“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown” – Denis Waitley
Creative futures week is a week of gaining knowledge, inspiration and connections from other successful creators in order to influence and direct myself into the right creative path. From talking to lectures and others attending this week I’m still not 100% sure on what to expect. What I would like to see during this week are interactive workshops with successful photographers and or videographers and for there to be an opportunity to chat, receive feedback and potentially have more experience with them. From researching a little before this week the people I am most looking forward to seeing is Tamara Harvey from Theatre Clwyd, the creative internships and Follow Film. I would like to meet Tamara Harvey because I am aiming to do theatre photography for the future and potentially asking her the right questions might point me into the right direction. Creative internships because they too can open up a range of possibilities especially travel opportunities. And lastly Follow Film because it is a small yet very successful business from previous Glyndwr University students so that would be nice to take note on how they’ve become successful.
10am – Welcome
Today marks our first day of creative futures week. Everyone must attended this first lecture at William Aston Hall and as we entered the hall we all received a pass with this weeks timetable on it and a pen to encourage note taking. We were introduced to the week by Dr. Claire Taylor (Deputy Vice Chancellor at Wrexham Glyndwr University) and Professor Alec Shepley (Head of the Creative Arts School at Wrexham Glyndwr University). They both priorly thanked all guests for taking the time to attend this event and made it very clear to make the most of the opportunity we’ve been given. The aim for creative futures week is to help us think and achieve the next step after we’ve graduated. This module is designed to develop our key skills and develop our personal qualities in order to give us that confidence to be able to work towards a successful and satisfying job in the future. It is also designed to educate and broaden our horizons by teaching us things that we wouldn’t quite think would help but indeed they do. They also encouraged us to ask as many questions and to really make the most of the presence of each guest and wished us all a successful week.
10:30 – Collaboration in the Creative Industries
Our first conference was a panel discussion hosted by Mike Corcoran. The panel consisted of Gareth Jones from Welsh ICE, Tamara Harvey from Theatr Clwyd, Jo Marsh from Oriel Wrexham, Andy Cheetham from Cheetham Bell and Alfredo Cramerotti from Mostyn. At first each member of the panel took some time introducing themselves and their role in the creative industry. After each member had their talks the panel had a group discussion with the main theme being the importance of collaboration.
First speaker was Gareth Jones, founder of Welsh ICE and a previous Glyndwr University student. (http://welshice.org/spaces). Welsh ICE is a start up space situated in South Wales which accommodates and helps over 150 new businesses and more developed companies. This co working space encourages people to connect and work together on new and exiting projects. Gareth mentioned that 95% of the business here collaborate because of the overwhelming amount of support at the centre. Very few people are successful without support but with a great sense of community and a different outlook to the creative industry anything is possible. Personally I believe Welsh ICE is a very positive jump to consider. I certainly never considered a work space because as a freelancer I would think it would be financially better to work from home however by having a work space theres more opportunity to network, collaborate and build a team that would never fall into place as easy if I was to stay at home. Also other new businesses are all going to be in the same boat therefore people are more up to getting themselves out into the creative industry which might be a very smart move to be apart of. The challenges I have by not being involve with Welsh ICE include : not being able to see the future. I believe working alone with no obvious success might dishearten and I might not be motivated to continue in the creative industry. I’ll be restricting myself of a possibility of a successful future however by being surrounded by like minded people might ignite something unexpected. Finding purpose and inspiration. Trusting my current skills. Satisfaction.
1:30pm – Simon Amor | How to get a creative job; stop procrastinating and other useful tips!
My next talk was with Simon Amor a Wrexham Glyndwr University graduate in 2014. The talk was in the Catrin Finch centre and he was providing general advice on how to continue successfully in University and setting your foot into the creative industry. An overview of his talk was he talked about his current position in the creative industry at Qubit as a Web designer, showcased some of his work and talked about his experience at our University. Overall his talk was good. A lot of the information provided was information I was very much aware of. For example “choose to do something you are passionate about otherwise you will side track and become disinterested and disheartened” however I continue and certainly by stand to everything he has said. Other things I took note of and never really considered was by getting involved in multiple projects that may set you out of your comfort zone. He mentioned about learning the basics of web design and encoding which in theory will open many more possibilities with employers, clients or simply self development. Personally learning a little about creating a wordpress was interesting to me therefore educating and developing myself to improve my knowledge and skills is something I will consider. He ended with saying that as creative people we are very lucky. We are achieving things that we want and love doing and with hard work and perseverance we have opportunity to change the creative world we live in. His motivational talk was good and was even nicer knowing that only a few years ago he too was receiving motivational talks from others at creative futures week. I do not have any criticisms on his talk because he too has only just started in the creative industry so his style of talk was 100% expected. Good job Simon!
3pm – Shaun Roberts | Working the Web
Last talk today was by Shaun Roberts a market advisor who manages the online marketing projects with clients to help promote themselves or their products. I had the mindset that he was willing to teach us how to promote ourselves online and he didn’t disappoint. He had mentioned that it takes roughly 3 to 12 seconds to grab someones attention when they look at your main website page therefore making first impressions great enough to impact the viewer to look into your webpage further than the home page is very important. Although Shaun tried promoting his expertise and tried applying that you need him in order to have a successful webpage one member of the audience asked the price of his assistance and it is certainly a amount no student or new graduate can afford therefore the advice from Simon earlier today about teaching myself the basics of web design can also be applied here. Shaun took us through the stages of him managing a client. He also gave us visual examples of good and bad webpages supporting his idea of grabbing someones attention as fast as possible. The notes I’d taken away from this talk to improve my webpage in order to successfully promote myself included : simplicity is key. Having a simple webpage makes it easier to the eye and more appealing for viewers. By having an easier webpage you can also manage and almost direct people to where they should be visiting on your webpage. This is useful to have because clients quickly have the information they need and nothing is guiding them in the wrong direction. Also adding phone numbers, email addresses, social media pages and customer reviews is very important to add to your webpage. Credibility is important and you want people to believe that you are trustworthy and genuine when it comes to what you have to offer. In addition managing all other social media pages is also important and keeping up to date will be in your favour. Furthermore it is important to look at your competitors and compare what they are providing to what you are. This will ensure you develop and are again up to date with trends and ensuring you are providing THE best for your target audience. Lastly he said making your webpage mobile responsive is a must. Majority of people now own a mobile that is connected to the internet. Sometimes your clients can approach you unexpectedly therefore being prepared to show your work is a must. Personally all advice in this talk was very useful. I will now take this opportunity to reflect on my webpage, make adjustments and hopefully promote myself in the best possible way. My only criticism on this talk was there was no opportunity to share our webpages. To receive feedback on my webpage from Shaun would have been extremely helpful and might have had a positive impact on the way I promote myself. However from the advice he has given us I believe I can work it out myself.
Overall today has been a good start to creative futures week. I look forward to tomorrow.
To be continued… :)(: