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Full Circle Arts Young Artist Development Programme

February 23, 2012

The session aimed to 


Explore the concept of networking in the arts, how it can be used, why it is useful and the potential benefits.

Look at different approaches to networking and encourage group discussion around these.

Provide top ten tips of networking.

Encourage learning throughout the session through practical exercise and group discussion.

Offer a platform where participants revisit how they profile themselves and consider the guidance and networks they require.

Prepare participants to network with professional artists at the March YAD session.

Encourage peer support and feedback to encourage development and confidence.

The day began with a quick call to Monique who would be joining the rest of the group via Skype. We had no previous experience of digital participation for an entire days workshop so at this stage we could only hope that it would prove a success and that Monique would be able to access all material, contribute to discussion and activity as well as feel completely included throughout the day.


We were fortunate on all accounts.

The group continued to explore the Idea of Networking, some more familiar with networking than others and for some networking was of higher priority. All agreed regardless of their position in the arts Networking played an important part in developing knowledge, sharing ideas and presenting oneself as well as receiving support, information and guidance to increase opportunity and develop connections.


“ Networking is making and maintaining connections with those around you ”

The group revisited their goals and how networking could help them to move towards them.

It helped participants to remember their reasons for being part of the Young Artist Development Programme and what they wanted to achieve in the future.

For some that was to increase their knowledge and understanding of arts opportunities, to build on specific skills, improve confidence and to access further arts activities as participants.

For others; to gain an insight into the arts outside their education, to begin exploring the arts industries in a professional context, learning from emerging and established practitioners. Assessing their work, the work of others, their skills, needs and the opportunities available to support their learning.

And for those who are beginning or already establishing themselves as freelance arts practitioners and creative organisations: requiring more specific skill, knowledge and training development to encourage continued development in their careers.

The group continued to think about different types of networking from informal, networking events through to social media, identifying difficulties and strengths, how these platforms could be used to network and highlighting the commonalities. At the core we sensed it was about sharing, communicating image, work and ideas, and engaging in real conversations, listening and questioning to assist moving forward.

The workshop progressed into set tasks. Here consideration of the artist profile, individual statements, goals and needs. All areas had been considered in previous workshops were now proving beneficial when planning and preparing to network.


Time was spent working in pairs, presenting work, profiles, needs and ideas. The group found this practical exercise really useful and soon realised that through informal conversation further information about work, ideas and needs appeared. Natural rapports were built during this time and the exercise highlighted some practical and important things to consider for the future.


Blank Media Presented 


Some Do’s and Don’ts for Networking

DO show your originality

DON’T be negative about peers or industry professionals

DO have a clear idea of what to say

DON’T stick to it too rigidly

DO have an “exit strategy”

DON’T make excuses

DO set goals

DON’T expect too much of people

DO connect people to each other

DON’T be cagey

DO find a networking buddy

DON’T hide behind them

DO connect with people online

DON’T be a stalker

DO read the room

DON’T compare yourself to others

DO target specific people

DON’T dismiss anyone as irrelevant

DO follow your instincts

DON’T be a sheep

The day resulted in all participants having an increased understanding of networking, it’s uses and having developed ways of approaching it that was comfortable, honest and natural to them. Individuals had carefully thought out their reasons, needs and ways of approaching networking through practical exercises and peer support and left the session with further information about themselves and their practice. Online resources were provided for further research and a list of potential networks/organisations that might be of interest to them.

This workshop leads directly to the next session on the Young Artist Development Programme, where a number of arts professional have been invited to present their career journeys and share their current practice and to spend time networking with the group on the Young Artist Development Programme.

If you are an arts practitioner who would like to share your experience and practice with our group, and who missed out on expressing your interest in presenting, we are still welcoming people to attend the second part of the day to network with the those on YAD.

Full Circle Arts would like to say a huge thank you to John Leyland  and a special thanks to Blank Media Collective for hosting this month’s Young Artist Development Session.

We will continue to post info about our sessions here and on twitter.

You are welcome to join us. Professional artists and organisations may have some links, info, opportunities and advice to pass on to the group; other young emerging practitioners are welcome to join the conversation here. Follow @full_circle_art    #fcaYAD

If you have any questions regarding our Young Artist Development Programme please contact 


Note: Vicki McCorkell is no longer a permanent member of staff at Full Circle Arts. Vicki will be working freelance to manage the Young Artist Development Programme until August 2012.  If your enquiry is regarding the Young Artist Development Programme Vicki will reply to you during her working days of Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If your enquiry is regarding anything else, please get in touch with Full Circle Arts. 

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