Alumna Ellen advises students how to discover what drives them artistically

Alumna Ellen advises students how to discover what drives them artistically

2 March 2023

Students considering a future in art will have taken much away from Mr Peachey’s lunchtime discussion with Ellen Yiu (2016) on Thursday 2 March.

Ellen, who will exhibit her work in the Netherlands and Venice this year, talked about making choices that were different to those of many of her friends because they felt right for her. Ellen did an art foundation course at the Paris College of Art, followed by Arts, Media & Society double degree certificate at Leiden University, Netherlands and a Bachelor in Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands.

Something Ellen was keen to share was that, while studying, she and her fellow students weren’t taught how to work with professionals in the art world or quite how important a student’s college graduation show is.  Museum and gallery curators scout talent at these shows. As well as potentially leading to sales of students’ work, they can bring offers of sponsorship. These will come with contracts and it’s vital for artists to be diligent before signing up to something that may not be a good fit for them.

Ellen’s response to Mr Peachey’s question about what students can do now to prepare for a future career in art was to go to a lot of museums and to see as much work as they can. But not just to look at the work, but to “discover what attracts you as that is what is going to drive you in your work”. Ellen’s approach is to “analyse why you like something or why not. What is the first thing you see? Colour? Material? Shape? What do you think of? The artist? The story? What attracts you the most? There is no right or wrong answer.”

To visit Ellen’s website, click here.

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