Career as a sculptor

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Phil Adams is a sculptor but he does not carve blocks of stone or cast bronze statues. Instead, he sculpts objects out of old caravans and salvaged bits and pieces. He can even hitch his sculptures on the back of a car and tow them from one place to another for exhibitions.

What does your work involve?

My work involves a lot of thinking and practical work with my hands. The kinds of things I make demand a lot of practical wood and metal working skills. A project can be the result of two year's planning, with lots of ideas jotted down and worked on in sketchbooks before I start work with a welding set.

During my course, I developed the idea of using caravans as a medium for my sculpting, and that theme has been part of my work ever since.

Do you sculpt full time?

Not yet – you have to be pretty well known to do this all the time. I augment my living by teaching students three-dimensional design at a college. Also, I work on set design and model making for film companies.

What do like about your jobs?

I never have time to be bored. I really have a drive to create; it is my vocation. I am constantly looking at the world around me and finding things that I can use in my work.

Do you work a lot on your own?

When I am working on my sculptures I'm on my own most of the time, although I sometimes need an engineer to give me some help with structural problems.

Where do you see yourself going next?

At the moment I am very happy with what I am doing. It would be nice to have the chance to be more creative, and produce more saleable work so that I can do this all the time. I exhibit my work in Europe – the more my work gets seen, the better the chances of my finally being able to make a career working entirely as a creative artist.

Phil's route a career as a sculptor

  • A levels at school, including art.
  • Foundation art and design course at his local college.
  • Fine art degree specialising in sculpture at university.
  • Working in museum setting up displays and exhibitions.

Phil's tips

  • Experience as much as you can in art crafts such as ceramics and pottery.
  • Go to exhibitions and galleries.
  • Try to visualise things in three dimensions.

Sculptor related jobs

Sculptor salary information

  • Very few sculptors make a living solely from selling their work.
  • They may earn a living from other jobs which they fit in with their creative work.
  • Income depends on what people will pay for your work and your reputation.

A career as a Sculptor

  • Many sculptors have an HNC/HND, foundation or degree in some aspect of art and design. Some, though, are self-taught.
  • Working with an established artist or sculptor is a good way of getting experience, learning skills and making contacts.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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