Another job that I feel could support my earnings as an artist is a Fine Art Conservator and Restorer. Having a keen interest in Art History, I researched into areas in this field that also had a practical element to them. Over the past few months, I have researched more and more, contacting Conservators and Restorers to ask for their advice and opinions on how to get into this area and the pros/cons that come with it also. I originally was introduced to Fine Art conservation when watching BBC One’s ‘The Repair Shop’! After understanding the process and seeing the transformation I became interested in whether this could be an option for me.
The average salary for a junior conservator is £26,500 but a minimum salary of £24,648 for entry-level conservators is recommended by The Institute of Conservation (Icon). The salary does increase for middle ranking conservators and can rise to £30,000 for senior conservator roles.
Art restoration is the process of reconstructing a work of art to its original state or condition. Also known as conservators, they use the techniques taught to them either through their degree or internships to repair damaged artefacts (including paintings on canvas, paper, wood etc.). Becoming a conservator requires a passion for both art and science, however, only a small about of scientific knowledge is needed to be accepted onto a postgraduate course (C’s at GCSE). You would be working with chemicals specially used for Fine Art conservation which would be thoroughly taught in order to use them correctly.
This would support my smaller job as an Artist on the side, allowing me to use my weekends and around the standard 9-5 hours in the week.
Larger Businesses –
Fine Art Restoration – Painting Conservation – Fulham, London
Smaller Businesses –
Jane Maguire Fine Art Conservation – Based in Alberbury, Shrewsbury
Once I have completed my BA Hons in Fine Art, I am hoping to study at Northumbria University and complete an MA in Conservation in Fine Art (2 years). However, the cost for this course is £14,700 which is very expensive and something I’m not sure I would be able to afford unfortunately. I will still look into this though as there are scholarships and discounts available.
There are also apprenticeships and internships in this field such as Trailblazer Apprenticeships (ICON) and opportunities abroad for internships.