CPD For Artists & The Importance of Self Learning for the Solo Creative.

CPD for Artists - is there such a thing? There is. And there are some organisations that can help, but not many are accessible or free. This video is about the importance of artists continuing to learn independently: to encourage creatives take in new skills & develop themselves as well as their practice.

CPD - what is?

Continued Professional Development.  The sticking of our heads out of our studios and into further learning - learning of pretty much anything.   CPD is anything you do beyond your initial training.  In paid employment, it's recognized as an important part of a job. Records must be kept and training notes referred to. For the sole creative though, it's hard enough to keep the spends coming in, let alone learning new stuff.  

I've made a short (well, 4.5min) video below; watch if you wish, but, if not, I fully understand.  Time is short.  So herewith a nutshell of my post about CPD... 

For the first 15 years of my painting career, I stuck my head down and got on with learning by doing.  About 5 years ago, we moved to Suffolk, nearer to friends and family that work in Leadership & Development (L&D).  I watched them go on courses, studying to learn new skills to take into their jobs - and these were already very established folk in their own fields.  For them, CPD is essential - non negotiable - the trainer has to train.  My husband then began retraining to be a Film & Media Lecturer which took him 3 years.  Now fully qualified, I watch and listen with interest about the CPD that he has to do as part of his job - it's part of the gig and everyone has to do it.  All those extra days off school for the children when you thought you might just be able to get back to work after the holidays?  They are PD days - professional development days - CPD, so important that the children stay home for the day for the teachers to further learn.  

I got thinking about my own further learning - or lack of it.  I had never really devoted any time to research anything apart from things I needed for my own paintings and collections of work that I produced.  I began slowly by 'Wilfing' more than anything (that is 'What Was I Looking For?) on the internet and slowly by watching TED Talks, listening to audio books and biographies of art movements and key artists, my knowledge and confidence began to grow.

My advice now is to learn and keep learning.  There are SO many talks, ebooks and courses - some paid & some free.  I also heartily encourage you to look to your local college and adult learning.  There are some great courses about and not too expensive - tell them you are a financially strapped artist (if you are strapped that is) and they might well give you some money off - don't be afraid to ask, but that's another blogpost.

Tags. Cpd for artists, how to be an artist, learning for artists, artists hints and tips, solo creative, samantha barnes, the art retreat

Keywords, artists, solo creative, artist, the art retreat, CPD, continued professional development