Thinking about applying for The Refinery 2021? 2020 Founder, Alison Mooney answers your questions.
Who is Alison Mooney?
Alison, a former journalist, is an unschooled fine artist and muralist with a passion for play in public places, based on the Sunshine Coast.
Why did you apply for The Refinery?
For all the information from the mentors, real time skill building across so many topics and to accelerate my practice into a sustainable business. More broadly, I wanted to be in charge of my days and connect my passion with a service.
What was the most valuable thing you got out of The Refinery?
So many things! I’d say though, overall, it was the small details that were super niche to each mentor, that really contributed to the larger picture. Contract advice for commissions, for example, from Riz at Foundd Legal was really helpful.
Less specifically, the network. So many amazing, generous creative minds on the Coast here, and it’s awesome to now have them as friends and collaborators.
The passion of the project partners, and the mentors they engaged. So inspiring to be learning from people who are genuinely passionate about what they do, and the purpose they serve. It was like being with really intelligent cheerleaders each week, as passionate about my own plans as they were of their own.
What was the value of Refinery to your business?
The Refinery instilled in me a confidence to lose the day job and jump all in to my work. That has been absolutely amazing and while I had ten years with art as my side project, I don’t think I’d be here today doing what I love if I hadn’t just gone ‘may as well see what it’s like!’.
What opportunities have arisen since completing The Refinery?
The opportunity to work for myself. I’ve picked up a fourth gallery representation, designed and delivered ‘DISrupt’ workshop series for Sunshine Coast Council, enjoyed collaborations with other participants, I’ve also upgraded my studio space, to make room for all the work I’m doing.
Would you recommend The Refinery?
I wasn’t sure how relevant a lot of the business advice would be for me, as a fine artist but I’m so glad I took a chance and applied. It’s been invaluable, and continues to be.
Yes, if anyone is even slightly considering the program, I’d recommend you do it. I’m stoked I decided to.