How to get into the Summer Exhibition? Try this advice

Published 7 July 2015

We asked the artists selected for this year’s Summer Exhibition to share their secrets, and tell us their personal rules for making art. Here’s what they said.

  • One of our missions as an art institution is to champion the practise of contemporary art, and to provide a voice for art and artists. To that end, we’ve been asking the artists at the heart of the Academy – our Royal Academicians, and the artists in our schools – to share their creative wisdom. What does it mean to be an artist, and how do you do it? Now we’re asking the newest members of our artist community, the accepted artists of this year’s Summer Exhibition.

  • Advice for an aspiring artist


    Try to accept the feeling of not knowing what you’re doing, because if you know what you are doing you are not creating.

    Sue A‘Court

    You might think that you need to be in the right frame of mind or have the space to be creative. You don’t, all you need is to be present.

    Azra Iqbal

    Look, listen, feel and follow your instincts.

    Jackie Almond

  • You might think that you need to be in the right frame of mind or have the space to be creative. You don’t, all you need is to be present.

    Azra Iqbal

  • Love to work and feel good about it.

    Michael Davies

    People often confuse what you should be doing with what they think you should be doing.

    Alex Cree

    Daydream often… those ideas that come along while you’re gazing out of the window, catch them. Always carry a notebook.

    Georgia Peskett

  • Daydream often… those ideas that come along while you’re gazing out of the window, catch them. Always carry a notebook.

    Georgia Peskett

  • Never let ghosts haunt you in the studio. We all have our artist heroes, but we can never become them.

    Lisa Takahashi

    Always be prepared to accommodate chance discoveries.

    Melanie Comber

    Those who do not make mistakes do not make anything.

    Stuart Newman

  • Love to work and feel good about it.

    Michael Davies

  • Determination is more important than inspiration. Failure is inevitable, the key is to carry on.

    Carla Groppi

    Every mark and brush stroke should be essential. If it isn’t you are undermining yourself.

    Nicholas Blanning

    Feel and capture the fresh energy from nature, and put it on your canvas.

    Ryutaro Ikeda

  • Every mark and brush stroke should be essential. If it isn’t you are undermining yourself.

    Nicholas Blanning

  • It is easiest to create on waking, before eating or washing. It’s an extension of the dream world and subconscious and the hand flows freely.

    Pamela Silver

    Not quite enough time is very helpful – intuitive decisions are made and they come from a more interesting place, a place to be trusted.

    Merlyn Chesterman

    Best advice I ever got was to “trust the paint.”

    Carol Hodder

  • Don't forget, it's easy to fall in love with one's own way of expression.

    Siw Lurås

  • Nothing ventured nothing gained. Be passionate, confident and original.

    Jean Samtula

    Don’t forget, it’s easy to fall in love with one’s own way of expression.

    Siw Lurås

    Create the work that excites you not something you think someone will buy or expect, but be continually self critical.

    Louise Stebbing

  • Art is...

    Art is the only language through which man has expressed his profound vision throughout the history without borders.

    Shanti Panchal

    Painting is like an iceberg; it’s 1/7th visible but 6/7th subconscious, except it isn’t melting – it’s here forever.

    June Redfern

    Art is the motions and emotions of someone who tries to find a destination in an endless labyrinth.

    Ermioni Avramidou

    It is the role of the artist to dream big; never let your lack of experience, or resources, hamper your creativity.

    Ama Menec

    We want you to be part of our artist community too. Share your Creative Wisdom with us below, or tweet with #CreativeWisdom.

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