In-person Factory Seminar – Knowing When to Change Direction

Venue details
ACAVA Studios, Spode Works, ST4 1QD
Additional information

This event is in-person

What is Factory Seminar – Knowing When to Change Direction about?

If you want to talk about changing direction in your artistic practice then this is the seminar for you. This in-person Factory Seminar – Knowing When to Change Direction will be an interactive conversation between artists and creative businesses focusing on the theme of change and growth. It will be led by Dan Southward, the Relationship Manager at ACAVA Studios and Rob Fenton, Graphic Designer and Muralist. Using their experiences with change, Dan and Rob will create space for participants to question how they might adapt their practice or pursue new skills or opportunities.

If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed with which direction to take in your current creative business or artist’s practice, please join the conversation.


What will this session cover?  

  • How Dan and Rob have approached changing direction in their practices 
  • Knowing when to diversify your practice  
  • Navigating and adapting to a constantly changing creative environment   
  • Freelance work and establishing professional practice 
  • How to strategise and plan for change 
  • What you might need to support taking steps to change your practice


Who is the session for?

  • Artists who want to diversify their practice but don’t know where to start
  • People who feel stuck in their current creative business or artist’s practice
  • Freelance artists struggling to adapt to a constantly changing market


Who is delivering?

Dan Southward joined ACAVA in 2015, employed alongside a small team of local artists to help construct the 43 artist studios at the former Spode site in Stoke-on-Trent. Dan has since maintained his fine art and photography practice from the studios and currently works as the Relationship Manager for the site looking after both the property and programmes at Spode Works Studios.

Rob Fenton is a Graphic Artist who designs and paints murals with a strong street art influence and elements of graffiti. He also dabbles in street photography. 

 Spanning over twenty years, his creative background dives deeply into graphic design, photography, typography, illustration, graffiti, screen printing, and painting murals. His work, although in a constant state of evolution, is a combination of all of these disciplines.

He is the co-founder of UK brand NTRPRNRS and the former Creative Director of a national agency specialising in exhibitions, bespoke screen printing and murals. He is now expanding his own work and developing his personal practice more intensively. His current portfolio is a snapshot of his work, in progress. He presents this work without comment, as a visual representation of the direction his work is going.

Rob is a defiant advocate of graffiti art and the culture it’s nurtured. He will always champion its place within our society and hold it in high regard for expanding the artistic opportunities within so many different communities. From rural to urban, hyper-locally or globally, the influence of street art can’t go unnoticed. Rob Fenton website link.


Where does it take place?

ACAVA Studios, Spode Works, ST4 1QD


How to book?

Book your free ticket for Factory Seminar – Knowing When to Change Direction via the link on this page. Visit our What’s On page to see what other events are happening.


In-person Access:

  • All venues we will use will have flat access via lift or location on the ground floor
  • We have a portable Loop for those who need it, please email ahead of the event if you would like to use this system (
  • In advance of each event, we aim to share an overview of the event. This may include preparation tasks for the participant
  • We will share a resource pack after the event including summary notes and other relevant links and resources

If there is anything we can do to support your participation in the event please do get in touch with to discuss what we can put in place for you.


What is Factory?

This workshop is proudly run as part of the creative business support Factory, which is a partnership between Staffordshire Chambers of CommerceStaffordshire University, British Ceramics Biennial and ACAVA. The programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Visit our main Factory pagefor more information about other opportunities and workshops run through Factory.