Industry insights


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Following a BA Music degree, Isabel Murphy got involved in English National Opera and then moved to the Welsh National Opera. Image: WNO, Ne

Working in opera management

Isabel Murphy used her passion for opera after university to help artists, members and staff prepare for tours. She spoke about her career and how she shaped Welsh National Opera's artistic direction.


Mark always wanted to pursue a career in art. Stephen Fry illustration by Mark Boardman.

Being a freelance illustrator

Mark Boardman is a successful artist and illustrator, whose painterly style is distinctive and captivating. He creates book covers, posters and other illustration for editorial.


Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq on surviving in art

Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq's art focuses on being an Asian Muslim deaf woman living in a Western world, and explores how deafness and disability affects our lives. Here is the story of how she worked twice as hard to be on a par with her hearing peers and the advice she has for future artists.


Antony is still very involved in the props workshop. Photo credit Pete Le May

A career in theatre props

Antony Barnett is Head of Props at the Royal Opera House. Hired in the mid-1980s as a prop maker, his role has become more managerial in recent years.


Melissa Cole 1 Photo Mark Somerville © 2011

Working as a blacksmith artist

Melissa Cole is an artist blacksmith, who designs and makes products from metal using traditional blacksmithing techniques.


Sculpting and casting in metal

Making objects from metal casting is a craft that goes back thousands of years. Professional caster James Virgo talks about the process of casting metals and tells us about his creative career.


Shazia Mirza took several years to support herself through comedy.

Shazia Mirza, stand-up comic

Comedian Shazia Mirza offers advice for aspiring performers.


Louise Doughty is a novelist, playwright and critic.

Balancing a writing career

Louise Doughty has written six novels, a non-fiction book, five radio plays, works as a critic and coach, and has been a judge for the Man Booker prize. She spoke about her career in literature.


The Little Mermaid was one of The Rep's theatre productions.

Lighting up the stage

Lighting technicians set up and operate lighting equipment during theatre productions. Both creative and technical, they can use lights to achieve a variety of effects to dramatically alter the mood and shape of a performance.


There are many different ways to get into UX research

User experience research

Hedgehog lab is a global software consultancy that specializes in multi-platform software and connected device innovation. We spoke to Laura, Emily and Caitlin in the User Experience Research (UX Research) team about how they got into the industry and their work on the team.


Tai couldn't find a group of actors to perform improvisations, so he started one.

How to start a theatre group

Tai Ling is the acting Artistic Director for the Improsarios, a theatre group who specialise in creating improvised plays. He spoke about starting up a theatrical enterprise.


A newly visible, richer, skilled workforce.

Beyond Participation

Open Theatre is based in Coventry and works right across the West Midlands region as well as nationally and internationally. It has been developing work with young people with learning disabilities through non-verbal physical theatre for over 30 years. Partnership Manager for the Midlands, Ruth Richardson, spoke to company director Richard Hayhow, to find out more about their work and how they employ young creatives.


Learn backstage skills at the Technical Youth Theatre.

Learning technical theatre

Theatre would be nothing without people working behind the scenes to bring it alive. Chichester Youth Theatre teaches young people the skills they need to work backstage.


Victoria made doily napkin rings from silver

Starting as a silversmith

Silversmith Victoria Kershaw talks about the scheme that helped her set up a studio after graduating, and how she combines silver with unusual materials like concrete and rubber.


Emily Ward has just finished her in-house training to become a reading room advisor.

A career in archives

Emily Ward is an archive assistant at the National Archives in Kew. She is the first point of contact for people who want to use the archives, which hold over 1,000 years of the nation’s records.


Simon Banks talks about his role as an Artist Manager and how he got into the industry.

Working as a music manager

Simon Banks is the founder of SB Management, based in Shepherd’s Bush, who manage several music artists. He describes a regular working day as an Artist Manager.


Local authorities archivist

Ruth MacLeod is the Heritage Officer for the London Borough of Wandsworth. Based at Battersea Library, she looks after the Borough’s archives and local history library. The Heritage Service holds records dating back to 1489.


To become a successful jewellery professional, you need to build your skills in both design and making.

Training in jewellery

Interested in developing the skills for a jewellery career but not sure where to start? Award-winning entrepreneur and London Jewellery School founder Jessica Rose shares three pieces of advice.


Chiara always wanted to work in a gallery setting, and  these two internships helped her to focus her ambitions.

The role of a gallery manager

The job of a Gallery Manager can vary depending on its activities, size, staffing structure and whether it is a public or private space. Two art gallery managers give an insight into their roles.


In 2012, Bruno won the Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design for his work on Frankenstein at the National Theatre.

Working as a lighting designer

Bruno Poet is an award-winning lighting designer who has worked extensively with theatre and opera companies all over the world.


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