Predicting Problems and Finding Solutions

Studying modelmaking for the past couple of years, I have gained an understanding into some of the various processes that are involved in the practise of making. Approaching a new project, I think it would be helpful to use this existing knowledge alongside my continual research, to have an objective look at the work ahead and predict some of the issues I will encounter. Let’s find some solutions to these so that I feel more prepared!


The armature might be too big/too small which will affect the stability of the sculpt and affect the surface sculpt.I will note down measurements of my sculpt and then work backwards to ensure the armature is the right size.
The eyes might be put in the wrong depth.Make sure the replacement eyes I am using for the sculpt are 12mm (1/2 of average eye size) so that they fit into the head. Also make sure the armature underneath is small enough so that I can dig the eyes deep enough.
The facial features and anatomy might look disconnected from each other.Work in stages following the instructions of Edouard Lanteri to achieve correct anatomy. Keep taking measurements throughout. Work on facial features all together in stages, don’t finish one before the others.
Anatomically incorrect primary shapes that make the secondary and tertiary details look wrong.Follow the instructions of Edouard Lanteri. Use a mirror and take photographs throughout to change perspective. Measurements!


I might take too long on sculpting.Make a time plan for the entire project and stick to it! Encourage yourself to keep moving throughout the sculpt to discourage perfectionist tendencies.
When I put the first layer of silicon on I might smudge the details.Pour the silicon on rather than brush it on for the first thin layer. Have a bowl underneath to catch the silicon and reuse.
The silicon does not cure.Use a newer batch that you know has cured successfully in a previous test.
Air bubbles form in the silicon.Use a vac former to reduce bubbles and pour from a distance to let gravity pop any remaining bubbles.
I forget to put the Vaseline on surfaces during the plaster stage.Write up a plan for the moulding stage to take with you into the workshop and use as a reminder to do some important tasks.


I might make the wax the wrong tint.Get in touch with industry professionals to enquire whether they would advise me on some colour combinations they use. Do test pieces first.
The oil paint tint might not mix properly with the wax and drop to the bottom.Make sure to heat the oil paint with a little bit of wax first up to a high temperature. Mix in with the rest of the wax well. Do test pieces first.
Wax might not be stored correctly which can affect quality of wax.Store in a cool, dry place away from dust.
Parts of the cast might break off when taken out of the mould.Ensure the silicon layer is no thicker than 5/7mm max.
Health and Safety – Hot wax!!Complete a health and safety assessment before casting. Ensure area is prepared before use and that others know to be careful around it. Plan beforehand. Ensure appliances are turned off afterwards.


I make the layers of paint on the surface too thick.Practise painting on the test casts before the final one. Use a dry brush and wipe off excess paint before applying. Take your time and do not rush. Look in mirror and take pictures to keep changing perspectives and
I will use the wrong tones and colours.Ask industry professional for their advice before painting. Practise by oil painting portraits on flat surface first.
My painting might not look realistic as it might not follow anatomy.Research anatomy and how light interacts with it. Research the blood vessels etc underneath the skin to understand how they will impact the surface colour.


The hair strands I will use might be too thin and fragile, or too thick and synthetic.Test out a selection of materials before hair punching final. If too thin – try hair spraying and then styling. If too synthetic – try various methods of softening them. Ask MakeUp SFX students to advise on hair choices. Confirm choices with advice from industry professionals.
Hair punch holes might look too big and obvious, particularly around the hairline and facial hair.Outsource, make and test out different needle sizes before final hair punching. Understand how deep they need to go in to be stable. Experiment whether you can melt the wax after hair punching to increase quality.
Outsourced eyes might not look realistic enough/too doll-likeHave a list of producers you can contact for replacement eyes just in case.
The clothes I will make might not look realistic as the scale of the thread might be out of place.Research how to recreate clothes at smaller scale. Look at stop-motion animation dressing techniques. Choose a clothing piece from an existing photo – keep choice simple.

Of course, there are many problems and issues that I will encounter during this project – far too many that I could write! So to manage the sheer variety of problems and to decrease the damage they may have on my time management of the project, I will construct a thorough time plan for the duration of the project. This will ensure that I know exactly how much time I can spend on each mistake and issue, and hopefully keep me on track.

Fingers crossed!


Strategic Action Plan

Building on my last blog post in which I identified aspects of my future career pathway I am anxious about, I wanted to develop more of a strategic action plan to provide structure for myself after graduation.

I started by using SWOT analysis to identify my strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. This was helpful in identifying objectives that I wanted to focus on further in the remainder of this year, and beyond.

I used this analysis to set up my nine main objectives that will give me structure for the development of my career in art therapy. I set these out alongside my Career Path Diagram, which describes a far more general yet necessary path to become registered with HCPC and BAAT, and practise as an art therapist.

