What I learnt from participating in my first Artist in Residence Program

What I learnt from participating in my first Artist in Residence Program

There is so much to be learnt from participating as an Artist in Residence, but before I even get to that I thought it might be wise to explain to you what that actually is. I know as couple of years ago, before I became more aware of the art world, I didn't even know these programs existed. 

Artist is residence programs are unique to each facility, however their common thread seems to be that they give an artist the opportunity create in a space that is away from their normal studio and environment. Some are in a gallery space, and some are in a private residence. Usually an artist will find inspiration to create a new body of work during their residency.  

Here is a brief video which shows a little of my journey.

My art residency was at the Butter Factory Art Centre in Cooroy, where I attended during their opening hours. They have a space on their mezzanine level, where I exhibited my art as well as created. As this is a public art gallery, there was also a steady stream of visitors moving through. This created a wonderful opportunity to talk about my art, my story and my deep purpose behind my art. 

I absolutely loved this experience. I am a big believer in trying new things and taking yourself out of your habitual environments to create change. Having just returned from an outback trip to Eulo, I was fresh and eager to paint. Not surprising my paintings were influenced by the red dirt of the outback and the rugged landscapes. 

I learnt a ton from my two week stint there and here is a snapshot of what I discovered:

1. Talking to a lot of people about your art, helps you get clearer and clearer on your purpose. 

I noticed how easy it was for me to discuss my art when I came from a place of authentic purpose. 

2. Sharing your own story and background, opens up deeper conversations and gives people permission to do the same.

I had some amazing conversations with people which covered some really interesting and personal accounts of their life, and I don't think that would have happened if I wasn't open and authentic about my own story. 

3. I can create anywhere. 

I took minimal paints and tools to paint with, however in between the conversations I managed to create two large paintings and some smaller landscape colour studies. 


4. I like being around people. 

Being an artist can be quite a solitary experience, which has its advantages and disadvantages. What I do know is that as an artist, it is really beneficial to get into the community and chat with people. 

5. I love inspiring others to express themselves creatively.

I was lucky I had a few adults and children come and join me with some painting. I had set up some paper and paints for people to have a play while I was there. Some even painted and scribbled on the large canvasses I was working on. To be honest, with the children, they pretty much went wild once they had access to the paints. With the adults, what I love to do is to teach them to get back to wild creativity just like those children. It is super inspiring when they do!





If you are an Australian Artist here is a website that lists a lot of the Art Residencies available to us - it might be worth checking out.


I can highly recommend The Butter Factory, the start there are lovely and very supportive.

I will be running a workshop later this year at the Butter Factory Arts Centre. If you are interested in attending that or any other workshops I hold in Brisbane, you can add yourself to my email list here. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about my artist in residence experience and what I gained from it. 



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