What I studied at school
For GCSEs I did maths, English language and literature, science (double award), art, graphic design, geography, French and German.
For A-levels I did art, biology, and AS photography.
I know that I probably wanted to work in the arts so chose the most relevant subjects that my school offered. I also really liked science and maths, but I flunked out of maths as it became too hard!
What I studied after school
I did an Art and Design Foundation Diploma course at my local college and then went to Surrey Institute of Art to study 3D Design Metalwork and Jewellery. Then I did a year’s residency at Bishopsland Educational Trust and then on to the Royal College of Art for an MA in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery.
Balancing money and time is a constant challenge as earnings are never high for the hours that go into the work you do/pieces that you make. I’ve tried to not to get disheartened or take things personally when I’ve applied for projects/exhibitions/commissions etc. and not got them. I didn’t get into the Royal College of Art the first time I applied and this was a real emotional set back, but I tried to work out the weaknesses in my first application and work on these areas so that when I applied again I was in a much stronger position. I’ve also often had to do things that I don’t enjoy or find uncomfortable to move the business forward, such as being filmed and photographed regularly for press articles, which is something I dislike doing on a personal level but is an integral part of promoting my company.