Creative Futures Week | Day 2

“Your reactions, whether positive or negative, are creative of future circumstances. In your imagination, you can hear words congratulating you on getting a wonderful new job. That imaginal act now goes forward and you will encounter this pleasant experience in the future” – Neville Goddard 



10am – Doug Fishbone | Making things happen: building opportunities after graduation

Our first conference today was with an American fine artist named Doug Fisher. He specifically talked to us to show us how to make things happen after we graduate. His funny yet inspirational talk was a great start to my day. What I liked most about Doug was his harsh yet very honest reality check. Unfortunately he talks about how artist aren’t 100% recognised for what they do and our culture is not popular when you determine success. Nowadays there is so much competition on being the next big thing that we forget that art is a movement of expression and we have the ability to change the world. His advice included:

  • YOU make it happen. Be proactive. YOU make your art, YOU exhibit it, YOU sell it, YOU write and reflect about it, YOU hustle to get the best that YOU deserve, YOU stay focused, YOU are enthusiastic and passionate about your work, YOU impress, YOU collaborate with other creators, galleries, collectors, art critics, tv, newspapers, funders, etc. YOU are unique, YOU are satisfied =  YOU become successful.
  • Be patient. Stay focused on your achievements and others will admire that confidence. There will be a market out there for you it just takes time for that to find you.
  • Stand by your art. Know your worth. Let no-one tell you how to be your successful.
  • Be realistic. Every decision is a strategy. Take everything into consideration. Create financial strategies so you are not putting yourself in awkward positions.
  • Network. Express ideas and share and collaborate with others. Keep good relationships because they might be your big break in the future. Become a artistic community.
  • Make decisions. Know your career path and work towards it.

All that Doug said was already fixed into my brain. It was all common sense however the way Doug had expressed his talk was very passionate and very inspirational. If I could put myself into his shoes and speak like he did I know success will come my way. To have the confidence in your work is something important and is definitely something I am now reflecting on. Ways I could work towards this could be:

  • Confidently produce great images.
  • Write and reflect about them on blogs to really reflect on every aspect of them.
  • Speak to friends and family and consider showcasing images furthermore in to competitions or galleries.
  • Do my research. Find others to be inspired by and try inspire others.
  • Keep in order and keep up to date.

Overall a great start to my day. Lets continue… :)(:


11:30am – Yvette Kemble James & Elizabeth Day | Creative internships

This talk was something I was looking forward to. Personally I have done an apprenticeship in the outdoors after I’d left school. In this time I had come to terms that I enjoy learning in a working environment and gain more when I can see everything happening behind close doors. What I was hoping to hear was potential placements at theatres emphasising the need for interns in the marketing at these venues. Yvette Kemble James is the Operations Manager for the creative charity Arts and Business Cymru (A&B Cymru). The main aim behind A&B Cymru is to sustain the arts and to support new graduates by providing training, development and advice. A&B Cymru have links to 70 businesses around Wales. There is a community of businesses brought together by the charity which is brilliant to help with collaboration of projects, network and to raise your profile. The way this works is A&B Cymru receive applications to take part in their 10 month full time placement at one of the businesses. You will be monitored and supported by the charity but the business helps develop you in the arts. To apply you are required to have graduated with a 2:2, you must have an interest in the arts, must be committed to the programme and must have the want to do and try everything. ( From there Elizabeth Day and Bizzy gave us an example of a successful internship. Bizzy had taken part in the programme in 2012. She is now a co-found of the Other Room a new theatre company in Cardiff alongside Elizabeth the executive director of the Other Room. This story was inspirational because you can really see that from the support of this charity a successful job in the art is almost guaranteed. My only criticism for A&B Cymru is that they very much market the internship as becoming a professional fundraiser. With the advice given from Doug this morning about knowing your career path and working towards it I don’t really see this charity working in my favour. I am passionate about my photography and I believe this internship will not be suited for me. However it will open up a door to considering other internships or work experience in photography which will certainly be a great stepping stone to a future in this business.


1:30pm – Adam Lee | Career building and networking 

Next was photographer Adam Lee who talked about his 10 years of experience and his on going life in my industry and how to build a career into something. Adam emphasises that he has been very lucky. He mentioned that both of his parents had jobs within the media so he took advantage of the personal contacts he had with them. Adam originally studied zoology in University and later took a community course in photography. Still to this day he mentioned that he has a “unofficial” mentor therefore development and growth never stops in a creative industry. Adam then talks about making connections and networking in photography. Connections can be quickly and very unexpectedly made by simply getting out of comfort zones, attending industry specific events, being engaged with other photographers and simply involving yourself into the creative community. Again very repetitive information however Adam was happy to share about Liverpool International Photo Festival (LOOK) and Grain Birmingham. Both organisations are designed to encourage photography in their cities. After creative futures week I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Grain in Shrewsbury for a photo competition and the help and opportunities that they provide really highlight the information given by Adam in this talk. Opportunities come and go but similar to other guest speakers it is up to us to get ourselves out there to get what we want.

3pm – Graham Cooper and Hollie Harmsworth | Follow Films: small business, big passion


Last talk today and another one I was looking forward to was from Graham Cooper and Hollie Harmsworth. This creative partnership had then turned into Follow Films. I was looking forward to this talk because they too were Wrexham Glyndwr University students who had studied a similar course to mine and six years after graduation their business is still going strong. Their talk was simply tips and tricks to starting a small business in Wales. They advice included:

  • Brand and represent yourself correctly. You do not want to mislead any client since they very much control you reputation of being reliable, trustworthy and a good investment.
  • Be and get passionate about clients and their ideas. Show genuine interest and don’t be afraid to have creative input of their idea. Encourage them to leave reviews and to market your business by simply work and mouth.
  • Know your worth. Believe in your prices and others will. Do not undervalue yourself. Do not work for fee unless you too are gaining something from it.
  • Make work achievable. Depend on self motivation. Set deadlines. If you are struggling don’t be afraid to collaborate or share / give jobs to others.

Again advice is very repetitive but if so it would be foolish not to listen to their advice. I took it upon myself to approach Graham and Hollie to ask a question for my future. I had asked about their course and the decision of either to choose film or photography to specialise in for my final year. Personally I had started the year being certain I would want to continue photography because photography is my ultimate goal however the things I have learnt about filming and the post production behind it has really mislead me on what I want to do for my future. Both had said that it is ideal to be able to adapt and be knowledgeable about both. But they had mentioned it would be ideal to gain experience in both to really feel what I’d like more. From there I had given them my business card and they were happy to get into contact.

Overall another successful day. Topic of talks are a little repetitive however each have included alternative ideas which I am looking forward to research sometime in the future. Looking forward to tomorrow.

To be continued… :)(:


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