Get Busy! One-to-one Sessions

For the next six months we’ll be running a series of one-to-one sessions for members looking to start a new business, change career path, or adapt their offer for these crazy Covid times. 

Book a twenty minutes slot with an expert who can offer you advice in the following areas: 

November – Creative Career Coaching with Sarah Lister 

Tuesday 17 November, sessions available 1–2pm | Wednesday 25 November, sessions available 5.30–6.30pm

Career coach Sarah Lister can answer your questions around where to start when it comes to launching a new business or changing career, whatever stage of the process you’re in.

December – Budgeting and Tax with Jamie Brown

Wednesday 9 December, sessions available 12-1pm | Tuesday 15 December, sessions available 5.30–6.30pm

Ahead of January’s deadline to submit your information to the tax man, speak with Jamie from Amberdene Accountancy about your queries.

January – Writing a Business Plan with Anna Kime

Thursday 14 January, sessions available 12-1pm | Wednesday 27 January, sessions available 5:30–6:30pm

Career Consultant Anna Kime will answer your questions about the process of writing a plan for your new business, or reworking/ putting one in place for your current practice.

February – Finding Funding with Pamela Johnson

Thursday 18 February, sessions available 12-1pm | Wednesday 25 February, sessions available 5:30–6:30pm

Talk through your options when it comes to funding with consultant Pamela Johnson who can offer advice on where to find the funding pots that are right for you and how best to go about applying.

March – Online Branding with Heather Ditch

Tuesday 16 March, sessions available 12-1pm, | Tuesday 30 March, sessions available 5:30–6:30pm

If you’re looking for a way to make your brand stand out, especially amongst all of the competition online, brand planner Heather Ditch is here to help.

April – Online Marketing with Neil Hale

Tuesday 20 April, sessions available 1–2pm | Wednesday 28 April, sessions available 5:30–6:30pm​

Something tells us that making the most of the internet as a tool for advertising your business is going to be pretty valuable over the coming months. If you’d like to speak to a pro, Neil Hale is a digital marketing consultant ready to answer your questions.

Meet Our Members: Sarah Lister

SCG member Sarah Lister recently started a newsletter that shares career change stories from Sheffield and beyond, and documents her career coaching sessions on foot in the Peak District.

Photo by Sam Devito

Why I started writing a newsletter

I’d been thinking about starting a newsletter for a long time, but I didn’t rush into it because I wanted to put some thought into it and make sure that I had time to spend creating it. I talk about my career coaching work on Instagram and Twitter, but I think that only shows a taster of what I do and why. By starting a newsletter I think that I can connect with people who are interested in the topics in a better way, allowing for more depth. I want to offer greater value to the people who don’t just want to scroll past the social media posts.

How I aim to make it unique

I don’t want it to be one of those newsletters that remains unopened in busy email inboxes. I want it to be an email that people look forward to receiving, opening and interacting with. Rather than going for click bait, I am working towards creating valuable content with an approach that encourages people to get involved by answering questions, joining discussions, contributing stories or career change interviews, and by asking readers to make suggestions to make it better. 

Each newsletter starts with a coaching question, which aims to get people thinking at the very beginning. Rather than offering up advice or tips, I ask the reader to explore their thoughts and to write them down or share them. Straight away the newsletter becomes an interaction and promotes curiosity of thought.

All of the newsletter content comes from my own work and the interviews that I share through my podcast and blog. Instead of sending people a series of links, I explain why I have interviewed my guest and how we met, and what subjects are covered. I really enjoy this personal approach because it tells readers the purpose behind my actions, and also reminds me why my work is important to me. 

In each issue I share a coaching walk session of the week, where I showcase the places that I take people during my coaching sessions. It’s an opportunity for subscribers to get some insight on what they would experience or see during a session with me. It’s a great opportunity for me to experiment with my photography and creativity, as I always include a different photo. I much prefer using my own pictures rather than stock images.

Photo by Sam Devito

Who I want to reach

I always bear this in mind when I start writing my newsletter. I know that it isn’t for everyone, so I think about who I am talking to when I write it. I reflect back on the time that I so wanted a career change but I didn’t know where to start with it and it felt overwhelming to even think about it. 

I want to reach people who are at the beginning stages of thinking about a career change but who don’t know where to begin – whether that’s because they don’t know what they want to do, they are worried about making a big change after years of doing the same work, or because they are fearful of making the wrong move and regretting it. And instead of saying – here’s some advice you should do this – I ask questions and get really curious about why they want a change, how they want to make an impact through their work, and what’s stopping them.

Where the inspiration came from

I decided to create my newsletter using Substack after subscribing and reading Unslush newsletter by fellow SCG member Iain Broome. I really enjoy the way that he puts his content together, makes it interactive and user friendly. I found his approach fresh and fun, which inspired me to get on with creating my own newsletter. 

You can take a peek at my newsletter and subscribe or share it with someone who keeps talking about a career change. If you have any questions or comments please send them to [email protected] My podcast is About The Adventure and if you are interested in sharing your career change story please get in touch to be featured on there, or as a blog post if you prefer. I recently interviewed fellow Guild member Doug Banks about his work as a professional photographer.

