Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
My name is Luke Taylor and I’m the Website Administrator for Voice, as well as a Projects Assistant for an arts company in Diss, Norfolk, called Unit Twenty Three.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
My main job as a Projects Assistant involves assisting in the delivery and support of various arts projects, including things like an arts festival, a youth group and doing support work for Upstart Projects and Arts Award.
As a Website Administrator for Voice, I look after the website by commenting on every user-generated article, checking each article for spam or inappropriate content, editing articles to make them consistent with the website’s branding, occasionally doing design tasks (look at our business cards!), promoting our content via social media and generally making sure all the staff and Voice Contributors are happy J
What’s great about your job?
The best part about my job is the diversity – one minute, I might be doing standard daily admin tasks for the company, and the next I’ll either be travelling the country for events or handing out flyers in the streets of Diss promoting our community arts festival. The other day I used a jigsaw to cut out pieces of wood to make chalkboards!
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
Whilst it’s good to have lots of things to do, it can become quite stressful as you can quite easily miss or forget about important tasks. Luckily, I have an A1 whiteboard that I use to write everything on and remind myself in BIG RED LETTERS so that I have absolutely no excuse to forget anything.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
Where do I begin?! I’d say one of the best moments was being able to attend the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe as a Voice Contributor – it was brilliant to experience culture in this way, seeing all kinds of shows that I never thought I would see!
I guess another highlight is winning Apprentice of the Year 2017 by National Creative Industries!
How did you get into an arts job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
My apprenticeship! I applied to be an apprentice as I finished sixth form with no clue on what to do with my life after deciding that I wasn’t ready for university. The apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to really develop my independence, learn new skills, and experience things that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I didn’t apply.
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
I guess my first biggest challenge was travelling – I remember I had to travel all the way to Birmingham via train, and I was absolutely petrified of travelling on my own and getting lost; for someone with autism who doesn’t quite cope well with sudden change, the thought of it was dreadful.
Luckily, I was greeted with very friendly train staff on each stage of my journey, bombarded my ears with punk music (yes I’m that kind of person) and I was rewarded with a lovely night at a Premier Inn. I just had to learn to relax about things, and remember that whatever happens, I need to keep a straight head and find a solution, rather than just panic about it.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
I’ve got to admit; it can be incredibly difficult to engage the type of community we work with sometimes, as a lot of people believe that they are “too old” for the arts, or they don’t feel the arts is accessible enough, leading to a reluctance to engage with anything arts-related. For example, they ask for free arts events, and then we set them up only for nobody to come to them. It can be incredibly frustrating at times.
What I have noticed over the years is that communities are slowly – very slowly – opening up to more local arts activities in their area, but it’s still a lot of hard work. Young people are easily becoming more interested in the arts thanks to the endless amounts of media there is these days but targeting the older generation to work with their community is still a struggle.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Go outside. You might hate everybody in school, but there are people out there who you will love. Stop shutting yourself out because you’re shy or scared; there is a world of opportunity that you’re missing out on.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
Learn how to multi-task and get yourself organised – you will be given lots to do and not much time to do it. If it helps, do an apprenticeship first in your preferred field as it will give you the boost you need to enter the industry. Also, keep an open-mind, as you’ll have the chance to try out all kinds of things and gain new interests.
Want more tips on working in the arts? Head on over to Creative Choices, a website filled to the brim with advice on how to get into the arts.
If you have any questions, please message [email protected]