Most of our alumni are now practising fine artists who regularly show and sell work or undertake commissions and have gallery representation. Other students have gone on to professional practice in areas including illustration, animation, architecture, film and theatre design.
Alumni have been selected for exhibitions such as Tate's 'Painting Now' and Flowers Gallery Artist of the Day, Jerwood Drawing Prize, BP Portrait Award, Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Whitechapel Open, Royal Academy Summer Show and Threadneedle Prize. Past students have won high-profile awards including the BP Portrait Award, Jerwood Drawing Prize, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, John Moores Painting Prize, ING Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary, Bulldog Bursary, Rabley Sketch Award, Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award and Roald Dahl Funny Prize.
There are many opportunities for alumni to participate in artists residencies around the world. Every year a small group of Drawing Year alumni undertake a six week international teaching and artists residency in Modinagar, India. We also run residency programmes for Drawing Year alumni and Scottish artists in collaboration with Glasgow School of Art in our purpose-built studios at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Resident artists on this programme have also included artists from our partner art schools in the US, as well as artists from Qatar and Jamaica. For UK and US painters we run the Moritz-Heyman Residency in Pignano, Tuscany, Italy. Three month artist residencies in the US are also offered to selected Drawing Year alumni. All residencies are fully funded.
Awards and commissions
The Sir Denis Mahon prize of £5,000 is awarded to an outgoing Drawing Year student each year to enable them to continue their practice as an artist as part of this award they are also offered a solo exhibition. Other opportunities for grants, residencies and exhibitions are promoted through the School. We regularly offer our alumni the chance to undertake paid commissions, and many have gone on all-expenses-paid drawing trips to Doha, Maastricht, St Petersburg, Paris and New York.
Continuing courses at the School
All alumni receive a discount of 50% on all courses at the Royal Drawing School to enable them to continue their observational drawing practice and each term a selection of free course places are offered to alumni. We also regularly run free drawing classes designed specifically for alumni.
Regular exhibitions are held in the Royal Drawing School's gallery in Shoreditch to showcase new work by Drawing Year alumni.
There are opportunities for alumni to gain invaluable tutor training and experience through our Drawing Clubs for 10-18 year-olds, which run after-school in London and Glasgow. The Royal Drawing School actively creates and presents opportunities for professional development through teaching, and runs a free, one year tutor training programme for all new tutors.
The School has a vibrant network of alumni who frequently collaborate on projects and exhibitions. We keep in touch regularly via our dedicated Alumni Relations and Projects Coordinator, alumni e-newsletter and blog.
Drawing has now become a daily activity. The versatility and unpredictability of drawing in its different forms continues to lead my studio practice in ways I could not have foreseen.Tom Sander, Alumnus Drawing Year 2011