Founder Charlotte returns to her school to talk to the students about Easel

Written by Charlotte Maxwell

Posted on 30th June 2017


It is always a strange feeling returning to your old school. A heady mix of nostalgia, the feeling that you never left and a barrage of memories you had totally forgotten flooding back all at once. It is a simultaneously lovely but terrifying sensation!

That is exactly what happened to me when I returned to my old school last month to give a speech to the students about what I had been up to in the eleven years since I had left. The last time I was there was my own speech day, so it seemed rather poetic to be returning on the same day.

I was the first year to study History of Art at my school. I didn't fully understand what the subject was and so I went along to a trail day before we had to make our choices. I had anticipated a blossoming career in Psychology, however, after attending the talk by an incredibly inspiring teacher, I was blown away. I fell in love with a subject that encompassed not only interests – Art, English, psychology and history but a whole host of other disciplines: sociology, politics, economics, religious studies, anthropology and many more. My plan changed from there, it became my focus and my passion.

I went on to study History of Art at Edinburgh University and spent a number of years working at Christie's Auction House and then at a Mayfair gallery. Without my initial introduction to History of Art, I could have taken a very different route, however the academic study of art is not the only path to pursuing a career in the art sector. Similar to the number of disciplines History of Art is made up of, a whole host of subjects could lead to a career in the arts. A job in restitution could begin with a passion in history, likewise becoming an art market analyst could begin with the study of economics, the list of examples is endless.

This is what I tried to impress upon the young faces staring back up at me. Increasingly now, students are encouraged to make a decision about their careers or at least eliminate options as young as 15, but how are they supposed to do so without all of the information? If they study X, Y and Z what careers are possible? Some subjects have a simple equation to this question, however not the arts. This is one of the reasons I started Easel and hopefully, if the number of enthusiastic students who spoke to me after my speech is anything to go by, there is an appetite for this knowledge.  

My school will now be offering Easel as a resource to all of their students and not just the ones studying History of Art! If you think your school would be interested in offering Easel to it’s students, please do get in touch. We are trying to reach as many schools as possible and help guide and advice students from all backgrounds.