How to get ahead in the art world
The Art Insider
How to get ahead in the art world



Ellie Davies, artist

The mentoring scheme with Trudie Stephenson has been absolutely invaluable. The sessions have helped me understand where I could look at placing my work within the art market and have given me vital insights on the structure and workings of the art world, and how to identify and approach galleries that are relevant to my work.  I also gained insights into how to price my work, prints sizing, framing, editing, presentation, and the sizing of editions. I was given comprehensive and vital information on how to approach galleries, and how to construct a package, which would appeal to them, incorporating all the necessary personal and professional information.  This expert feedback is not given on MA or BA photography courses so I feel that this program gives its recipients a really tangible and constructive head start, and prepares them for a future in the art world.  The mentoring scheme also built my confidence in talking about my work, and planning for future exhibitions and my forthcoming MA final show.

Rosalind Davies, artist

The impact of the mentoring from Trudie was amazingly beneficial to me. I am an emerging practicing artist, a graduate from the RCA and needed some further support with regards to my professional practice and technical skills that I could not obtain elsewhere. I had come into painting from an unconventional direction. Trudie’s mentoring from the first meeting pushed my work practically and technically in great leaps to a high standard. This in turn increased my own confidence and helped me develop, define and expand my fine art practice.

Advice and contacts were also given to me in terms of appropriate galleries and curators to approach with my work, which is essential and priceless.  The accumulated result of this practical advice, was that I created a new body of paintings and have since exhibited in several prestigious and exciting shows, including a significant group show at Signal Gallery in Hoxton. I have also sold several of my new paintings, one of which was bought by Lady Hollick, Chair of the Arts Council.

Trudie’s professional experience and background in art was invaluable in terms of the mentoring advice that she gave me.  I do not believe my career would have advanced this far without this mentoring and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I would recommend the mentoring thoroughly.

Oliver Hogan, co-founder of artists’ collective LuckyPDF

Trudie's help has been invaluable to my development. I have had several tutorials with her over the course of the year. She has given me practical and conceptual advice as well as putting me in touch with other professionals that have been key to my progression into the professional art world. Graduation is a time that is so crucial and daunting for anybody.

Trudie's help has given me the confidence and support to progress quickly through this, helping me to galvanise my ideas into realistic plans. I am now opening a gallery to help expose other recent graduates and it is a testament to Trudie that this has been possible so quickly after my graduation.

Rizwan Mirza, artist

I have been working as an artist for a number of years. In an increasingly competitive and often aggressive industry, artists like myself, whose work is more ‘quiet’ in nature or less visible, may not have the skills at hand to push into this market. Since working with Trudie, I have gained a greater sense of how my work sits within, not only my own projected long-term ambition, to build up a reputation as an artist (in the UK and abroad), but also within the context of the field of contemporary art. She has introduced me to areas that many artists shy away from i.e. approaching and handling potential obstacles, building relationships with clients/institutions and the reality of finding funding sources. The meetings have also allowed us to analyse individual works and to develop the bodies as a whole and in relation to previous works.

To support personal work, artists have to be practical and find regular sources of income/funding. One has to be pragmatic, not forgetting that dreams/ambitions and reality are often interlinked and these are some things the sessions have covered. Practical issues and the importance of ongoing support in developing an artistic career are often overlooked by the industry and should be more visible and ongoing.

Karen Le Roy Harris, artist

Trudie's experience in the business was a great help to me.  The seminars delivered were great in advising on how to take your art practice to the next level and how to be professional in your approach.  Her one to one mentoring was fantastic and she was able to give me very direct and specific advice, such as where you sit in the market, which galleries to approach and what they are looking for.  Trudie recently advised me when I applied for a large commission in which I was successful.  Her experience in the business was very apparent and her advice was always well informed.  The mentoring gave me confidence to move forward and be taken seriously as a professional.  Trudie was really supportive in offering advice following on from the seminars and I will be signing myself up for mentoring again.  I would highly recommend her to other artists who want direct, practical and professional advice on their practice.

Dr Jasmine Pradissitto, artist

I am an artist who has been in receipt of support from Trudie and I am more than happy to say that it has proved invaluable. The direct mentoring with Trudie, with her experience and contacts, has meant that in the short term I have been able to understand and categorise my own work better and place myself as a visual artist. In the long term, I have been able to identify the correct venues for my work. It has also given me the confidence to communicate with people in the art world and in the same language.

I really do hope that I, and others can continue to benefit from this type of programme, as the art world is a very mysterious place otherwise and without it, few of us could feasibly continue.

Rosemary Cronin, artist

Just last week, I was complimented on the strength and clarity of my artist’s statement, which my mentor had helped me with greatly. It has been incredibly pivotal in articulating my practice as an artist.

My degree show was amazing; I sold some work, gained press attention and secured two commissions. My mentor helped me to prepare for it and I went in all guns blazing, knowing just what to expect. The breakfast private view was particularly daunting, but not only had my mentor told me what type of stuff to say and what to expect, she most importantly gave me confidence.

Olivia Grabowski-West, photographer

I found the service provided by Trudie to be invaluable to me and to my development as a photographer. In an industry that is so broad, competitive and often daunting, the mentoring scheme was like a candle in the dark. My mentor helped me to discover what I needed to do to move my career to the next level and gave me fantastic advice and guidance not only on the technicalities of becoming a professional photographer but also in the more challenging area of the mental strength to deal with all the uncertainties such a career throws up. I have recommended this service to anyone I know, as I have found it invaluable and it has really made a difference.

Leila Stewart, Disability Officer

Wimbledon College of Art Disability Service worked with Trudie Stephenson over two terms, offering a mentoring service to help students prepare for entering the workplace after leaving college. The service was taken up by lots of our students, who have found it very helpful in making them aware of the opportunities available to them in the Art Industry. It has boosted their confidence and support knowing that the service is available to them once they have left Wimbledon.

I would strongly recommend that this support continues and be introduced to other colleges in future. It is extremely important for students to have after care when they finish their degree; many are not aware of what is available or how to go about making the right contacts and gaining the right information so they can continue with their art.  Therefore I feel that Trudie is offering a good service that should benefit many more students to pursue their careers in the art industry.

Jennifer Louise Martin, artist

Trudie has been a great help in giving me the right direction. She has a friendly but professional approach and has really helped me in all areas of my art practice. 

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