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.

Degree Show - Dominic McIvor
Degree Show

Dominic McIvor is a recent graduate from Edinburgh. He studied Painting at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. Read what he’s been up to since graduating this summer.

I continue to make erasure based drawings that stem from my interest in endurance through ongoing manipulation of paper and labour intensive rule strategies. As well as continuing where I left off from my degree show, I am lucky enough to be working at Leith School of Art as a technician.


After graduating, I went traveling in Spain and Portugal. I felt the trip was beneficial as it allowed me to plan my next pieces, gave me a lot of inspiration and a good rest from the hard work of 4th year. It also gave me time to reflect on my degree show and highlighted the areas I wanted to explore more later on in the year.

Ziggurat - Dominic McIvor

Diptych - Dominic McIvor

The creative environment at Leith School of Art has influenced my work and is an ideal atmosphere for me to learn and share my ideas. It has given me great enthusiasm for my studio work, but also an appreciation of how art schools operate, a behind the scenes look. I was lucky enough to be awarded, from my degree show, a studio at Edinburgh Palette to make a body of work for RSA New Contemporaries. A difficulty for me at the moment is that I don’t have as much time in the studio as I did in art school and therefore have to use the time that I do have appropriately. I do this by creating small deadlines and following plans. It’s different to the way I worked at Gray’s School of Art. At the end of the studio award in the summer, I will be exhibiting at Edinburgh Palette. Ideally I would like to make two separate bodies of work for the two shows.

I am interested in endurance. I use numerical rules to compose repetitive erasure drawings. I have an oil pastel colour set pattern that dictates the drawing and use limited materials and tools to explore ways of reducing and manipulating paper. Therefore, I start with material and reduce it to a fragile state using fixed rules. Due to the scraping away of material, I reuse it to make shelves for models and frames that link with the labour intensive drawings.

Pyramid - Dominic McIvor

Short and realistic goals have made me work well since leaving uni whilst holding down a job. I’m lucky enough to be working in an art school environment which has benefited me as I’m surrounded by inspiration and makes me excited about my own studio work. I am looking forward to RSA New Contemporaries, I’m so thankful for the huge opportunity and the exposure that it will create, I hope it goes well!

Read more about Dominic in this review from the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show.

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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