Making Art Work


If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes himJohn F. Kennedy

In a world that seems hell bent on worshipping money and celebrity over the creativity and potential of human endeavour, setting out to study or work in the arts and humanities can often seem a tough and lonely journey on which to embark, not least if you are a potential student having to justify your choices to sceptical teachers, friends and parents.

It’s why I think initiatives like Arts Emergency are so important. Having a trusted source of advice and support can make all the difference between pursuing a dream or spending your days in a soulless office daydreaming about what might have been. I can only speak from personal experience (who could do otherwise?), but I’ve spent the better part of 23 years finding this out the hard way.

Fortunately for the artists among us, there is a way to make your art pay, either as a way to make a living or as a way of funding more esoteric pursuits. It’s also something that businesses are increasingly seeing the value in and a potential door opener into worlds like UX. Visual recording gets you in the room with people from another world and provides an opportunity to learn their language and understand their issues. If you can match that knowledge with intelligent insight you can start to build a winning combination of skills. You can find out more in a previous post HERE.

There are loads of businesses out there delivering visual solutions for their clients. Get online and search them out or, if you’d prefer, drop me an email to (or follow me on Twitter @SimonHeath1) and I’d be happy to have a chat 1-2-1 to give you some pointers. Being an artist needn’t mean living in an unheated bedsit, eating cold baked beans straight from the tin and struggling by on benefits like your Mum and Dad worry it might. If I can set out to do it at the age of 43 then I’m damn sure someone with the passion and energy of youth can too. And if you’ve been to art school you’ll be a damn sight better at it than I am.

Oh, one other thing. You won’t have to put on a bloody suit to do it.


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