'How Can I Help People through My Art? What Is the Best Way into the HR and PR Industries?' ; THE CAREERS ADVISER
Haydon, Caroline, The Independent (London, England)
Painted into a corner
I have been working for a management consultancy for 10 years, now solely in graphics. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a postgraduate diploma in painting. I have had several exhibitions and have also sold work. I would ideally like to earn a living making my art. But I do need to earn extra money. Is there paying work in London that is art-related? I am interested in helping people through art, and I would consider volunteer work in order to gain experience.
Helping people through art calls to mind art therapy, in which therapists undertake postgraduate study and psychotherapy to help patients through the practice of art.
A slightly different emphasis - more on pure art, which in itself has a therapeutic effect on patients - is involved in the work of a body of people involved in interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives in the arts and medicine. They are encouraged by evidence that the therapeutic effect is real, resulting in physical changes to the body - patients recover more quickly after listening to music, for example.
Durham University has a research body - the Centre for Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine - which leads the way here, but London has the longest-established arts and health network; the Arts in Health Forum (email@example.com) represents all major hospitals, and is working outwards to primary care and community projects.
The larger hospital trusts usually have a health and arts co- ordinator, and there are of course artists placing their work in health environments. Regional officers of the Arts Council should also be aware of local work. Voluntary (at least to start) or even paid work in this new growth area might well be possible. …