I had visited StArt Up: Top Arts exhibitions in previous years and always thought how lucky the students in the exhibition were to be shown at the NGV.

As a student walking through the Top Arts exhibition it can feel daunting. You might picture Top Arts students as omnipotent beings that have spent all their life dedicated to their art. You may think ‘I will never be able to make something a good as that’, but the truth is the opposite. Top Arts students are not different to any other students; we are just regular students who built up the courage to apply for Top Arts. If you genuinely feel like you have put as much effort as you could into both your folio and your finals, then I highly recommend you apply for StArt Up : Top Arts with a ‘worth a shot’ attitude. You need to ask yourself ‘what have I got to lose?’ Nothing!

After I mailed my application, I felt nervous and anxious because I really wanted to get in. The long wait to hear whether or not my application was successful was worth it as two of my finals were short listed. One of the two was selected for the exhibition. The feeling that you get when you know your artwork is going to be hung in one of Australia’s most important galleries is just indescribable. I was filled with joy and I still, to this day, have a smile on my face because of it.

Apart from the actual exhibition, Top Arts has also offered me great opportunities such as being involved in the Top Arts documentary and talking about my work at Art Raves. I was asked to give a talk at the NGV to VCE Studio Art students, where I discussed my processes, folio, final works and gave some tips. Though public speaking is not my favourite thing to do, I thought it was a great opportunity and I got a lot out of it.

Being involved in the StArt Up: Top Arts 2015 has provided me with many great opportunities and has acted as a confidence booster which has launched me into my career as an artist.

Follow Jason’s journey at: jasonwillers.com

Image: Jason Willers with his work Reflections 2014.