The Judges Insight: Jane Hay
This week SBID delved behind the scenes with one of our student design competition judges, Jane Hay, the International Managing Director for Christie’s Education. As students across the UK have been celebrating the announcement of the Designed for Business category finalists, revealed on Monday 29th October 2018, Jane shared her advice about curating creative careers and how she would choose to spend the £30,000 prize fund to help kick-start a career in the competitive industry.
Can you describe your current job?
I am the International Managing Director for Christie’s Education, a global division of the world’s leading art business, Christie’s.
Christie’s Education is a specialist provider of higher and continuing education, and an internationally recognised centre of academic excellence in the study of art business and the art market, art history and art world ecosystems, curating and connoisseurship. We offer master’s degrees in London and New York, and are dedicated to preparing students for entry into the art world, placing great importance on analytical skills, object-based learning, research and scholarship, and the practical experience of art and business as the keys to professional success. We also offer a wide range of continuing education opportunities, both online and on location in London, New York and Hong Kong, designed to introduce the fundamentals of art, collecting and art business.
What is your background and how did you get into your industry?
My father was an art teacher and latterly an antique dealer. Appreciation of art and design, and its role in creating our social fabric, was a theme running throughout my childhood. I was very lucky to secure a job at Christie’s by writing to them and asking if there were any positions available. Since then I’ve held several positions in the company, including Specialist, Auctioneer, Global Divisional Director and UK Managing Director of Christie’s. I have now been at Christie’s for thirty years, including six years at Christie’s Education.
Which people do you admire most in the industry and why?
I most admire those who have deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen field, are generous with that knowledge, and continue to look for ways to challenge and innovate.
How do you feel about being a judge for SBID’s new student design competition?
I welcome every opportunity to support young creatives. The Designed for Business student design competition should have a significant impact for the eventual winner’s career prospects, so I am excited to be part of it.
How did you find your judging experience?
We considered works of a very high standard from across all categories. I was impressed by the dynamism of the entrants and their ability to connect deeply and creatively with topical issues and to use their talents to communicate ideas in ways that could have real commercial potential.
What advice would you give a young designer starting out in the industry?
Immerse yourself in the creative hub in your city, live where the creative people live and work, and insert yourself into their world. Spend six months listening before you start selling yourself – you will learn a lot. Any job is better than no job; it’s about being there and gaining visibility. Be part of the conversation.
If you had won £30,000 just after graduating from University, what would you have done with it?
I would have rented live-work space in the creative hub I just referred to and got to work! There is no substitute for hard work.