These nine objectives are as follows:

  1. I need to graduate to have a better chance of getting a job.
  2. It is difficult getting to job opportunities without a car. I need to pass my driving test in July.
  3. I do not have enough clinical work experience. I will contact Occupational/Art Therapy teams at hospitals to ask for shadowing opportunities, and also look for volunteering roles.
  4. I need a job after graduation. I would like this to be in the healthcare industry because it will help me gain more clinical experience to apply for the Masters programme.
  5. I need/would like more training in the mental health field.
  6. I would like more experience in organising art workshops. I will set up ‘Sunday Workshops’
  7. I need to establish my personal brand online.
  8. I need to plan how I will manage if I get a job in the healthcare industry.
  9. I need formal postgrad training and accreditation to have enough knowledge to practise as an effective art therapist. I will apply for a postgrad Masters programme, and get accredited with the HCPC and BAAT.

I broke down these objectives into smaller steps to form my Action Plan for my career. Next I will show you an example of how I broke down one of these objectives into further action points. If you are my tutor reading this, please refer to my ‘LaunchPad Supporting Documents’ file for my full Action Plan!

Objective 3 – Gain more clinical work experience.

This objective is one of my most important ones that I will focus on in the foreseeable future – I would like to have a deeper understanding of working with vulnerable people to explore how I can use art and creativity to support them. This was part of the feedback I got back from my interviewers’ for the job I recently applied for – although they were pleased with my enthusiasm for the role and the potential benefit of harnessing my creativity, they informed me that I would have had a greater chance of success if I had more experience working with mental health. Therefore, a large part of my Action Plan is focused on this.

Additionally, an equivalent of one year’s full-time experience in the healthcare industry is important to get accepted into a Masters programme so I can receive formal training in art therapy and have the opportunity to register with the HCPC and BAAT.

In my Career Path Diagram I show that this equivalates to roughly 2,080 hours of work experience. However, after attending the virtual Open Day for Roehampton University MA Art Psychotherapy course, I have learnt that a lot of the times, these courses aren’t looking for that exact number of work experience hours. It is a rough estimate they use to judge whether you have an existing knowledge of mental health and healthcare. Saying this, I have chosen to keep the qualitative amount in my Career Path Diagram because it will give me structure and motivation.

When I am applying for the Masters course, I can also look to the BAAT organisation for training in preparing portfolios. They also offer additional training courses such as introductions to art therapy that I could consider taking part in the future.

Additionally, there are also further training opportunities (not including MA courses) which I could make use in the future before applying for the Masters course, such as Foundation courses from colleges and universities. Below are some of these:

SMART Goals and Timeframe Planning

After establishing my Action Plan by breaking down each objective into smaller steps, I used the SMART method of setting goals to apply timeframes to my objectives. Afterwards, I could use these timeframes to organise my action plan further into a six-monthly plan.

This is my action plan for the next 6 months. I am fully aware that this will probably change and have prepared to amend this.

After 6 months, it becomes a little difficult to predict and plan what objectives will become important to me. Therefore, for my 1 year timeframe goals, I have picked two of the most important ones for me: more clinical experience and further training. The latter is my main goal for my 1 year timeframe – I would like to save up enough money to apply for a Foundation or introductory course in art therapy. This will give me more of an idea of whether I would like to pursue art therapy as a career and prepare for postgraduate study. In terms of my long-terms goals, I would like to apply for a Masters course within the next 5 years.

I will make a new action plan yearly to clarify my main objectives for the upcoming year.

Sunday Workshops

An important aspect of my action plan are my ‘Sunday Workshops’ that I would like to set up. At the start, these would be workshops I would lead with friends and family to practise organising art activities.

Have a look at Art Therapy Resources for their tips and guidance on organising workshops!

These will be a chance for me to experiment, and later develop my skills to increase my confidence in leading these types of activities. I would like to develop this idea further in the next six months by contacting local museums and asking whether I would be able to set up and lead some art workshops with them.

I will also be able to use the footage of these workshops with permission of the participants on my Instagram to advertise myself and my aspirations. Combine this with my plan to do the #100daysofmeotionalliteracy challenge, I will be able to set up my online brand more effectively.

There is only one thing left to do – let’s get working!

Anxious about the future? So am I!

Feeling a little suffocated by anxiety and excitement about the future? Time to find solutions. In this illustration I was getting overwhelmed by my itchy sweater, and my solution was to draw it!

Exciting news!

I have been exploring the job market for a role that I could apply to that would give me the opportunity to use my experience with creativity and passion for care together to help people. After applying to one of the advertisements, I was shortlisted for an interview! It was incredibly motivating to speak to people who work in the healthcare industry and to have the opportunity to introduce myself to them.

While this has increased my enthusiasm for entering this field and developing a career in art therapy, it showed me that I have some anxieties about the future. They are mainly centred around the fact that I do not have as much clinical experience as I would like to have. While I have been working at a care home as a Receptionist since 2017, and before volunteered as a Teaching Assistant at a Polish Language School, I think I would need some support in the workplace with medical terminology.

This makes me anxious as to whether I would be able to find future jobs in the wellbeing sector, as there are always other candidates who would have had more experience in the field than me. Why should the employers choose me?

