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A Professional Portrait by Ferren Gipson

Social Media Marketer for Art UK and an art historian

Art UK

Digital

Published: 29th January 2019

What inspired you to pursue a career in the arts? 

I initially came to my interest in art through my interest in history. I always saw art as a visual way of engaging with cultures and histories. Interests turn into research, and my research turns into a career. Next thing you know – BAM! – you’ve become an art historian.

 

Can you tell us a little about your role? 

I look after the social media for Art UK, an arts charity focused on digitising the UK’s public art collections. My aim is to use social media channels to highlight art and artists within these collections. That also includes hosting a podcast series called Art Matters where I speak with experts on various topics to find how pop culture intersects with art.

 

What does your average day entail? 

I have different routines for different days of the week. On Mondays, I do a lot of scheduling for the posts I know will come up over the week. On a Tuesday I may be working on putting our newsletter together. I don’t typically work on Wednesdays, which is when I try to work on my PhD research. The podcast comes out every other week, so on the weeks before episodes, I’ll spend most of that week editing audio and writing the accompanying story for the site. The rest of my time is spent planning and engaging with people/trends on our social channels.

 

How did you get your job?

I’ve worked for years in digital marketing and my current role is a good marriage of my skills and interests. My first marketing job happened by accident – I was hired to do a different job and showed an aptitude for marketing. I was fortunate to get a boss that was happy to mentor me in switching to marketing, and that switch has steered the course of my career.

 

What is the best part of your job?

Thinking creatively about how to engage with art. I’d say the podcast is my favourite channel.

 

What is the hardest part of your job?

I think there’s a steady level of anxiety that comes with managing an organisation’s social media accounts. I want to make sure that what I say is always accurate, considerate and engaging (to the best of my ability).

 

What has been the highlight of your career?

Getting accepted into my PhD programme was a highlight. I know this must be true because I cried unexpectedly and that’s quite out of character for me.

 

What is your favourite Artwork?

I don’t know the answer to this question. The answer used to be Gustave Courbet’s The Painter's Studio: A real allegory summing up seven years of my artistic and moral life and, while I still love this work, I don’t think I have a favourite anymore.

 

Which artist would you have liked or would like to meet?

Ai Weiwei, perhaps?

 

What advice would you give to people trying to enter the art industry?

If you don’t have experience, try to create experience through an online presence. Start a blog or an Instagram account, for example, and talk about your interests.

 

If you weren’t in the art industry, what would you be doing? 

When I was deciding on a major for university, I was weighing up maths and art history, so maybe the answer is something maths related.