Meet Our Members: Sarah Grace Dye

Pioneer SCG member Sarah Grace Dye has been busy during lockdown – she sent us an email from Germany to let us know what her practice has looked like the last few months.

I came to Frankfurt, Germany for a visit to see friends at the end of February and kind of got stuck. It’s actually been great though and although everything I had planned got cancelled I have found ways to develop my practice and take part in projects. I found myself stranded with very few materials or money and all the shops closed! The first thing I did was develop a way of making my own sketchbooks using free magazines from a book-swap, some white paint and thread. They have been so successful I won’t go back now…

With one of the books I made I decided to document the view out of each of the windows in the apartment I’m staying in and create time-lapse videos of the process. I have been invited to be part of an exhibition later this year in France with these drawings.

I make books as part of my practice and regularly take part in a monthly book arts challenge on Instagram called Are You Book Enough?. We respond to a word and create a book post on Instagram before the end of the month, then choose our favourite nine to share with the community. This has kept my practice going and pushed my imagination. Having very few materials at hand, I’ve had to be inventive!

I was supposed to be in Canada right now as part of a residency exploring drawing and book arts but that was not possible. However, myself and my friend Cat Silvertsen (artist and contact in Canada) came up with a way to complete the residency online. We’ve been having zoom studio sessions using our laptops so we can see each others’ faces and then our phones rigged up to film our tables to show what we’re working on. It’s worked really well and we’ve had some great sessions. The outcome of this collaboration will be at least one book for our collection here at the Artist Book Centre in Sheffield and we are hoping to hold a follow-up residency in Sheffield next summer.

And finally I am off to Iceland tomorrow to take up a two week drawing residency which has come about because of Covid-19. My friend Victoria Miguel, a curator and writer based in London, had a residency lined up to write in Reykjavik but as she lost all her earnings from March onwards she could not afford to accept it alone. She hatched a plan for me to join her and draw what I encounter, much as I have done in Frankfurt (and do wherever I travel) and she will write. That way we both get to share costs and have time to create a new body of work.

Keep up to date with Sarah’s travels in Iceland.

Meet Our Members: Will Rea

Guild member Will Rea tells us about the challenges and successes of his most recent project, a giant 50 x 30ft mural at Sheffield’s Orchard Square.

All photos by Joe Horner

It’s been a whirlwind of a journey since graduating from the BA Illustration course at Sheffield Hallam University in 2019. One shift from pursuing illustration part-time to full-time, one career changing commission and one global pandemic.

In September of last year, before ‘the new normal’, I was working my first graduate job at a screen printers in Kelham. Part time printing, part time working as a freelancer illustrating, animating and painting signs for Union St. It was around this time that I applied for an open call commission; to pitch for a public artwork project at Orchard Square shopping centre in Sheffield. After having lived in the city for four years, I’d been immersed in the existing public artwork scene and I  wasn’t confident that my submission would go anywhere. I had done some small scale projects for clients, such as The Showroom Cinema, Bungalows & Bears and The Leadmill, but nothing on the scale of this project. I thought that it would possibly get lost under a pile of people that had the portfolio to prove they could pull off a project like this. To my astonishment I was wrong. My application was shortlisted, then shortly after I won the life changing commission from London Associated Properties and Museums Sheffield.

Within one week of getting the news, I realised that I couldn’t juggle a day job and also paint a 50 x 30ft mural across a shopping centre facade. So unprepared but very excited, I quit my day job and entered the world of full time freelancing…

As the Orchard Square public artwork commission had been my first ever external mural, there were a few things I realised I hadn’t taken into account. These mainly included the fact that it’s a bad idea to paint in the winter; that a project of this scale takes a lot of time; and that I was terrified of heights. Nevertheless I decided to get the fixed scaffolding installed in October and predicted a deadline of four weeks until completion. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get it finished in four weeks, but I did manage to overcome my fear of heights way sooner than that.

Dodging all the rain, hail and snow I managed to get the first phase of artwork successfully installed by March. Massive thanks go out to my girlfriend Georgia and graduate friends Andrew, Callum and James for assisting with the painting. We spent countless days shivering with brushes in hand, and countless evenings with head torches on working into the dark. But it all paid off in the end. 

Shortly after finishing, the world went into lockdown. Sadly the gates to Orchard Square were closed and the public were kept away from coming down and looking at my newly painted piece. It was a strange feeling and an even stranger time, that I’m sure everyone can relate to. There was a bit of self-doubt felt during this period too. A lot of wondering whether going freelance was a good idea and a lot of wondering what  on earth I’d got myself into… Somehow I managed to pick up a few digital commissions during this time with some very appreciated clients that kept me afloat. 

 Back to the present and  things are back on track. The gates are open at Orchard Square, so visitors are free to  head down to see the piece in person. I’ve also recently gone back to work: I’ve installed a second phase of artwork to the back wall in Orchard  Square, and moved onto my next public artwork commission. It’s been so enjoyable working on external painting projects in these summer months. Especially now I know what I’m doing. 

Follow Will online: Twitter / Instagram / willustration.co.uk