Like many people, I stumbled into London Fine Art Studios (LFAS) by chance one rainy day in search of art materials. At this point in my life two years ago I was in the process of rediscovering a neglected love of art, though I was unaware there were still schools teaching the methods of the artists who inspired me – many of whom, like Philip De Laszlo, are long dead. After a tour of the studios, I knew I had to enrol. But it wasn’t for another year that I was able to arrange my life and save enough money to commit to a year of studies.
The first year flew by. I became embedded in a community of likeminded individuals and learned more than I could have imagined in such a short space of time. I could feel myself progressing with each term. Yet after every Ah ha! moment – and there have been many – there spanned before me a wilderness of new, unforeseen challenges to overcome. Us artists, it seems, are endlessly chasing this horizon but the journey is neither fast nor free.
Having looked up to, been taught by and made friends with many of the award’s previous recipients, I was keen to put myself forward for it.
On my first visit to LFAS I was impressed by the relationship it had established with the De Laszlo Foundation and after my first year of full-time studies, I was finally eligible to apply for the De Laszlo Scholarship. Having looked up to, been taught by and made friends with many of the award’s previous recipients, I was keen to put myself forward for it.
It has been an honour to have been granted the scholarship. Not only has it provided me with funding to continue my studies and rent my studio, it has also given me the confidence and support I need to pursue my dream of working as a professional figurative artist.
The award is not just a bursary to help students get by financially for another term. It helps to establish them firmly within the school and provides an extra rung in the ladder on their way into the dizzying world of professional fine art. Each De Laszlo scholar is following in the footsteps of a succession of great artists and it is a privilege to be a part of this tradition.