Has anyone ever told you what actually happens after art school? The ‘are you going to be an art teacher?’ question is commonly asked by friends and family. What else is there really? This week Central Station has asked art school graduates to share what they’ve been up to since their graduation in the Life After Art School series.

Ryan Esson

Ryan Esson is a filmmaker and recent Duncan of Jordanstone graduate with a degree in Time Based Art and Digital Film.

Having graduated art school less than 6 months ago, life as an art graduate has not been the most glamorous experience so far. A full year is spent working tirelessly on one project which the previous 3 years of your life have been leading up to. It all ends with a big exhibition and you’re given your final grade for your 4 years of work.

Ryan Esson - Walk

I feel that I needed to take a little bit of time away from studying and even art. So I have moved to Glasgow and taken the first job I could find to support myself. Glasgow is a very raw and creative city with many opportunities, so I feel that it could be the perfect environment for an art graduate.

Ryan Esson - Air and Space

My final year work “The Void” is still my main artistic focus as I am going to be showing it again at The Royal Art Gallery in Edinburgh on the 5 December, having won The Society of Scottish Artists award. This is a great opportunity and gives me an even larger audience to show my work to. I have also been working on some of the principles and ideas behind The Void and trying to look into them further and create a better experience than before. I have been trying to explore old ideas, but with a new outlook or spin. I have had some time to step back from it all and pick out the points I feel work well and I think that this has been helpful.

Ryan Esson - Void Air

Ryan Esson - Air in the void

In my opinion, the hardest part about having left university would be trying to stay motivated whilst holding down a full time job. Setting yourself goals and searching for opportunities is key to pushing yourself to create. I am thankful for the response that my work has received and this has really driven me again to be more creative with my work.

The Void – Ryan Esson

Comment below or on Twitter using #LifeAfterArtSchool & mentioning @CenSta with your experience after art school.

Stay tuned for updates from art school graduates all this week. In the meantime see a preview of what to expect from the Life After Art School features here.

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