Blog: Stacey, Creative Industries Curriculum Team Lead


Find out all about Moray School of Art’s very own Stacey Menzies-Toner including her thoughts on creative industries, puppies and puppets!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Stacey Menzies-Toner and I am the Curriculum Team Lead for Creative Industries within Moray School of Art at Moray College UHI. I studied art history at Aberdeen University then went on to complete a Master’s in Art Gallery Education at Newcastle University. I wouldn’t say I necessarily pursued a career in this industry, but I feel my employment journey has been meaningfully accidental. I love the innovation, resilience and unpredictability of creative environments.
Describe a typical day in your line of work?
There is no typical day in this job and even when you think you know what to expect, a day never goes as planned – that’s what keeps you on your toes! You need to be interpersonal, working with different people in different contexts multiple times a day. You also need to be pretty organised, creative and have a good sense of humour. My favourite part of my job is the people – the students – building relationships and seeing someone progress is really rewarding.
What is your favourite aspect of the courses at Moray School of Art?
The best thing about our courses is that they really harness individual potential and development – our courses are shaped around you, your practice and your interests. Within Moray School of Art you can enter at SCQF Level 5 with the University of Arts London: Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design and exit at SCQF Level 10 with a BA (Hons) degree – this can also help you progress onto Master’s courses within UHI or beyond.  The key skills you gain are not only practical but professional practice, as well as leaving with the ability to be flexible, adaptable, collaborative and open minded.
What opportunities are there for Moray School of Art students and graduates?
We are very mindful of linking in with industry and external organisations. We often deliver partnership projects that enable our students to work directly with others within the curriculum and have provided additional opportunities outside of study for students to gain skills and experience. Many of our alumni have chosen to pursue work as freelance artists, delivering workshops within their areas. Others have pursued teaching, art therapy and other community facing roles. There is also the option to be instrumental in establishing new ventures like the founding of an organisation or artist studios.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Spinning, walking the dogs and supporting local arts organisations Moray: Arts Development Engagement (M:ADE) and Grampian Hospitals Art Trust (GHAT).
What is your favourite food/meal?
Grannies soup followed by a Sunday roast, finished off with cake and cream.
What is your favourite song?
Soo many… Half the World Away by Oasis or Rescue Me by Fontella Bass.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Puppets give me the fear – I can appreciate the artistry and technical skill – but aside from that, nope.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
I can’t remember who gave me this advice, but it lives with me, and I pass it onto students all the time – the creative industries is a relatively small community of practice, so you will inevitably cross paths with people again… so be nice, give people time, be transparent and honest.
If you were a super-hero, what type of powers would you have?
I would have the ability to click my fingers and make puppies appear!
Moray School of Art is one of Scotland’s five major art schools and offers a range of qualifications to suit everyone, from our UAL: Level 2 Diploma in Art & Design through to our HNC in Visual Communication and our BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art. Find out more and apply.