Emerging artists and the race to do everything before your 30!

As a, nearly 30 year old, I still classify myself as an emerging artist. But is the art world really catering for me, and why am I so worried about opportunities closing to me once I hit the big 3-0? 

The term emerging artist is banded around a lot in the art world, but what exactly constitutes the term emerging. From someone who self identifies as ‘emerging’ it seems to me like this will no longer apply when I hit 30. I say this because almost every open call I see classifies an emerging artist as being a grad and cuts off when you’re 30. 

For those of you who know a bit about me, I came to the art world a bit later in life due to a radical career u-turn when I was 26. I’ve completed an art foundation and am trying to establish myself in the art world, but now i’m 28, i’m wondering what happens in 2 years, if I don’t become ‘established’, does this mean I can no longer count myself as ‘emerging’ just because i’m ‘old’ in the eyes of organisations who want to give opportunities to younger artists. 

I think there’s so much pressure to have life sorted by the time you’re 30, but in reality life isn’t like this. A job isn’t really for life anymore and god forbid, you change your mind and start a new career, why does it matter what age you are. I watched ‘The Internship’ the other week and yes I know it’s fictional, but the two older guys face so much hostility and are dismissed by the other intern candidates as not being worthy of their place there because they were old. I know it sounds really cliche, but you see through the film how their unique perspective on life, from actually having some life experience, brings something different to the table. 

So don’t discount us ‘#olderemergingartists’ so soon, we really have something valuable to offer!

← Blog