Taking the leap from student to professional comes with a unique set of challenges. This can be particularly hard in creative industries, where often you have to go it alone.
Overcoming challenges is something that alumnus, and 2016 Sports Artist of the Year, Gregory Burns knows very well.
The celebrated artist, paralympian and motivational speaker, contracted polio as a child, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Since completing his Master of Art (Fine Art) in 1999, Burns has travelled the world making art and speaking about his unique journey.
Burns is now based out of Singapore and California, but recently while in Melbourne for business, he dropped into the RMIT School of Art to speak to students about his successful career and gave advice on transitioning from student to professional artist.
Burns gave the art students his top three tips for going professional, and emphasised the importance of experiencing the world and living an intrepid life.
1. Keep your overhead low – so you can survive as an artist.
2. Try to live a big life
Experience different cultures, colours, ideas, smells and places and people – that only happens through travelling. Going without knowing all the answers, going to places you don’t speak the language, going to places by yourself.
3. Believe in your art
Try not to depend on your art to make a living for as long as your can – so you don’t pressurise the ‘heart’ out of your art. You will then have a longer runway on your own as an artist with just your goals, your art and your heart – and just trying to put those things together. I think then you have a better chance of coming up with something really unique and meaningful to yourself – and not just something that will sell.
If you’d like to learn more about Gregory Burns’ art practice and life head to his website.
Story: Ally Forward