Miranda Schofield MCIFA
I work for Border Archaeology as Archaeological Illustrations Manager and was encouraged to apply for professional accreditation. A daunting task, I thought – is it a bit late in the day? My first experience in archaeology was volunteering on the Mucking excavations in 1977. By the time I had completed my Art & Design degree in 1983, I had been fortunate to work on some amazing excavations, including Coppergate, Fiskerton, West Heslerton and Stonehenge Environs.
My career as a graphics specialist has been varied, initially working on short-term contracts for units and gaining full membership of the Archaeological Illustrations and Surveyors Association in 1987. In the late 1980s to early 90s, I worked at English Heritage as a freelance illustrator. Mid-career I worked for West Yorkshire Archaeological Services, for museums and heritage organisations in various roles and as an artist in schools, the community and museums. My career has not followed a set trajectory but is an accumulation of knowledge, skills and experience gained in various contexts.
Applying for accreditation did take time. I started by putting together a portfolio of recent illustrations and a list of grey literature backed up with older work and publications. I initially joined ClfA’s Graphics Archaeology Group, and was invited to a virtual group drop-in to meet members of the committee, who were all approachable and helpful. I also participated in ClfA’s workshop – a step-by-step guide on the application process, which provided loads of useful information. The Membership team followed this up by sending further resources, including the graphics specialist competence matrix and also gave feedback on my application before submission, which was all very positive and reassuring. Writing the competency statement was a challenge. I made the decision to reference the specialist and main matrix, and made sure that the text and images were supportive.
The application process has been extremely rewarding and involved lots of analysis and reflection. It has made me consider how archaeological illustration and publications have changed over the past 30-odd years, with the advent of digital technology bringing both advantages and limitations. I am delighted to be accepted as an MClfA, and look forward to being part of the wider archaeological community and to progressing my CPD in a structured framework.
Credit: CIFA, The Archaeologist Magazine