Of all the talks given to date this one appeared to finally deliver the goods. The purpose of the talks was to give us an insight into the art world and the work we might find ourselves undertaking. The talks so far have been interesting but the common theme was of a person who happened to be in the right place at the right time or who met an influential person at a key moment that resulted in an opportunity. A bit like winning the lottery.

Since the odds or chances of that happening to us were slim, many had not turned up of late and chose to do other things feeling that the talks were a waste of very valuable time.

Wendy Mason was from the outset something different. Her talk was about self employment and how to go about it. There was a good turn out indicating that this was what most students wanted from industry Friday.

My Immediate thought was, why isn’t this a key element of our course?  I’m sure most of us who carry on producing art after graduation will inevitably be self employed and it seems ridiculous that the whole area of business management isn’t covered.

The envisaged minefield between the new artist and the confident businessman was, over the next two hours, slowly and carefully explained. Pitfalls were highlighted, careful wording on official forms advised, and assurances that actually it wasn’t as complicated as it appears were met with smiles.

The tax issue was explained and although Wendy didn’t know all the answers she knew enough to take most of the mystery out of this stressful and thorny issue.

She finished the talk with excellent advice on where to get help and support and an offer to forward on the complete talk notes and slides to anyone who gave her their email address. My five pages of notes testament to an excellent talk and speaker.


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