Self Employed

Self Employed

info Issues viewing the video?

Andrew D

00:02 My name is Andrew D and I am currently a potter working and living near Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

00:09 My school days were happy ones they, I enjoyed school. I wasn’t a star at school I think there are teachers who would look at where I am now and, and be amazed. I mean my father was a teacher at the school so he had an academic side to him.

00:29 And my first degree was in computing science and I did a sandwich degree. I was fortunate enough to go and work for a company in Germany, which was a government research organisation. I started reading around various sort of bizarre subjects within computer science and got hooked on something called functional programming and went back to the university and did my final year and then after that I had a proper job lined up but I didn’t want to do that I wanted to do research, I wanted to do my own thing, something that was interesting and I had in my mind that, that the way to do that was to go on and do a PHD and that’s what I did.

01:13 Throughout the career I’ve been fortunate enough that  the longest I’ve spent in any particular aspect in my career was 8 years and which is not a great deal of time if you think of people for companies for 35, 40 years you know they fall into a company when they could leave school and leave when they retire. I’ve done lots and lots and lots of different types of things and each time there’s been a learning aspect to it.

01:41 I had always bought a lot of pots, glassware and you know various works of art and things. I started doing an evening course about 4 or 5 years ago and wasn’t particularly good at it either when I got there and all of a sudden things seem to click and to be able to make them it was just a revelation really.

02:04 This is how I intend to make a living, it’s not a very good living I must admit it’s, you’ll never get rich from it. Unfortunately I’d got to a point in my career where things had started to click and made a bit of money and just worked out that I could stop and start doing something else instead.

02:26 My parents were very, very, maybe and that’s because they enjoyed what I was, they liked the choices that I’d made perhaps. If I’d gone, if I’d decided to be a potter at that time maybe they would have pushed me in another direction.

02:44 And going on and doing a PHD I know they were, they were very proud of me and, and pleased that I’d done that. But there was absolutely no pressure there at all. I followed the route that I wanted to follow. I mean most of the mentors that have come recently that decision to move from one career into another came from working and talking with, with other potters basically who convinced me that it was time to make that step and I was ready.

03:18 It’s a nice life, it’s very, you know cyclical life of making and glazing and firing and then clearing up and then going back to that. So there’s, there’s definitely a routine but within that routine there’s a lot of freedom, which I enjoy. The biggest problem with pots is making money.

03:41 I’ve always got the old career to fall on I think if I run out of money then I can always go back to what I’ve done before.

Andrew D left a career to become a self employed Potter. He says, "This is how I intend to make a living, it's not a very good living I must admit you'll never get rich from it. Unfortunately I'd got to a point in my career where things had started to click and made a bit of money and just worked out that I could stop and start doing something else instead".

More information about Artists

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

63%  male 
37%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Artists create artistic works using appropriate techniques, materials and media; design artwork and illustrations; and restore damaged pieces of art.
No specific academic qualifications are required although a variety of vocational qualifications, degrees and postgraduate courses are available. Entry can be based upon portfolio work.
  • Conceives and develops ideas and ways of working for artistic composition;
  • Selects appropriate materials, medium and method;
  • Prepares sketches, scale drawings or colour schemes;
  • Builds up composition into finished work by carving, sculpting, etching, painting, engraving, drawing, etc.;
  • Approaches managers of galleries and exhibitions in order to get finished work displayed;
  • Uses artistic skills to restore damaged artworks;
  • Liaises with writers and publishers to produce book illustrations;
  • Markets and sells finished work directly to customers;
  • Produces works on commission basis for clients.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Libraries, etc 26538
Arts & entertainment 5774
Computer programming, etc 5473
Office admin. 5388
Other personal service 3345
Membership organisations 3242
Publishing activities 2801
Head offices, etc 2587
Advertising, etc 1172
Retail trade 1048
Employment status
Skill importance

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: