Jamie Reid, Gold Arts Award

Jamie Reid shared his experience of completing Gold Arts Award during the challenges of 2020 lockdown. He says of his Arts Award: "Overall I found it an enjoyable experience as I was able to explore the arts industry in greater depth than I had previously."

Jamie Reid, Gold Arts Award

Jamie claims his main creative influence is the guitarist Cory Wong and has enjoyed completing his Gold Arts Award during 2020. 


How did you find the process of working towards the qualification? 

Overall I found it an enjoyable experience as I was able to explore the Arts industry in greater depth than I had previously. However, it also had its challenges, for me primarily: working towards deadlines. However, with the right amount of pressure and guidance, these deadlines were met with the material I was proud of.

How did you find the exam experience? 

Having begun a physical portfolio/ folder in the autumn term last year, changing to digital due to COVID I believe made the process even more enjoyable as we were given the option to take on a MOOC as work experience, we had the option to work alongside professionals from a huge variety of jobs within the arts. The invigilators throughout the process were also very encouraging and made what could’ve proved to be a complex situation with lockdown, run as smoothly as possible.

How did you choose to present your portfolio? 

Rather differently from normal, our group this year handed in an online portfolio on Microsoft Teams. Though it took a little while to upload progress from the physical copy that I had started to the online version, I actually found this method of containing and presenting this information extremely effective, as our supervisors were able to make suggestions and support us, as well as keeping track of our progress. It was very easy to move swiftly from online research, to word processor, to portfolio and so I believe the putting together of the online folder was more efficient.

What did you find challenging about the process of preparing for the assessment? 

Obviously, the current pandemic presented a collection of problems, in my case finding work experience replacements. As many MOOCs run for extended periods of time, time management as a whole proved to be a little difficult, however, with extended deadlines, it was certainly achievable. My biggest challenge overall, despite the virus, was probably time management and having finished the qualification, I can look back knowing that my skills in that area have improved because of it.

Where have you found sources of help and support and what has been helpful? 

I found numerous sources of help during my time working towards my Gold Arts. Primarily through our supervisors, who were able to guide me in the right direction in what I needed to focus on next, as well as helping me to realise what areas of the arts I wanted to focus on. My family also offered inspiration for certain units when I found myself struggling creatively, as did my friends who were also working on their own qualifications. In certain situations, especially working during the lockdown, the Trinity online page offered lots of helpful advice when I was unsure about a section.


What has been the impact of this experience? 

Having originally thought I had an already a somewhat profound understanding and appreciation of the arts, doing Gold really solidified its importance in society for me; whether it’s educating others, providing entertainment and relaxation, having the opportunity to work alongside those whose jobs it is to provide these things almost every day was a fantastic experience.

What has been the personal impact of working towards the qualification? 

Through this qualification, what had the most impact on me was being able to experience and work on parts of an art form that I hadn’t done previously which really made me appreciate the hard work that goes on in events that I may have previously taken for granted. For example: as my Unit 1A, I took an art form/ practice I was familiar with, in my case: acting, and thought about the other jobs that go on in theatre that I could work on. I chose to do set design and was enthralled by the creative process and amount of work that goes into it. Alternatively, my Unit 2 involved organising an open mic event. Whilst I’d usually prefer performing, I was also able to appreciate what goes into giving performs the opportunity to showcase their talents.

What have you learnt from the experience? 

The biggest thing I feel that I learnt from my experience doing Gold was the new skills I gained by expanding my practice of different art forms. Through working alongside a practitioner, I gained valuable knowledge of the ins and outs of a theatre, through my work experience, I learnt about making short films and how to begin and develop the creative process. In Unit 2, perhaps the most important thing I learnt throughout the entire process, was how to communicate properly when working in a team.

What is the impact on your creative development/artistic practice? 

As my experience has only bettered my appreciation for the arts, I have been inspired to continually improve my main art forms and look for inspiration from lots of different sources. Not only that, but I have also been interested to look into other practices associated with my main ones.

Do you feel that there has been an impact on your wider learning studies? 

I believe that many of the skills that I have gained can certainly be applied to my wider learning at school. Communicating properly is essential in a classroom situation and can help to improve the discussion. Obviously working towards deadlines can certainly be applied to any coursework subjects and as drama is one of my subjects at A level, I now have a better understanding of set design that I can use in my answers.

Have you developed any particular hard and/or soft skills through your journey – how has that helped you beyond your study for the qualification? 

During the lockdown, the main way in which we communicated with our supervisors was via email and so, especially as the deadline neared, I found myself replying a lot quicker on receiving them. Through both emails and Microsoft teams meetings, having to adapt to the new group situations and when in contact with those whom I was working with, I feel as though my general communication skills have improved also.


What’s next for you?

Going into university I hope to study English Literature, and so there I’ll be able to expand my knowledge and appreciation of all sorts of plays, as well as getting involved with any sort of productions going on there too. Music also plays a big part in my life, so I aim to hopefully join a big band of some kind playing bass and also maybe play in some smaller groups and perform locally as much as possible.


What would you recommend to other young people working towards a Trinity qualification? 

I’d really recommend working with others, or another, in your group if possible, especially when organising an arts event as the separation of the workload is extremely helpful - plus the company is always fun too. I’d also definitely make sure you stay on top of things so that you don’t have to rush things towards the end as it makes things a lot less!

If you have completed an Arts Award and would like to be profiled too, join our Arts Award Alumni and let us know about your experience, or drop Arts Editor, Nici ([email protected]) an email to be featured. 


Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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