What advice do you have for school leavers?
It is advisable to get experience where you can. Try volunteering, maybe think about an internship or other work experience to give you a taste of the area you feel you might be interested in. Additionally, reputation should not be underestimated in this industry. Putting yourself out there and making connections is esstential to succeed in the sector. The earlier you do this the more people you will meet!
Gayle Anderson, jeweller and CAD specialist at Appleby Jewellers would give this advice to her youngerself:
“Ask for work experience earlier. One of the biggest challenges in this industry is how to get into it. Get familiar with every jewellery business in the trade from large retails jewellers to independent makers. Go to trade shows as a student and talk to makers and see how they got started. Ask around to see if you could help out in more than one workshop even one day a week. This will give you a great feel for what the day to day work is like in different kinds of environments. It’s important to know what you’re signing up for before you commit to the career. It is also important to have a clear goal in mind of what kind of work you want to be doing so you can make the right education and career decisions along the way to get you to that goal. Invest in yourself and don’t undervalue yourself!”
What advice do you have for graduates?
The time after graduation is a key one. There are lots of opportunities for recent graduates including awards and grants. Do your research and find out what supports are there and make the most of them (often they can be time limited i.e. only available up to two years after graduation). DCCoI run Future Makers, an annual awards programme supporting students and emerging maker www.futuremakers.ie . Tradefairs and shows can be a good place to show your work, for example New Designers: https://www.newdesigners.com/ . Now is the time to raise your profile and make your mark!
Sara Flynn, Ceramic artist:
“Recognise* when you are given good advice and, even when it stings - take it. (*This is the real challenge. Advice from experienced, trusted people rather than everything everyone throws at you!).
Pay a professional photographer for good photography from the start. It is not a question about whether or not you can afford it - it is a statement that you can’t afford NOT to do it.”