How To Manual

A Survival Guide for Visual Artists

Making art and making an art career are two different things. A professional artist is responsible for the day to day business of their career such as financial management, applying for grants and funding, documenting work marketing, promotion, researching opportunities, and a list of other tasks. These areas are not always covered within the education system so, while highly educated and skilled, many visual artists are not prepared for the reality of life after art school.

As an artist led organisation VAI is keenly aware that artists are pressed for time, trying to fit their art making into daily lives that juggle family, work and other commitments. We hope this manual will provide you with some of the tools to make the most of the opportunities that come your way, whether it be pursuing a post graduate course, getting a studio, entering juried exhibitions, initiating your own projects or getting representation through a gallery. But, don’t forget… you should never rely on an opportunity finding you. It is very much you creating them for yourself. VAI is there to assist you with the many services and information channels that we offer to professional visual artists in all art forms.

 

Artists Speak

How is it Made? Jonathan Cummins Discusses his Film Installation ‘When I Leave These Landings’

JONATHAN CUMMINS DISCUSSES ‘WHEN I LEAVE THESE LANDINGS’, AN EVOLVING FILM INSTALLATION PROJECT BASED ON CONVERSATIONS WITH POLITICAL PRISONERS, WHICH ...
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Artists Speak

How is it Made? Mick Kelly and Istvan Laszlo discuss their work for the LUAS/RPA Docklands

MICK KELLY AND ISTVAN LASZLO DISCUSS THEIR WORK FOR THE LUAS/RPA DOCKLANDS PUBLIC ART COMMISSION, WHICH WAS MANAGED BY VISUAL ...
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Artists Speak

Career Develoment: Laura Gannon – Letting the Work Lead

Laura Gannon discusses three recent projects to illustrate the progression of her Practice. Laura Gannon, The Heat of the Day ...
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Artists Speak

Career Development: Lisa Fingleton – Participation, Process & Partnership

Lisa Fingleton discusses the fundamental values and ideas that have directed her career path. Lisa Fingleton, 'Memory Through Media' courtesy ...
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Artists Speak

Career Development: Dougal McKenzie – Art & Opportunity

Dougal McKenzie on balancing preparedness with understanding the importance of the ‘lucky break’ in his art career Dougal McKenzie Things of ...
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Artists Speak

How is it Made? Brian Breathnach (2B) – Keep Pushing The Brush

Brian Breathnach (2B) recalls his time working as a studio assistant for Michael Farrell in Paris during the 1980s. Micheal ...
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Artists Speak

Making It: Lily Cahill

My name is Lily Cahill. I am a visual artist. I also work in a Dublin gallery on a JobBridge ...
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The 'How to' Manual - The Financial Side

The Science and Art of Pricing and Costing Your Work

Introduction Costing and Pricing are two separate but inter-related processes.  Many artists focus on finding the right “price” for their ...
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The 'How to' Manual - The Financial Side

Making Sales: Video and New Media Artworks

Introduction – Resisting Easy Commodification? The sale of artworks represents an important income stream for any artist. Comparatively speaking, video ...
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The Financial Side

Tax and Self-Employment – Northern Ireland

While every effort is made to ensure the information in this article is accurate, Visual Artists Ireland and the author ...
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The Financial Side

Tax and Self-Employment

While every effort is made to ensure the information in this article is accurate, Visual Artists Ireland and the author ...
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The Financial Side

Pensions for Artists

Introduction Financial planning for the future is something that is not always at the forefront of our minds. The question ...
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The Financial Side

Budgeting and Financing

Introduction This article will be of interest to self-employed artists. It aims to provide guidelines on how to manage and ...
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The Artist, The Gallery & The Curator

Working with Public Galleries

How to build strong relationships with curators and  get the most out of their experience when working with public galleries ...
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The Artist, The Gallery & The Curator

With Practicality comes a Practice: the Artist as Curator

Introduction In France, 1648, a group of court artists sent a petition to King Louis XIV, who at the time ...
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