The research


The Visual Arts Wellbeing project is an Australian research project that seeks to assess the mental health and wellbeing needs of art students. The project is going to provide an evidence base to guide the future development of university art curricular and help our emerging artists learn how to enhance their wellbeing before entering the creative workforce.


To provide an evidence base, this project is gathering evidence from visual art students through two different phases: 


Online Survey

The 15-minute survey asked questions about students' wellbeing and resilience levels, how stressed students might feel and what they do when things get tough at university. The survey also asked students about how their degree could be changed to support or improve their mental health.


Individual Interviews

In late 2018 the investigator, Eileen Siddins, interviewed students for 30-60 mins. Questions asked during these individual interviews encouraged discussion about how student’s experiences at university can influence their wellbeing, and ways to support their mental health and wellbeing during their degree. 

Cleaning Ceramic
Sewing Studio
Who can participate?


This research focuses on art students who are completing an Australian undergraduate degree, majoring in one or more of the disciplines listed below:


  • FINE ARTS (including painting, drawing, print, sculpture, ceramics, and textiles);


  • ILLUSTRATION AND DESIGN (including graphic and interactive design); and


  • DIGITAL ART (including digital illustration
    and/or animation).


For the purpose of this research, the disciplines listed here have been described as visual art disciplines. 

Who is conducting the research?


Principal Investigator Eileen Siddins is conducting this research for her doctorate degree and plans to continue researching wellbeing for art students and artists in her prospective career.


Eileen has experience in research and art practice as a New Media Art Honours student, a Sessional Lecturer and Sessional Tutor. Eileen has engaged with Australian art educators and local creative practitioners for the sake of her research and teaching practice. Through this experience, she has developed a passion for helping art students become the best version of themselves that they want to be, regardless of their current situation in life.


In her spare time, Eileen enjoys completing various design and illustration projects.