During the interview, I wanted to settle the interviewers’ hesitance on my experience by acknowledging this limitation, while showing that I am already working on developing my technical knowledge. I really enjoy learning about the connection between creativity and wellbeing through peer-reviewed journals, and published books written by past pioneers of art therapy such as Edith Kramer, and contemporary practitioners. I also have yearly training from my workplace in safeguarding vulnerable adults, and the ‘Mind the Gap’ programme which has been wonderful at teaching me the challenges of dementia.

At the same time, I have also been looking at further training opportunities I could get involved with to develop my knowledge of the mental health field. I have found a Mental Health First Aid training course that I would really love to do one day. The course costs £300 per person, so I am going to save up and plan to book a place on the course within the next 6 months.

There are also further courses I could get involved with, through the Future Learn website to get more of an understanding on mental health or save up further and complete an accredited course through the Open University. Eventually, I am really motivated to complete a postgraduate degree in Art Therapy.

Mental Health First Aid Training
Open University offers different accreditation from certificates, to diplomas, and degrees.

Moreover, I could also network with local hospitals, to enquire whether their Occupational Therapists or Art Therapists might be available to answer some questions for me, and perhaps even allow me to shadow them for a day!

Lastly, I could also get involved with volunteering opportunities with local and nationwide charities, such as the Mind charity, to gain further experience and become more confident in my skills. I am anxious of making a mistake in the future during care, which is why I am so passionate about becoming more confident in myself, and the best way to do that in my opinion is to increase my knowledge and gain some first-hand experience.

Some of my other worries, involved more practical issues. For instance, I still don’t have a driving license! While I have a test booked for July, I am frustrated that I am finding it less accessible to travel for job opportunities.

Furthermore, I am also wondering whether my passion for getting involved with work and people, will make it more difficult for me to keep developing my identity as an artist due to less time or motivation. I think it is important to keep working on your relationship with creativity if you are using this medium to connect with and facilitate the wellbeing of others.

I will work on setting up a structure for myself after graduation to make sure I do not let my tasks and responsibilities take charge of me. I value my organisational abilities and will capitalise on these to provide myself with a structure I will be able to rely in times of stress, making sure I also make time for exploring my artist identity and fluidity.

In a nutshell, I am anxiously-excited to get started!

My Social Media Presence

A large part of networking is now done online. I want to develop a strategic journey to get myself noticed, meet others and find opportunities to get involved with my passions.

To do this, I will use mainly Instagram, LinkedIn, and my blog. For each of these websites, I am going to plan a strategic way of using them.

A screenshot of the front page of my Instagram account. Along with posting both final models and making images, I also post regular Stories and save them under Highlights so that they can also be viewed later.
I took a gap from social media for a year, which is evident on my Instagram dashboard. I will slowly fill this gap with regular posts about work I have made during my year away, along with current models.

I already had a modelmaking Instagram account set up, but I have not used it since the start of the pandemic, which means I had a lot of work that I could advertise myself through. To organise my come-back, I used my Google calendar to schedule posts and stories. I chose to post at least once a week on a Monday/Tuesday, and to add stories throughout the week, at least once on a Thursday/Friday. I will post roughly around 6.30pm as that is when people interact with my account most. This should be frequent enough to keep a stream of visitors to my account and interactions with my posts.

Moreover, I also planned out what work I will post first. I decided to do a mix of chronological posts and current live projects. This means that I started my come-back with the last model made before the pandemic – my Wraptor pun model. On the day of the come-back, I also planned to post a close-up of the model on my story, titling it as a ‘teaser’ of my official post later in the day. This was to draw up a little bit more attention to my account so that my come-back post could reach more people.

‘Teaser’ story of my first post after being absent from Instagram for a year.

Lastly, for my profile photo I chose a picture of me in the process of making a model. I also wrote my profile summary to reflect my personal brand of curiosity in making and highlighted that I am looking to work with people by ending with the phrase ‘DM for a chat!’. I want my Instagram to reflect the light-hearted side of my professional brand.

My Instagram ‘About’ section.

On the other hand, I would like to utilise LinkedIn to reflect my professional brand in a more formal manner. I have decided to sign up for the course Social Tree Global which guides you in establishing an online brand for yourself. Along with this, I have started to fill out my LinkedIn profile. I am planning to link it to my blog – I will be able to highlight articles I have written on my blog on my LinkedIn page. This will give people more of an idea of what I am passionate about as a maker. I have also made sure to start setting up my LinkedIn profile in Polish as well (my native language) to reach a wider audience, and to make my profile more accessible.

I have chosen to use my Wraptor as a headline photo, and my profile photo will be more formal than my Instagram picture. The Wraptor will highlight my interests as a maker, while the profile photo will highlight myself as a professional.

The top of my LinkedIn profile in English. My ‘About’ section is more formal than my Instagram profile description in order to reflect my passions and career aspirations.
The top of my LinkedIn profile in Polish. The ‘About’ section is a translation of the English version, and expresses the same professional identity.

Finally, I will also continue to use my blog after graduation to explain certain parts of my projects and passions. The format of a blog means I have more space to write – Instagram emphasises pictures while LinkedIn is essentially a detailed CV. I will also add a section to my blog for my portfolio images.