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winning an award, selling work and how much artists get paid

JUDGES QUOTE: 'This is a terrific piece in every way, great technique, great message, a great artistic achievement.'

It is incredibly humbling to have won The Signature Art Prize: Drawing & Printmaking category. To have sold my artwork at the exhibition opening in February 2020 left me stunned.

The Degree Art team were amazing, running a smooth and welcoming organisation intended to champion emerging artists.

Though I was shocked and ecstatic to have sold my work for £3500, I, the artist, received merely 35% of the sale price. Those who know me personally know that I am not driven by money and that indeed, I have never had much of it. However, I believe this is a poignant indictment of archaic structures within the art world. I believe that it is important to know your worth as an artist, as to maintain artistic integrity. I can’t help but to feel that the joyous feeling of knowing that someone has spent their hard earned cash on a work that I created has been muddied with a sense of feeling slightly exploited whenever my work sells with commercial galleries. I appreciate that without these galleries it is significantly more difficult to find collectors, but applying hidden fees without any transparency has left a bad taste in my mouth and this is my platform to share my opinion with a few who may care for it.

These are obviously tough and uncertain times for creatives, although I am fortunate enough to finally be able to say that I am a self employed full time artist, I never know how long that will last. Uncertainty is part and parcel of being an artist, to be honest, it excites me and drives me to continuously keep pushing myself. I want to bring my art to people who come from similar backgrounds to me, people that may look like me, or anyone who my work may resonate with. That cannot be achieved if the only way to make a living from making art is to have my work almost exclusively viewed in white upper class echo chambers in parts of London that I can't even afford to buy a pint in. It is a catch 22 but the Arts Council of England provides hope for all of us with ambition and the gumption to push the boundaries. With their help I will be able to focus on making a living whilst bringing my work to new audiences


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