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Local mum forges creative career with help of new TAFE NSW course

Local mum forges creative career with help of new TAFE NSW course

A local mum-of-three has credited a new course with helping her forge a career in the arts, having made her mark on the Blue Mountains’ booming arts sector during her studies.

Hazelbrook local Emily Lane is currently studying the Bachelor of Creative Practice at TAFE NSW Kingswood – and will be one of the first to graduate the course, which was offered for the first time in 2021.

Ms Lane says she has gained the skills required to exhibit her art and sell to family, friends, and her local community, while volunteering at Penrith Regional Gallery.

Recently, her artwork was exhibited as part of The Blue Mountains Portraits at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.

“When my youngest child started school, I realised I now had the time to start a career. I found myself looking back at what I was good at in my school reports, and it was art. I thought that could be an interesting career path, so I decided to enrol in the Bachelor and haven’t looked back since,” Ms Lane said.

“I’ve studied primary teaching and theology and worked in hospitality, but I’ve always loved to create – and I’ve really enjoyed being back in the classroom and among like-minded people. The teachers are very knowledgeable and have taught me new artistic techniques and a new language to talk about art.

“I’m a bit of a deep thinker, and the course has taken me back to my roots of drawing and oil painting which I use to explore human relationships, why people behave the way they do, and how the world works. My work is about making hidden behavioural norms explicit – it’s all about using the skills I’ve learnt to ask questions, rather than tell people what to think.

“I like that being an artist is not a linear career path. I’m enjoying working as a freelance artist and tailoring my work to different audiences. Volunteering at Penrith Regional Gallery and exhibiting my work has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m looking forward to teaching one day and exhibiting my work in lots of different contexts.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Visuals Arts, Cath Barcan said the Bachelor of Creative Practice is helping local artists like Emily establish a career in the arts.

“Through a mixture of theory and hands on learning in our state-of-the-art studios, students gain the creative, technical, and entrepreneurial skills required to expand or switch their careers,” Ms Barcan said.

“Whether it’s as a freelance artist, business owner, or one of the many roles in the burgeoning museums and galleries sector – the opportunities are endless.

“The skills learnt in the Bachelor of Visual Arts are all highly transferrable. The World Economic Forum recently listed the top ten core skills for workers in 2023 as part of their Futures of Jobs Report, and the skills taught in our degree align completely with this list."

Media contact: Emma Hughes, Communications Specialist, 0409 618 291,