Become An Art World Success With Highlights From Free Thinking

by Cass Art

Making it in the art world is tough, and we all know it. It’s competitive, it can take years to get that ‘lucky break’, and you can end up working several jobs to fund your creative career.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

This year Cass Art organised Free Thinking, a series of free talks for art students and graduates at Free Range 2014, to arm them with the knowledge they need to make a success of themselves in the art industry.

Industry experts from all corners of the art world came along to offer their advice to young artists – and we’ve put together the top tips from each speaker to refresh your memories and help you on your way to rocking the art world.

Top Tips

James Lomax, Sky Academy Arts Scholarship winner

Keep applying for residencies and prizes – you’ll get a load of rejections but you only need one to say yes.


Think about who your audience is, and make it easy to find yourself online, using a consistent name and branding.

3D Hubs

There’s new technology out there – don’t be afraid to try it.

Cass Art Product Specialists

Take some time to understand the science behind art materials so you can use them better.

Winsor & Newton

Realise that science plays a big part in creativity. Keep an eye out for new innovative materials and the new colours that are being developed.

Guardian Students

When interning, f you’re doing real work with set hours, you should be paid minimum wage – and don’t let companies steal your ideas for nothing.


After graduating, find a community of post-grads, such as RazorLAB’s maker’s café in Shoreditch.

Arts Thread

Think like a professional – take yourself seriously and always stay three steps ahead i.e. with simple things like spelling correctly on your CV, and using tools like Twitter to your advantage.


Think like a buyer when describing your work – not like an artist! And always photograph detailed shots on neutral backgrounds.


Don’t try to do everything on your own! There is strength in numbers, peer assessment is invaluable and different people bring different skills to the table.

Bridgeman Studio

Ensure your work maintains its integrity with official licensing.

And one more from us to round off…

Best of luck and remember – your artwork is the most important thing. If you believe in what you do and have the ambition to achieve, you can and will make an excellent career in the arts. 

Feeling inspired?

If you have any other top tips for fellow art students and graduates, do get in touch! We’d love to hear your success stories and advice on breaking into the art world, so message us on Twitter or Facebook.

View more articles from Free Thinking, with insight from EtsyGuardian StudentsArts ThreadZealous, Bridgeman Studio and Winsor & Newton

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