January 17, 2020

My final year on the Artist Designer: Maker course at Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD) flew by.

Towards the end of the year I began to worry about my future as a designer and wondered if I could carry on my making, and if so, where. My main focus at that time was finding a job so I could stay in Cardiff.

After our Degree Show I exhibited at London New Designers where I was awarded a One Year In prize which invited me to come back in a year to exhibit again in an exhibition that showcases and celebrates design entrepreneurs who have recently launched their businesses.

That was when I discovered CSAD’s Inc Space – they were offering access to studio space and facilities for around 10 recent graduates to launch and develop their businesses as practicing artists, designers or makers for an additional year.

That evening I filled in a very late application, and I was invited for an interview, and I was very lucky that a space had become available. The initial investment alone to set up a studio for myself would have been tremendous, the idea of me staying for another year on campus and taking advantage of the amazing workshops and facilities CSAD had to offer was an exciting one – as well as being able to access support from the technical team to develop my practical skills.

At the 2019 Degree Show with my final project.

This year has been a great opportunity for me to find my voice as a maker and learn the key skills I need to become a sole trader. We work alongside Cardiff Met’s Centre of Entrepreneurship who provide a range of workshops, talk and advice to ensure we’re in the best position to succeed in our chosen careers in the long term.

We have the opportunity to take part in workshops with external creative sector specialists and learn more about marketing, creative writing, networking, dealing with figures and some less fun but equally essential aspects of business.

I feel very lucky to be able to balance a job and come into the studio any-time to work. Everyone in the studio is very supportive of each other and lot of opportunities for collaborations have been discussed. It’s all very exciting!