What are you up to in your creative work at the moment?
Having recently graduated from a Philosophy BA, I am interning my way through London's creative world! While at university, I set my sight on creative producing or project management, so have been getting a feel for different industries – from theatre festivals to TV and Film. I will soon be starting an internship with Ambassador Theatre Group, working across the different departments in their office.
What are the highlights of your arts career to date?
One of the most awe-inspiring things I've been involved with was Mary of Egypt, an opera put on in King's College Chapel, Cambridge. I barely knew anything about opera, but worked with a phenomenal creative team to bring together three beautiful performances of this rarely performed opera by Sir John Tavener. It was a highlight not only because the show was breathtaking, but because I really enjoyed being able to provide organisational support to the creative team and bring their ideas into reality.
A very different highlight was co-producing an educational theatre tour around India, planning and leading a six week trip on which we visited five cities and taught over 300 children! It was a hectic, crazy and amazing experience to go travelling around India with ten other people, not to mention so special to meet and teach so many children.
(If you want to check out some of our stories, we wrote a blog while there: https://rickshawtheatre2015.wordpress.com)
Image by Nick Rutter
What do you hope to be doing in five years time?
This is a hard question! I cannot imagine myself anywhere but the arts world, because I love working with creative people. Also, you cannot beat the feeling of sharing a performance or event with the public for the first time, after months of work. I hope that in five years time I will be taking a lead on projects, and developing exciting events with artists, be it in theatre, visual arts or film.
How did you use your level of Arts Award to develop your creativity or skills?
I used Arts Award both to push myself to do new things and as a way to reflect on the things I was already doing. I created artworks in mediums new to me, from sculpture to digital collage. The Arts Award structure also helped me to make the most of my involvement with B Sharp, a youth music group, as it made me question and realise what skills I was using.
What advice would you give to young people doing Arts Award who want to follow in your footsteps?
Make the most of everything opportunity you've got. When I was doing Arts Award I didn't necessarily think I was going to pursue work in the arts world, but now I have decided to I already have a wealth of experience behind me. Making sure to document and reflect on everything is really important, because it helps you learn and have confidence in yourself.
In what ways, if any, would you say doing your Gold Arts Award helped your creative development?
I think the most important impact Gold Arts Award had on me was teaching me the scale of big involved arts events or projects. I learnt to commit to a creative project, and to bear in mind all the different elements that might be needed to bring it to fruition. This meant it much easier to make the smooth transition into taking responsibility and leadership on projects at University, and indeed my own projects since!
Can you show us/take us through what you did for your Gold portfolio?
I completed my Unit 1 with lots of different activities, but in everything I pushed myself to do something new. I did two weeks art restoration work experience, at Simon Gillespie studios, which nicely brought together the skills learnt from my Art and Chemistry A-Levels. For my new arts practise, I worked with a local artist who creates digital collages to develop my scrapbooking skills into this new medium. Finally, I researched Higher Education in the arts, forming the opinion that HE is worthwhile in art if indeed you passionately want to do it. This actually led to me choosing not to go to art school, as I didn't want to spend my whole time creating, but to instead keep up creative projects alongside a Philosophy degree.
As my Arts Leadership section of my Gold Arts award I set up an interactive chalk drawing mural at the Arts Award fifth Birthday party – getting everyone from CEOs to school kids drawing in UV chalk! This involved everything to putting together the concept and design for the piece, to physically making the mural board and liaising with the Arts Award team to run it on the night.
Could you share with us any highlights you can remember from doing your Gold?
A highlight of my work experience at the Simon Gillespie studios was visiting an art auction on my own and feeling like I was in a totally different world. I felt so grown up – in fact more so than I have since actually coming back to the London arts scene as a graduate.
Also, seeing my mural come together at the fifth birthday party, and being drawn on by so many people was incredible. It definitely had an impact on me wanting to work in putting on events!
What advice would you give young people doing their Golds now to help them get through it?
Plan out what you're doing, so you don't get overwhelmed and can make the most out of any support people might be able to offer you on your project. Be enthusiastic about everything you're doing and people will want to hear about it and get involved!