Richard Hyde, 56, ran a successful creative business, but it wasn’t his lifetime ambition - that was to become a full-time artist.
So, in order to push his creativity further, he took the decision to quit and retrain at Nottingham College, where he’s now studying the BA (Hons) Art and Design Top-up Degree.
We chatted to him about his experiences at College and his future goals:
Why choose Nottingham College?
“It was an easy decision. Nottingham is one of the leading creative hubs in the UK and the College sits right in the centre of it. The College offered an Access to Art and Design course which I took initially as I had no previous fine art experience. Being in amongst so many other creatives in the city is a real bonus.”
How do you feel you've benefitted from studying at College rather than university?
“The course is very good value and we have small classes and continuous one to one support. Nothing is too much for the tutors. We also have our own large spacious studio for our dedicated use. All these factors have made returning to college far easier, given the challenges we have faced this year.”
What do you love about the degree course?
“There is a genuine friendliness on the course and in the College as a whole. We are in a very supportive environment and the tutors continually inspire us and help us on our creative journeys, no matter where we are or where we have come from.”
What opportunities have you been given at College?
“We have been very lucky to have exhibited at the Djanogly Gallery and at the National Justice Museum, both in Nottingham. The experience of setting up, curating and marketing these events has been invaluable. As well as this, we’ve had countless talks from visiting artists giving their spin on how to survive in the art world. I personally feel very well informed about the world I will be stepping into.”
Has the course helped prepare you for the industry?
“Personally I came from industry and I’ve left that part of my life behind to focus on fine art exhibitions, consultancy and some commercial work. However, the talks from experienced artists and curators have added a solid understanding of how to prepare for a career in art. The final year that I’ve just entered has a real focus on consolidating our practice, our portfolio, our business acumen and social media presence — all very useful life skills.”
“My dream would be to forge a career undertaking some commercial work but also gain a reputation as an exhibiting artist. During lockdown I’ve submitted work for a number of open calls and exhibitions, with some success both locally and nationally.”
One final piece of advice to other budding artists out there?
“I would encourage all early career artists to keep on submitting work and not to be downhearted with the inevitable lack of initial success. Persistence really does pay off.”