25-year-old Riley was nominated for TrinityTalent because of their impressive Leadership skills during their Silver and Gold Arts Award with Prime Theatre. Riley delivered a series of workshops teaching watercolour painting, volunteered as a Youth Theatre Assistant to support the development of a writing and theatre group and co-designed two arts festivals for young people in Swindon. They even went on to secure employment as a Creative Assistant for Prime Theatre and trained as an Arts Award adviser.
Helen Morley, Riley's art form teacher at Prime Theatre, nominated Riley for TrinityTalent and said: "Riley consistently demonstrated a strong ability to motivate, lead and inspire others throughout their Arts Award journey. For the work experience component of Gold Arts Award they went above and beyond the requirements to volunteer for 6 months as a Youth Theatre Assistant. They acted as a positive role model to young people and developed their facilitation skills. They grew to feel confident leading exercises with both groups and were an invaluable support to the leaders."
The TrinityTalent panel said: "Riley has shown incredible leadership and stepped up to become an Arts Award adviser! We can really see how Riley has come full circle with their process of doing their Arts Award. We are impressed with how they've 'put themselves out there', shown innovative problem-solving skills and worked with lots of professionals during their award."
How do you feel about being selected to be part of TrinityTalent Class of 2021 and being recognised in this way?
Baffled, I wasn't expecting it! I don't really think I've done anything to earn it but I am very flattered.
How do you feel you have developed creatively and artistically in 2021?
It was a really tough time but having Arts Award to force me to move forward creatively was a really good thing. I ended up learning some new skills that I will probably use going forward. I feel like I expanded a lot of my creative interests. I developed a way to explain ideas and tasks to people in a way that was concise and worked with their specific art forms. I learnt how to plan and organise festivals for young people and how to reach out to practitioners and how to collect data in new and creative ways.
What impact did your Arts Award achievement have on your artistic development?
It made me branch out to look at various other art forms and practices and look into things I was interested in but didn't know how to start. It also made it easier to recognise that something doesn't always have to be good, I just need to learn from it.
Has taking part in an Arts Award helped you to develop wider skills, such as communication skills, creativity or confidence?
It has helped expand my creative motivation. In the past I'd be afraid to start new things in case I failed, but now, as long as I have tried, I feel good about it. So, in that way it has also helped improve my confidence.
What are the next steps for you artistically and creatively in 2022?
Finishing projects that I started in 2021 is the next thing. And I've already started working on more complicated artistic pieces. Maybe this year I'll enter some costume competitions, Covid-19 allowing.
What are your longer term aims, for example for your future studies or work?
I think making a video game is back on the cards. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to work on one without coding, but I think that's the biggest thing I'd like to do. Work on coding and use things I made during my Arts Award experience to be building blocks of the game.
Have you got any advice for other young people working towards an Arts Award?
Just go for it. It's a great way to focus on things you wouldn't usually do, and you make time to get an award and focus on things you care about.
Is there anything creative you’re currently working on you’d like to tell us about?
Working more on costumes. Currently I'm making a corset for a costume and planning out some armour for another costume. Just a lot more costume work.
I will also be supporting the Young Arts Leaders with a commission from the National Literacy Trust to run a Storytelling Festival in February 2022 and offering support to the new cohort of Kickstarts joining in the New Year.
Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2021.