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Digital Showcase celebrates Creative Entrepreneurship at Gray’s School of Art

Friday 05 November 2021

Pottery image from Creative Entrepreneurship Graduate, Amy Benzie
A digital showcase celebrating creative entrepreneurship at Gray’s School of Art is now live displaying the work of eleven artists and practitioners who recently completed the Look Again Creative Entrepreneurship Course.

Delivered in partnership between Robert Gordon University's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group and Look Again, the creative unit for Gray's School of Art, the Creative Entrepreneurship course is a fully-funded post-graduate course, providing business development to support creatives in Scotland.

This intensive, eight week course is open to ambitious individuals, sole-traders, free-lancers, small company owners and recent graduates starting up or looking to take their existing business to the next level.

One of the students from the Creative Entrepreneurship course is ceramic maker and creative facilitator Amy Benzie from Aberdeen. Amy, who has been awarded the Potclays Graduate Award, graduated in Ceramics and Glass from Gray’s School of Art in 2016. She is currently Co-Director of the Aberdeen Ceramics Studio and works as a Senior Creative Practitioner with the Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust across a number of Neuro wards in the city.

Amy said: “The Creative Entrepreneurship course is a really focused, short course that offers first class business advice and expertise to anyone starting up in the creative sector. For me as an artist, the course has boosted my business acumen and will really help me transform my business as I move forward. It’s given me the confidence to develop the creative support I offer in my role as a senior artist practitioner with the Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust to patients across the city.”

Another student involved in the Creative Entrepreneurship course is Kimberley Smith, from Inverurie. Kimberley initially studied Architecture at RGU where she discovered a love of drawing traditional architecture. After graduating, Kimberley worked as a project engineer and continued drawing in her free time. After setting up an Etsy shop 5 years ago as a hobby, Kimberley realised that there was a market for her products, so began focusing on growing her business through gaining wholesale clients and marketing. She has recently been featured in British Vogue and has also gifted a painting to Prince Charles.  

Kimberley commented: “I grew up in rural Aberdeenshire where I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time exploring beautiful places, from tower houses such as Crathes castle to the lighthouses on steep cliffs. Each place has its own character and I love bringing these places to life through paintings.

“RGU’s Creative Entrepreneurship Course has given me the opportunity to meet and speak with many like-minded individuals, all at different stages in their business. I was inspired to see how many small businesses have grown into successful ventures and have been provided with many tools and ideas on how to continue to grow my business further. I would recommend the course to anyone who is passionate about turning their creative business idea into a successful venture.”

Course leader and Look Again Co-director, Hilary Nicol, said; “The talent on show at the Creative Entrepreneurship Digital Showcase is outstanding. The group involved have worked really hard and shown how much creative flair there is in the North-East. The programme is a really good example of Robert Gordon University’s ability to connect entrepreneurship with creativity and to support those  in the creative sector with the business acumen, necessary to succeed in the industry.”

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