Emerging artists in transition

What role does information play in negotiating success and failure?





art education, information behaviour, information literacy, transition, UK


The purpose of this paper is to better understand how emerging artists use information to navigate the transition out of university, using their changing ideas of failure, success, information literacy (IL), and transition to frame the qualitative data.

A literature review is used to frame the current understanding of emerging artists and feed into the creation of the interview questions. Four emerging artists participated to elicit qualitative accounts. Descriptive and process coding was used to analyse the interviews to form the findings.


The findings present how emerging artists use information to shape their criteria for success and failure during the transitional period after leaving art school education. Three core information practices — sharing, feeding, and balancing — were observed within the interviews. With this framing insights into the emerging artists’ past (learning from historic failings) and the future (envisioning future success) begin to be formed. Furthermore, this paper contributes to the knowledge of emerging artists’ information practices, including the impact of their digital media usage and self-referencing as IL.

The study uses the work of other IL scholars with the information practices of emerging artists and frames them through three key ideas: IL, transition, and success and failure. This intersection of study has not been explored previously.

The results will provide direction for information professionals serving emerging artists, and for art educators preparing their students for their careers outside of university. It also deepens the understanding of the field of transition and information practices of new practitioners across fields.






Research articles (peer-reviewed articles)