Get Isobel to Royal College of Art

A project by: IsSmith


WE RAISED £3,375

from 26 donors

This project received pledges on Sun 27 Sep 2015
Help me raise £8,510 to pursue Post Graduate study at Royal College of Art #Is2RCA

A short summary of My project

I am trying to raise £8,510 to pay for my first year of tuition and travel for the MA in Sculpture (Performance) at Royal College of Art, London.

Who aM I?

My name is Isobel Smith, I am a 48 year old mother of two and earlier this year I was offered a place to study Sculpture (Performance) at Royal College of Art.

I was over the moon to be offered the opportunity to study at the country's most esteemed art school, however the hefty price tag may prevent me from fulfilling my dream. My husband and I are jointly responsible for our family's upkeep and I am keen to borrow as little as possible as I will need to continue to provide for my family to some extent while studying.

I was delighted to be granted a bursary from the RCA of £3,000 towards the first year's tuition fees of £9,500. I was unsuccessful in securing further educational grants from independent bodies and need to raise the rest via a career development loan or crowd source. 

I have some savings (£2000) towards living costs, but nowhere near enough to cover my tuition and travel which come to £8,510 for the first year.

MY story

Since leaving a successful Graphic Design career of 15 years to follow my dream of becoming an artist I fell into puppetry, finding a niche for myself crossing forms of puppetry, installation + performance and setting up my puppetry company Grist to the Mill. Initially I was self taught then won a place on Green Ginger's Professional Development Scheme before going on to receive prestigious bursaries, placements, commissions and Arts Council funding to make and develop new work.

In addition to my own practice I am passionate about enabling others in their appreciation and learning of puppetry, whether working with Primary School children to encourage open-ended learning, with children and young people on Camhs projects, or adults in a variety of settings. I am keen to infect them with the puppetry bug and draw out their very best and most daring creative work. To this end I offer Creative Coaching via my unique Flying Club Coaching sessions to offer the very best of my techniques for inspiring and enabling creative projects, and recently co-founded the Brighton Puppetry School for specialised tuition by the sea.


I am committed to the practice of passing on knowledge and skills and leading by example. Others will benefit from my learning and it is important that I refresh and refuel my practice.

My work is brave, experimental and boundary pushing, it has been challenging and exciting to explore the possibilities of my work in a theatre tradition. Now I am ready to deepen my practice and bring it back to a Fine Art context. I am ambitious to push myself personally as an artist and to be at the defining edge of what Performance Art can be. A period of study at Royal College of Art will allow me to do this magnificently.

By engaging in a period of intense research and study that the two year full time MA allows, I will be able to deepen and develop my own work and I intend to put myself on the cutting edge of art/performance scene. I am ambitious to take the art of puppetry into new genre-defining directions.

To achieve my aims it's time for some formal study, I require feedback and support from expert tutors and peers, to take part in current fine art discourse and have the luxury of time and space to develop my artistic potential fully. ( 

By funding my further education you will be enabling the necessary research and development of ideas and theories within a critical context for me to develop my excellent potential as a powerful new voice in British art and culture, allowing me to make groundbreaking new work which may contribute to the direction and dialogue of British contemporary fine art, engage and entertain audiences, and educate and enthuse students young and old for many years to come. 

Join me and be part of this exciting journey.

Where will the money go?

My minimum target of £3000 covers the first instalment of first year tuition fees payable on registration at the end of Sept.

If I reach the full target it will pay first year tuition fees, student rail card and train travel.

If I exceed the target any extra funds will go towards books and materials for study.

I will post regular updates on my website and social media throughout the campaign and during my studies.


I'm offering some great rewards as well as a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to my sponsors xx

Images and video

Here are some images of the Rewards I'm offering, hope you enjoy:

Prints of the images that helped me get a place at Royal College of Art






Puppet making workshop

Personalised puppet THANK YOU poster

Find ME here

Website: Grist to the Mill

Twitter: @xIsobelSmithx

Facebook Page: Help get Isobel to RCA


Follow me to find out how it's going!

Help ME succeed!

You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, phone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog. You can follow me or become a helper using the buttons at the top of this page.

I know I said you don't need to give money, but I'd love it if you did! Please sponsor me and help me get back to school.