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Pen­ny Efs­tathiou – Fine Art Prac­tice Foun­da­tion Degree

Person smiling

The small­er class sizes and sup­port from my tutor on-hand if I need it, suit­ed me much bet­ter than a large uni­ver­si­ty setting. 

Pen­ny — Fine Art — 

Having spent 30 years working in the hospitality industry, 57-year-old Penny decided the time was right to put down her apron and pick up her paintbrush to pursue a career as a professional artist, something she has enjoyed as a hobby for many years.

I think it’s real­ly impor­tant to keep chal­leng­ing your­self with learn­ing and I think it helps to keep you young. If you real­ly want to do some­thing in life, you should work hard and just go for it. 

 — Pen­ny

It’s been 40 years since Pen­ny was in edu­ca­tion but she didn’t let this put her off. With a lit­tle encour­age­ment from her daugh­ter, she enrolled onto the Access to High­er Edu­ca­tion Art, Design and Fash­ion course at Col­lege and then pro­gressed to the Fine Art Prac­tice Foun­da­tion Degree.

Because I’m a bit old­er, there was a gen­er­a­tional aspect, but at Col­lege you find your­self amongst a real diverse group of peo­ple of all ages and back­grounds, which I found refresh­ing. Plus, it’s been great to get a younger per­spec­tive on things. For me per­son­al­ly, I am far more com­fort­able and relaxed in a small pond’ rather than a big pond’, so the small­er class sizes and sup­port from my tutor on-hand if I need it, suit­ed me much bet­ter than a large uni­ver­si­ty setting.”

Many of the lec­tur­ers at Col­lege are expe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als them­selves, with great indus­try con­tacts, and plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to com­plete live indus­try design briefs, as well as the chance to exhib­it their work externally.

I exhib­it­ed my art­work at the Djano­gly Lake­side Arts Gallery last year, as part of the Harold Gilman Show, which was the most amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. Lake­side is a rep­utable and estab­lished gallery so to have my work on dis­play there was bril­liant and some­thing I’m very proud of.

My tutor, Tom, has a great net­work of peo­ple and he’s always will­ing to share his per­son­al expe­ri­ences as a prac­tic­ing artist, as well as invite pro­fes­sion­als into the Col­lege to share their knowl­edge too.”

Penny And Work

Pen­ny is a mem­ber of the all-female Bentinck Art Stu­dios in Not­ting­ham and in the future she’d like to apply to the Turps Banana Art School in Lon­don to gain even more expe­ri­ence and build her body of artwork.

The course has giv­en me so much con­fi­dence and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore dif­fer­ent medi­ums which has been great, but my heart is in paint­ing and I’d like to build on the skills I’ve learnt to progress even fur­ther if I can.

With­out this course and the expe­ri­ences I’ve had, I don’t think I would have dreamt I could make it in the indus­try, but I think it just goes to show, that if you feel pas­sion­ate about some­thing and will­ing to give it a go, then nothing’s impos­si­ble and it’s nev­er too late.” 

Dis­cov­er more about Pen­ny and her art­work on her web­site: www.penelopefineartist.online/

Look­ing for a change of career like Penny?