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: Chris Gray: What is Art School? Education through the ages
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 2 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
  2. Is meaning inevitable? Intention, action and interpretation
    Course Date:  Fri 2 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Does every creative act have meaning? Is there a statement – conscious or unconscious – inherent in everything we do as artists? Should we interpret or analyse what we see, what we do, what we’ve done? In this one-day workshop, we will examine a range of specific works, considering the question of whether and how meaning has been embedded (intentionally or otherwise) and can be identified and interpreted. This will, to some degree, touch on how individuals and societies make and ascribe meaning, perhaps as an attempt to process and come to terms with, for example, otherwise seemingly arbitrary events like a natural catastrophe or suffering. We will discuss and workshop these themes in the larger group, draw on examples presented, and the experiences of the members in the group. Other questions that may be considered include: discerning meaning as an attempt to find order in chaos, and whether or what we might lose by attempting to impose meaning, by attempting to explain within the confines of critical analysis, that which may, in fact, be critical to the character or intention of a work of art.

    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. Presenting and exhibiting: photographing your work 1
    Course Date:  Fri 9 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Photographing your work properly is important, whether for the purposes of promotion, for your own records, or to document your own exhibitions or installations. While smartphones offer convenience and immediacy, and allow us to share images instantly, to our audiences on social media and potentially anyone around the world, there is much more to consider both in terms of equipment and set-up, if you want to document and archive your creative work to a professional standard.



    In this one-day workshop, approaching from the perspective of the exhibiting artist, craftsperson or designer, we address the factors involved in documenting your work for or in an exhibition, and demystify the process to ensure you will always be able to obtain images of your work that serve as a faithful reference even after you have sold the original piece. We cover selecting lenses and filters to ensure an appropriate image quality; use of appropriate photographic equipment and why you need to ensure appropriate lighting and metering; understanding and selecting camera modes and settings to ensure appropriate image quality; why is your smartphone is not good enough to document your work to the standard required (although it can still have a role in the documentation process)



    Although not a requirement, this workshop will be of particular benefit to those who are also doing VPP850-1 Presenting and exhibiting: curatorial perspectives.

    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: Kate Hardy - Ways of working
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 9 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Kate is a painter and printmaker who works at Chisenhale Studios in East London. She likes being surprised by materials and tries to make them behave in new ways. Kate’s talk will be a virtual studio visit. She will introduce her work and ideas, and describe how her studio practise is a thought process which comes out of real and imagined memories, dreams, films and the crumbling buildings of London.

    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. Presenting and exhibiting: photographing your work 2
    Course Date:  Fri 16 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Photographing your work properly is important, whether for the purposes of promotion, for your own records, or to document your own exhibitions or installations. Having spent hours ensuring that you have captured perfect photos of your work, you need to be sure you can process them for the purposes you have in mind (eg: print, web, publicity), edit them non-destructively, and archive them appropriately for future reference.



    Working from the premise that you have already photographed your subject (your own work or exhibition/installation) to an appropriately professional standard, using suitable equipment and data formats, this one-day workshop covers: processing and archiving photographic records of your work, selecting and organising the best shots, using non-destructive data formats and working with specialist photography software and formats to ensure commercial standard image quality, and the integrity of the original image files in the editing process. We also look at considerations involved in processing your images to the required specifications for galleries, promotional materials, websites or publications, and effective systems for archiving images non-destructively, for your own future use and ensuring access to a growing body of work in perpetuity.



    Although not a requirement, this workshop will be of particular benefit to those who have completed VPP861-1 Presenting and exhibiting: photographing your work 1.

    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. Presenting and exhibiting: copyright and IP for artists
    Course Date:  Fri 23 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Copyright and intellectual property are not interesting subjects – until you discover that someone has stolen your idea, or, maybe, that someone else is accusing you of infringement of their rights. Then, they become very important! You can avoid distressing and potentially expensive disputes and possible legal action by making sure that you know the rules, and understand how to make and present your work without falling foul of any laws or regulations. You can also judge when your own ideas might have been stolen, or ‘appropriated’. Copyright and IP applies in situations and contexts that you might not be aware of. This workshop, primarily for the practitioner who is intent on developing their profile or career as a creative professional, considers the most relevant laws, points out where you might be at risk (but might not be aware), and advises, through hypothetical scenarios and case studies, how disputes might arise and be resolved. Amongst the subjects covered are: protecting your intellectual property, copyrighting or trademarking your images or other intellectual property; quoting or attributing in creative practice; plagiarism and legal cases; sampling/quotation/referencing; digital watermarking; performing rights for screening/playback in public events/contexts.

    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: 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Collaborative creative projects online
    Course Date:  Fri 22 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Recent advances in technology and communications provide creative practitioners and communities with opportunities that, in historical terms, are unique. We have never before had the capacity to react to events and engage with issues that, in some cases for the very same reasons, can no longer be confined, in terms of their impact, to the location in which they occur. Consider, for instance, climate change, Coronavirus, the BLM movement and the global reaction to inequality and injustice. Artists and designers have at their disposal, through these same resources, the capacity to respond to these developments, and to effect change, and with this, inevitably, comes the imperative of social responsibility. This workshop looks at how creative individuals engage with notions of online or distributed models of practice and collaboration, through the production or propagation of ideas, movements, memes or artefacts, with individuals one has possibly never met, or perhaps does not even know. Besides collaboration in making, we consider the potential of social/viral media as a disruptor or organisational tool, (for example in events, happenings, flash-mobs, and organised protests or movements such as Anonymous, Occupy, XR, BLM and others).

    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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