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It’s the Final Countdown! DaDa DoDo, DaDa Doot DahDo!

The temperature’s rising, there’s tension in the air (accompanied by the strong smell of turpentine and emulsion) and art schools all around the country are busier than ever. This is degree show season!

With degree show openings just around the corner we thought, since we’ve all been there, we’d give our art student buddies a little friendly advice to help them survive the tests and stresses of the final submission. So here goes:

Tip No 1 – Eat regularly or buy a degree show outfit that’s one size too big.
2 out of 3 of our web monkeys managed to jump from Paperweight to Middleweight during the final round of their degree submissions. The reason? Forgetting to eat throughout the day then ordering a large pizza about 10pm because they didn’t have time to cook (accompanied by a few beers of course). Great for relieving stress, not so great just before you go to bed.

Tip No 2 – Take breaks when trimming & mounting.
From pulsating knees to slicing off the end of a finger there isn’t a member of the Artstore team that hasn’t had their fair share of injuries due to some last minute mounting. We all agree that, when it comes to trimming your work, regular breaks are strongly advised both to avoid injuries such as the cutting claw (this is when your fingers lock into a claw like shape due to the sustained pressure needed to hold your ruler in place) and letting your work take the hit whether it’s a miss cut or worse, blood splatters!

Remember sharp blades make light work…and a safety ruler is a must! You have been warned!

Tip No 3 – Don’t forget the liquin and alkyd mediums.
A must for all painters, fast drying mediums like liquin and alkyd gels are perfect if you’ve decided that you need to squeeze out one last masterpiece before the show. By accelerating the drying time of oil paint, they allow you build up layers faster and should mean that your painting is touch dry by opening night.

Tip No 4 – Don’t forget the red dots and a price list.
After all that hard work, a little bit of cold hard cash makes a nice reward. If you plan on selling some work at your show we strongly recommend that you create a price list before opening night. In our experience, the public are very reluctant to approach artists for a price so best make things as simple as possible so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to sell. Also don’t forget the red dots!

Tip No 5 – Enjoy it.
With all the work you’ve got on your plate it’s easy to forget that degree show is the beginning of your career not the end. In hindsight, we all loved every minute of it (minus a few hissy fits and hairy moments) and we hope you do too.

Good Luck to all this years graduates! Although we’re sure you won’t need it.

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