Top Tips for your End of Year Show
Creative courses all seem to culminate in the same way. Whether you’ve just finished an Art Foundation or you’re coming to the end of your degree you’re probably going to be preparing for your End of Year Show. But… why? What is the purpose of an End of Year Show, and what are you hoping to achieve?
An unhealthy amount of pressure is placed on students graduating from a creative degrees to use their End of Year Show to make industry connections and get a job. Not only is this highly unrealistic but it also damages the experience of the students, who can’t stop to enjoy their End of Year Show for fear of missing out on an opportunity.
Your End of Year Show is a celebration of everything you have achieved. It’s a chance for friends and family to see the gems of your efforts and for you to finally take a deep breath and acknowledge everything you have accomplished.
Many End of Year Shows are now partially or entirely online, but we’re going to cover 5 tips that you should be able to utilise whether your show is digital or physical.
– Effectively Communicate Your Talents
– Being Accessible
– Looking Closer For Opportunities
– Measuring Success
– Raise a glass
Effectively Communicate Your Talents
Not everyone who comes to view your work ‘gets it’. You have spent hours in classes, tutorials and lectures and you now have an encyclopaedic knowledge of your craft. It’s easy to get lost in the specifics so don’t forget to speak quite broadly about what you do, as well as your niches.
For example, you might have an absolute love for narrative comics, your might be a genius at silk-screen printing and you might be a master of colour… but if you don’t state that you’re an illustrator, how many opportunities will walk away?
Unfortunately we’ve seen this mistake made many times but it’s really easy to avoid. Start off by imagining how you’d explain your current job to your 12 year old self, then add extra details on from there to build a rounded picture of your full scope of talents.
Make yourself as approachable as you can. If someone wants to get in touch with you further down the line how will they contact with you?
This covers the basics such as;
- Give an email you will check regularly and that doesn’t filter out ‘spam’ (because it’s not always spam).
- Don’t change your instagram handle, URL or email after submitting it as a point of contact. Or if you do change it, consider using your old one to redirect to your new one.
But also, think about generally how you can make yourself available. Work out what your target audience’s needs are and position yourself to fulfil that need.
For example, if you’re looking to work for a small agency but you know that they don’t often hire new staff then let them know you’re available for freelance projects or internships. They might not have the budget at the moment for a full-time member of staff, but if you’re able to demonstrate how useful you can be through freelance or intern work then you’ll hopefully be top of their mind when they do eventually have the budget to hire.
Looking closer for opportunities
Your peers are not your competition. We cannot reiterate this enough.
Often it can feel like your friends, peers and classmates are your direct competition, especially when the job market is challenging and Universities do things like giving out ‘awards’ to only one student. The fact of the matter is though that many, many of your future opportunities will come via your current peers. Whether they let you know that their current employer is hiring, recommend you for a project or share the resources that helped them succeed.
Engage positively with your peers now and build strong networks of support for each other. Consider starting joint ventures with your friends, whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time partnership. Discovering the creative industries with a reliable partner or team by your side can be both reassuring and motivating. And starting your own company sounds more intimidating than it is!
There is no way to accurately measure the success of your End of Year Show. If someone has picked up your business card now, or book-marked your website, for a project next year then you have no way of knowing until they contact you.
As you should generally in the age of social media try not to compare yourself to your peers.
Unfortunately, one of the skills you currently need for a career in the creative industries is resilience. Due to the subjective nature of a lot of the work we create, you may find yourself out of more loops than you are in. We’re working as hard as we can to break down many of the barriers to entry that exist in the creative industries, but being creative with your approach and resilient with your resolve makes the process of joining easier.
Raise a glass
You only get one End of Year Show. It’s the culmination of at least a years hard grind so don’t forget to enjoy yourself too! You’ve earned it! A wee tipple, a cheeky meal out or a long lie in is the least you deserve!
We raise a glass to you, the graduate, and the exciting years you have ahead of you! Whether you’re off to uni, or looking ahead to the beginning of your career; we are proud of you.
Now you’re entering the industry, perhaps consider joining our database of emerging talent to open yourself up to our opportunity pool and stay in touch with our future initiatives!