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Pro Practice

Evaluation + Exit Strategy

On the first day of my final year at university, I realized what I want to do. I want to do storm chasing. In the near or far future, I hope to travel and do research in the American midlands in tornado valley. For scientific and artistic exploration and experience, but to do this I will need knowledge and guidance from experienced chasers as well as my own educated knowledge on meteorology and weather. Not only will I need a practical understanding of how nature creates destructive beauty and how to stay safe while chasing after it, but I need money or funding to accomplish any of it. So, this goal is one I can’t put a timeline onto yet, only an idea of where I am headed and my options for how to get to them.

Ways I’ve reached out with my work is by submitting 2 double page spreads to two zines. One was through a fellow student at UWE, The Prompt Collective, for the week 7 prompt Bloom and Viva Magenta. The other was through a friend from London UAL, the 7/11 Food Aisle, for their prompt We Dance in Sleeping Bodies inspired by the poem by Ocean Vuong. I have also started promotional ideas such as business cards, postcards and small trinkets which require time I cannot give at this stage of my student degree. Other ways I have started a professional practice is by making three portfolios, one for designs, publishing and sketches and other various art.  My website contains all of my work over the three years of my course, and a page dedicated to all of my Pro Practise work. Posts on my social medias promote the exhibition and my final art diary book. To start a brand image I created a logo and signature which I made into a stamp for paper work and final art pieces. I will use these stamps for my business cards and various promotional work that will be present at my exhibition. I also designed an idea for a reader but could not realistically accomplish the concept with the time I had remaining.

My first step after finishing my illustration degree is to start working. Small menial jobs whilst finding contacts through new friendships or connections through online platforms and communities, locating charities and funders here in the UK and in the USA who can aid me with finance, or even creating a proposal for a grant or travel scholarship. Places such as the Gane Trust can give support to artists for various things, such as travel. This is one avenue I can take starting right after university. Another way is to apply for a degree in meteorology at universities located in American states such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which have the best meteorology courses to attend. This option would mean years of studying abroad, applying for an undergraduate degree, and then a master’s to be titled as a meteorologist and scientist. This is an option I am least attracted to as it requires further education, and the costs would be extremely high compared to the income I would make only chasing storms and using all the resources required for traveling such as fuel and electronic tools. I would prefer an option that is for a shorter period of time, going for a few seasons (between March and September every year when tornadoes and storms are more active), and gaining hands-on experience with a team and community of people.

Many storm chasers get into their field by going out and recording storms themselves, either with no educational background in meteorology or having a masters in it. There are communities that support one another and get paid to give their research and findings to scientific institutes, universities and media companies in TV, radio, and online platforms. Artists and photographers can be sponsored by nature and news media outputs such as the Discovery Channel, News networks such as the Weather Channel, CBS, CNN, Fox, BBC and NMS (The Met Office). Famous storm chasers I would love to work with are celebrities in their field, so realistically I would most likely be working with fresher faces in the storm-chasing world, or with a research team from an institute. But these famous chasers I hope to one day collaborate with are Reed Timmer, Sean Cameron Casey and Pecos Hank. Reed Timmer and Sean Cameron Casey have worked with the Discovery Channel on ‘Storm Chasers’ and have an online presence that is very successful. Pecos Hank is a musician and photographer who has documented his chases on YouTube creating a big following with his artistic and high-quality videos which I admire greatly.

Storm chasing is a dangerous activity, not just the risk of the weather and natural disasters, but from spending all day if not weeks on the roads driving across the country. I will need support from many places, and I have not started towards finding any until my degree is completed. For now, and for the close future I plan to work and create art until I can start promoting myself and getting funding with a professional portfolio and CV, showing the art I hope to create from my time researching (making a proposal) and from working in volunteer groups and institutes I can apply myself to with the level of understanding I currently have.

My other aspirations and plans are to be an Art Director for design. I have no certainty in what or who I would be working for, but I want to one day oversee a project and have my vision used and applied to something big and ambitious. Architectural and interior design is one of the subjects I would like to work with. This could mean applying for an architectural degree which is several years of training and education or being the artistic visionary, which gives inspiration and ideas to institutes, design companies, and architects who will continue my ideas into a realistic and viable design. Firms I would consider working with or for are Fosters and Partners who do large artistic design architecture, and Studio MB who do museums and heritage sites.

Other places I want to work in are entertainment. Be it in a broad area in media and film with Universal Pictures or in theme parks and museums with Universal Studios, Disney or Sea World, and independent aquariums. I have a variety of interests I could explore and with time between now and becoming an art director, it would mean decades of experience and development and time designing an artistic project that can be taken up by commission or through design competitions.

My Presentation for pro practise

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