What are you up to in your creative work at the moment?
It's interesting really; I always wanted to be about a million and one different things when I grew up - from an MI6 spy to a famed Archaeologist. While those two in particular didn't work out, looking back there was a strong common connection between them, film. Whether it was James Bond or Indiana Jones I've somehow always had a strange infatuation with cinema. So it's appropriate that currently I've been working hard to establish my own publishing and events organisation, Cinema 22, which exists to fuel your passion for cinema. At the heart of the brand is a themed online magazine, but we're looking to start rolling out a programme of regular double bill screening events that tie in directly with the theme of the magazine.
What are the highlights of your arts career to date?
Well, in terms of the highlights that have served me the most, it's got to be Culture on a Shoestring. Basically it's a free quarterly magazine that we originally created as a pilot exclusively online with a budget of £300. After the initial £300 project we went on to take Culture on a Shoestring into print.
What do you hope to be doing in five years time?
I'd like to think I'd be doing two things. I hope for Cinema 22 to not only be sustaining itself, but also providing some form of employment opportunity for people in the community, while I also see myself as the owner of a 1920s style cinema.
Which levels of Arts Award did you do, and how did you use it to develop your creativity or skills?
Rewind to 2012, I'd never heard of Arts Award. I was presented with the opportunity of doing either Silver or Gold, so without even weighing it up, I jumped right in and went straight for Gold. The leadership element of my Gold was Editor of the first issue of Culture on a Shoestring. You could say that, while the content process was entirely different to the way I work on Cinema 22, it certainly was a learning curve – I'd never worked on a magazine before then, never mind co-created one!
What advice would you give to young people doing Arts Award who want to follow in your footsteps?
There's one piece of advice, sadly it's clichéd and patronising, but it's true - don't give up! Perseverance does pay off.