DIY 1: 2002

DIY was a pilot initiative that offered artists working in Live Art the chance to conceive and run professional development projects for other artists.

I believe 'DIY for artists' is a really productive form of training, as it is so specifically tailored to what I need. I've been on many training courses before but none that felt so relevant to me. To carry on the tailoring analogy - it's the difference between a bespoke suit and an off the peg outfit!! (Clare Thornton)

DIY was initiated and hosted by the Live Art Advisory Network: Artsadmin, Live Art Development Agency and New Work Network. DIY was financially assisted by London Arts as part of Creative Capital and Creative People.


Our Call for Participants is now closed.

Our Call for Proposals to lead a project has now closed.

Documentation from DIY 1: 2002.

More info about DIY.


DIY projects

Journey into the Suburbs hosted by Barby Asante
Guerilla Retreat hosted by Leslie Hill and Helen Paris of
The Perfect Point Of Percy Passage hosted by Richard Dedomenici
Deprivation and Overload hosted by Richard Layzell
Studio Sessions hosted by Howard Matthew
Swap Shop Work Shop hosted by Joshua Sofaer and Duckie

DIY report

The DIY projects covered practical and conceptual issues and took in city centre adventures, creative expeditions to the suburbs, studio visits, artists' retreats, debates and skills swap shops.

DIY benefited the artistic and professional development of the participating artists and contributed to the skills and experiences of the artists who lead the projects.

Fifty-one artists took part in the six unique projects. The responses from the project leaders and the participants was that DIY's emphasis on peer training:

  • empowered artists by allowing them to manage their own professional development.
  • enabled artists to develop creative approaches directly relevant to the needs of their practice.
  • encouraged artists to perceive their artistic output and professional development as inter-related and mutually beneficial components of a 'complete' practice.
  • facilitated networking between like minded artists

DIY demonstrated that artists are well equipped to conceive and manage professional development initiatives. The role of the host organisations (Artsadmin, Live Art Development Agency and New Work Network) in DIY was therefore to facilitate, encourage, and advise rather than to control.

Each artist who led a project conceived their project, submitted an application detailing their idea, contributed to a group meeting at which they met the other lead artists, prepared publicity copy, managed recruitment of participants, handled all relevant participation fees, booked all necessary rooms and spaces, facilitated their training day(s), and wrote an appraisal report.

Each lead artist received between £600 and £1,000, which covered their fee and all direct project costs including venue hire, travel, and hospitality. Some artists chose to seek a fee from participants which further contributed to their project costs.

The host organisations secured the funding for the initiative, distributed a Call for Proposals via email, selected the lead artists through an open submission process, advised lead artists about the logistical and conceptual focus of their project, led a group meeting which enabled all lead artists to meet and share project information, publicised the six projects under the DIY umbrella through a Call for Participants, and collated this summary report.

DIY future

DIY was a hugely successful pilot initiative and is ripe for further development. Future development and refinement could include:
An expanded programme offering more artists opportunities to initiate and manage projects.
A national initiative managed in collaboration with regional and local partners.
Broader marketing for both the Call for Proposals and the Call for Participants, that expands on the successful e-mail strategy of the pilot.
Access to more tailored advice and guidance for the lead artists (if and when assistance is required), especially where less experienced artists are managing projects.
A higher-profile evaluation of the projects, possibly through an event and/or publication that facilitates the sharing of outcomes and discussion of best practice.
A more generous financial base that provides artists' fees commensurate with the amount of time required to initiate, manage and evaluate a project, and remuneration for the host organisations.

The DIY pilot focused on the professional development within the Live Art sector. It is clear that the principles and form would successfully translate to other artform practices.

DIY credits

DIY was an initiative of the Live Art Advisory Network. Artsadmin, the Live Art Development Agency and New Work Network have joined together to create the Live Art Advisory Network. Together we are partners in Creative Capital, which is one of the ten consortia that make up the national Creative People pilot. Creative People is working to help artists to identify, prioritise and implement professional development activities. Visit for more information.

DIY was funded by London Arts through the Access Unit's Training Programme and Professional Development Programme.

For more information about our separate organisations visit our websites:

Part of DIY 1: 2002