Take Five with Sarah Rowles
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Take Five with Sarah Rowles


Sarah Rowles is the Director of Q-Art, an organisation for current and prospective students, graduates, self-trained artists and all those with an interest in art. They aim to break down the barriers to and between various models of art education and make the workings of the contemporary art world more transparent.  Sarah set up Q-Art whilst a BA Fine Art student as a result of questions and obstacles she faced entering higher-level art education and the contemporary art world. She is interested the different models of art education that exist and the art contexts in which they operate. She is also interested in kayaking, running and cycling.

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
The very best thing is visiting UK art colleges and speaking to course leaders and deans about their courses and and strategies for art education - this is research towards our forthcoming publication. I am engrossed in the subject matter and passionate about making this information available and empowering prospective students to make informed choices about their education and careers.

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
Interesting question. I think I'd say Ken Robinson for his ideas on education - that it should enable everyone to discover their passion and go for it. I'd say Richard Branson for his spirit and life ethic - his book 'Screw it let's do it' really gave me the courage to set up Q-Art.

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
To take a day off every week - or time management advice. You work better after re-fuelling and it is so important to fit in time with friends and family. I perhaps was told this actually - maybe it is something you need to learn through experience.

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
Sitting outside in a park, on the beach or by a river or lake - with a notepad and pencil. Getting away from the laptops and the 4 walls. Doing something else - attending an event, conference, exhibition - often inspiration comes through just getting out the house.

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
A trainer. No frills - no pretension - a shoe for all - encourages activity, movement, energy. Something I abide by in my work and organisation.


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