3. Artist talk: Hilary Rosen - A Contemporary view of Mysteries of Greek Myths in monoprints and watercolours
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 9 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Hilary Rosen trained at the Royal College of Art where she was a prize winner. She lives and works in London. On leaving the Royal College of Art, she has taught at City Lit and various arts schools around the country. She has a studio in East London and exhibits internationally as well as having work in many national and international collections. Hilary teaches watercolour, oil painting and drawing (including life drawing and painting). 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. In this talk, Hilary also discusses the construction of the monoprint by combining 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
  4. Presenting and exhibiting: curatorial perspectives
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 15 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This workshop is designed to walk you through the various curatorial considerations that factor into presenting an exhibition of your own work, in a more-or-less conventional gallery setting. It covers the broad editorial aspects of working with the space in selecting work and planning layout to present it to best effect, including implications of working within curatorial conventions, (or rejecting them).



    Ensuring a professional standard of exhibiting extends beyond the work itself, into aspects such as: quality and consistency in use of materials; transportation/shipping and storage of work; ensuring use of archival quality materials in presentation, shipping and storage; conventions (or not!) in mounting, framing, hanging, labelling, categorising of work; documenting the exhibition…



    In a wide-ranging workshop, delivered in a discursive format, and drawing on the experience of participants, or directly addressing their questions, you will also consider: ensuring consistently professional standards of delivery through the exhibition, including documentation, signposting, information/displays, visual and informational consistency across rooms/spaces and the exhibition publicity and website; systems for capturing interest and enquiries, press and media, and recording visitors and sales.

    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
  5. Get your artwork out there
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 22 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This workshop will provide you with the understanding and confidence required to create your own opportunities to present your work in the public arena, focusing primarily on the conventional gallery or exhibition space, and with an emphasis on opportunities leading to sales. This can be a daunting process, and it can be hard to know where to begin, or how to present your work. Through group discussion and experience, we will draw on perspectives from across a range of backgrounds and creative practices, and start by interrogating and defining our own work in order ensure the ability make an effective opening pitch or presentation. You will test approaches to presenting your work, with a sympathetic and supportive audience, and develop the ability to communicate clearly and concisely about your practice, and what motivates you. Having provided insights and presented strategies for securing opportunities to present your work, the session will consider practical, organisational and technical considerations that go into preparing, delivering and exhibiting work in an exhibition, and introduces many essential resources and services that you are likely to need.

    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. Digital fundamentals: media and protocols for creative practice
    Course Date:  Fri 17 Sep 2021

    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
  7. Digital fundamentals: imaging for print and 2D
    Course Date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021

    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
  8. Developing communities of practice
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 9 Oct 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 it, we examine what a community of practice is, how it might work, and what it means to be part of such a group. We 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. We also look at case studies, and consider the social and potential economic impact of each as an ‘artistic community’.

    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 design brief
    Course Date:  Tue 26 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This workshop provides a 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 take 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
  10. Design thinking: creative problem solving
    Course Date:  Tue 9 Nov 2021

    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 processes 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
  11. The creative industries
    Course Date:  Tue 16 Nov 2021

    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
  12. Open source software and platforms for creative communities
    Course Date:  Wed 17 Nov 2021

    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; survey 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
  13. Reflecting on practice
    Course Date:  Wed 17 Nov 2021

    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 and explain 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 £89.00 Concession £89.00
  14. Making a statement: how to write a strong application
    Course Date:  Fri 26 Nov 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
  15. Funding for artists and designers: how to make a strong application
    Course Date:  Wed 8 Dec 2021

    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 for 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

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