Izzie Arrowsmith

Art and Design: Interdisciplinary Practices MA

Izzie returned to education to pursue her passion for art by enrolling in BCU's Art and Design: Interdisciplinary Practices MA program, where she gained invaluable support, resources, and skills, leading to her current role as Commercial Development Coordinator at Stryx Gallery. 

“I took a few years break after my undergraduate degree, but decided I really wanted to push forward with my art practice so I could start making money doing something I enjoy. So, I started researching MA courses in 2019. BCU's Art and Design: Interdisciplinary Practices was one of the first that I saw, and I applied immediately. I really liked the option to explore different disciplines from a design perspective and figured that would give me the best chance of employment after graduation.

My experience at BCU was really positive. My course leader was a great source of support and made everything clear and well-structured, and it catapulted my practice to the next level. I also had access to a range of technical facilities and resources that helped push my practice in the direction it now takes.

Now, I work for Stryx Gallery as their Commercial Development Coordinator. I oversee their new site in the Jewellery Quarter, which entails managing the cafe, dealing with studio and gallery hires, social media, and activities and events which take place in the space.

My experience since graduating has been surprisingly positive. I imagined it would take a long time from graduating to having an art-related job, let alone a successful personal practice, but it hasn't even been two years yet.

I worked at BCU as a junior technician for six months after graduating, which gave me a lot of useful transferrable skills and experience with helping support and develop young artists. I now use these skills every day in my current gallery job.

I'm very lucky to be working in a job that is super relevant to my degree. My arts education has been invaluable to understanding the needs of artists who exhibit and hire with us, and how to advise them on development and installation. There's an opportunity to be creative in everything I do here, which is really rewarding.

I am hoping to stay with the gallery long-term, as I'm really committed to supporting them in their aims to make the art world more accessible to people, alongside my own freelance and commission work.

My proudest achievement since graduating has been creating zoetrope pieces for new US dubstep supergroup MASTERHAND's headline set at Rampage Festival earlier this year. Music has been as much as part of my life as art, and being able to integrate the two, and have so many people see my work, was really fulfilling.

My advice to those considering studying Art and Design at BCU is to go in with an open mind and be willing to learn new things from your fellow students as well as your lecturers. I started working with traditionally printed zoetropes after it was suggested by a peer, so taking other people's ideas into consideration is invaluable.

To my fellow BCU graduates who are just starting out in their careers, don’t look for the job you ‘want’, look for the job that will give you the skills you need, and the rest will follow.

To me, I AM BCU means community! I was fortunate enough to be part of a lovely community of part-time MA students on my course and I'm proud to say they're friends for life.”