Moray Artists Bursary helps foster a sense of community

In December we announced the successful applicants of the Moray Artists Bursary 2019, with twelve recipients securing grants of up to £1,500 to develop activities, skills and creative practice

We spoke to one of the previous recipients of the Moray Artists Bursary, artist and illustrator Lorna Van der Stighelen, to find out how receiving the funding and support has impacted her career.

In 2018 I was awarded £800 through the Moray Artists Bursary to allow me to update my equipment and continue my career as a freelance digital artist and illustrator.

In order to continue producing the highest quality work, experimenting with my creativity, and to further develop my skills, I needed to purchase a new drawing tablet to replace the outdated graphics tablet I had been using previously.

Due to the funding I was awarded I was also able to put money towards a new computer, an essential piece of equipment for my work as a digital artist. These pieces replaced previous technology which was not only outdated but didn’t have the software capability I needed to truly drive my career forward at the pace I wanted and needed to.

As a result of being awarded the Moray Artists Bursary I have been able to take on freelance work and continue my own personal development, thanks in no small part to the new technology I’ve been able to utilise. Not only has being able to purchase this new equipment played an integral role in my working life, it has also helped me manage a positive work life balance by allowing me to work wherever and whenever I need.

The Moray Artists Bursary has also allowed me to get more involved with the creative community in Moray, something I’ve learned and grown from as an individual and an artist. I’ve been able to take part in Culture Café events, where I’ve met other creatives and learned from their artistic styles and experiences.

Through my engagement with the local community in Moray I’ve also become involved in the Moray Wellbeing Hub, something I’ve now become a strong champion for. The work they do to support people with their mental wellbeing has encouraged me to look into gaining mental health qualifications, something I’ve long been interested in since my first ambitions to become an art therapist many years ago.

While I received monetary support from the Moray Artists Bursary this hasn’t been the only thing I’ve received, and in fact the community support and ability to meet with likeminded individuals has made just as powerful an impact on my career.

Going forward I hope to continue to establish myself as a freelance artist and also develop my own practice and skills. I also hope to continue my involvement within the local creative community in Moray.

To anyone considering applying for an initiative like the Moray Artists Bursary I would say it’s definitely worth it. Take your time with your application, really consider how it will further your practice, and be open to getting involved with your fellow creatives.

 Follow Lorna’s journey on Instagram at

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