Work with us: Artist In Residence

Job Title: Artist in Residence 

Location: Home working plus in-person meetings in Leith (North Edinburgh) 

Fee: £600 (£300 per completed design package (1 for each festival))

Terms: Self-employed freelance.

Reporting to: Festival Coordinator, Press and Comms Coordinator and Board of Trustees.

>>>Submit here<<<

The first whispers of Spring maybe distant (inspite of it being warm again). Yule is upon us and the wheel continues to turn. Preparations are beginning for Beltane Fire Festival 2023 and we need you!

We invite you, artists, to submit your beautiful artwork for the chance to feature in the festival’s promotional material and become the society’s Artist in Residence for this year’s festivals.

The chosen artist will design all promotional material in the run up to Beltane Fire Festival (Sunday 30th April) and later the Samhuinn Fire Festival (Tuesday 31st October), which will be featured in our online promotion, press advertising and possibly print distribution for the event(s). Anyone is welcome to enter, so if you have arty friends please feel free to pass this on to them!


The concept of the Beltane Fire Festival originates from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic pre-Christian festival of the same name. The title “Beltane” is derived from a Gaelic Celtic word meaning “bright and sacred fire”. Originally, the Beltane festival was held to mark and celebrate the blossoming of Summer and was thought to have been held on the first full moon after the 1st May.

At dusk on Saturday April 30th, torches are set aflame and the pounding of drums fills the air. A magical procession around Calton Hill sets off, led by the May Queen and her court, who encounter a cavalcade of fantastical creatures portrayed by painted and costumed performers and acrobats. The Green Man makes his own journey across the hill, finally being killed by the May Queen, stripped of his Winter guise and resurrected in a dramatic ritual performance, before the lighting of the traditional Beltane bonfire, a ritual to harbour in the Summer.

Beltane is a time for celebration, revelry, fertility, new beginnings and, of course, FIRE! Think along the themes of brightness, freshness, emergence, new life and growth. Our poster and flyer should appeal to the wider community in Edinburgh and abroad. It should reflect aspects of the story, performances and characters highlighted above, to draw in those who know the Beltane story but also to attract newcomers to our festival.

For a more detailed description of our festival and its history and origins see here.

ART WORK Required

You can submit a selection of your artwork / portfolio to give an impression of your artistic style, or you can submit a final poster design for Beltane Fire Festival 2023. Both are welcome, and a selection committee will decide on the final artist in residence for this year’s festivals, but please beware of the Print Deadlines below.

For each festival, you will be expected to create a main portrait design for the poster and flyer using a coherent style and colour scheme to keep a uniform look. 

You will be expected to help with the design and layout of the festival programme which will be a downloadable digital PDF. Text will be provided for you.

You should include all of the text and social media elements in your design (to be provided by FC / board).  We greatly appreciate designs that have the festival title beautifully typeset or hand-lettered, and have all the additional text inserted too, but this isn’t essential! Submissions will be considered on the basis of the artwork and layout first of all.

Everything in your submission (apart from the downloadable elements we provide) must be your own work, or created with elements that you have permission to use. If you use any stock imagery or photography, free or purchased, you must be able to provide evidence of legitimate sources. Please check the relevant licensing for any fonts that you use, and be able to provide this information if asked. Although BFS is a charity, it is also a registered company, so please only use fonts that are licensed for commercial use to be on the safe side. If your work is chosen, we may need you to send any font files you’ve used in the final submission, in order to finalise the text.

We will accept submissions from pairs or groups of artists/designers. For example, if you’re an amazing illustrator and you have a friend who is great at layouts, feel free to work together and submit under both your names.

Don’t forget to sign your final artwork. We appreciate that you’re offering your creations on a voluntary basis, so we’d like you to have your signature(s) on there somewhere.

Poster Details to be included

BFS Logos

Technical Parameters

We send the design to get printed, and some of thee need to go big, so please check that you can meet, or a contact of yours can help you meet the technical requirements before embarking on the design path

You will be expected to provide various ratios of your designs for digital use (Instagram, website, social media banner). 

It would be helpful if you can submit various elements which could be used for different purposes, but this is not essential.

Remember to leave any text or important visual elements at least 4mm bleed from the edges, for printing safety.

You should have full-resolution files at 300dpi/ppi available, to be used if your design is selected – and because we intend to print in large formats you must meet the size criteria

Please ensure that all files are in CMYK colour format, not RGB.

Artwork sizes for print at full resolution 300 dpi/ppi

4 SHEET – Artwork Size: 762mm (h) x 508mm (w) + 4mm bleed

A2– 594 mm (h) x 420mm (w) + 3mm bleed

For more information from one of our poster distributors

Print Deadlines

n.b. in order to be considered you must meet the artwork submission deadline of 19th January, after which if selected there may be some additional editing to do, the following deadlines represent the latest that all edits must be completed by in order to get the posters printed and distributed.

Beltane Poster Print Deadline – 10th February 2023

Samhuinn Poster Print Deadline – 4th August 2023


As the creator of your artwork, YOU own it, and by submitting it for the festivals are granting BFS license (if selected) to keep it in digital and physical archives, and to use it in promotional activities, merchandise,  online and offline, globally and in perpetuity.

Should you wish to, you are welcome to sell prints and products featuring the artwork without any of the provided text, BFS branding or elements included in the downloadable design pack.


Once all submissions have been received, the BFS Board of Trustees will create a shortlist of entries which are appropriate to promote the event, and select a final artist for the two festivals. There will not be a public vote: criteria for selection will include quality of artwork, suitability as a representation of the festival and Beltane Fire Society, appeal to potential attendees, and clarity of presentation of information/legibility.

Entrants will be informed by email as to whether or not they have been successful. In the event that no submissions are deemed suitable, the trustees may make alternative arrangements.

We are hugely grateful to all those who put in the time and creativity it takes to submit a poster design.