My creative past: Luke Taylor

As we approach Arts Award Week, the theme of which is Our Creative Future, our Youth Network share their creative pasts, and the paths they've taken to get to their current positions; as young, successful, creative explorers.

My creative past: Luke Taylor

My name is Luke, I'm 19 years old, and I'm an Apprentice for Unit Twenty Three...time to look back at my past (again).

Being autistic and in the closet (plus being a general teenager overall), I didn't really see myself in a particular career or job, nor any place in society (depressing, I know) as I was growing up. I was a bit reluctant to try new things as I was so used to the same old routine; home, school, home, stay at home at weekends, home, school. I didn't really have much of a social life as a result because I was too scared.

If I must be honest, I never really had much of a creative background either. Of course, as a child I'd love to paint and write and sing, but I never really focused on one specific art form. I absolutely loved writing, but I wanted to do all kinds of things, especially more visual stuff, hence why I consider myself a jack-of-all-trades at times.

However, when I was 13/14, I became more focused on music - rock music of course, being an angsty teen. I was listening to bands like Funeral for a Friend, My Chemical Romance and Black Veil Brides (they were a phase - don't judge me) because I started to become disillusioned with mainstream pop music as I couldn't relate to it, and naturally I wanted something different. I still didn't consider a music or arts career at this point because I wasn't really showed any related career options in my school - it was mainly science and public duty, and maybe the odd graphic design career option, and as a result I felt like I didn't have a place in the world of work.

So I was left dragging myself through my GCSEs and A Levels with all this creativity inside of me, a diversifying music taste and having no idea what to do with any of it. I was generally fed up of studying and making difficult decisions regarding my future. At the end of my A Levels, I spend weeks and weeks looking for entry-level jobs, worried that I'll never find a suitable career for me.

However, upon looking for apprenticeships on the website, I noticed a Projects Assistant role being advertised, offering a Level 3 Community Arts Management qualification. I had a snoop around, became interested, applied for the job. One month later, I got the interview and then I got the job!

It was the best thing that happened to me when I joined Unit Twenty Three. By also doing a Gold Arts Award and joining the Arts Award Youth Network, it's really helped me to discover a whole load of opportunities to work in the arts sector and made me understand what I want to do in life. I am now considering music journalism as a potential career, but I could also be a Projects Manager, I could work with different communities; I could do so many things that involve the arts.

Therefore, my advice is this: If, like me, you have no idea what you want to do for a career, then focus upon your interests and passions. If there is something that you are particularly passionate about, but you don't know if there's a career for you, then do your research. Find as many ways as possible for you to get into your desired industry, but don't look for a specific job role just yet - be passionate about the industry, look for work experience and be open-minded about the roles that will suit you. You never know - you may just land a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!


Luke Taylor

Luke Taylor Contributor

I work as the Network Administrator for Voice. Having completed my apprenticeship at Unit Twenty Three, I continue my work supporting Voice and the Youth Network in whatever way possible. Music is my passion, and I will happily talk about all the bands you've probably never heard of!

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