Creative Futures Week, Day 1

Opening Speech and Panel Discussion

Creative Futures was introduced by Dr. Claire Taylor, Deputy Vice Chancellor, and Prof. Alec Shepley, head of the Creative Arts school in the University. After the introduction, five guest speaker from various sectors in the creative industries spoke about their job roles, companies and provided general advice with their specific creative area.

Welsh ICE

The first speaker was Gareth Jones from Welsh ICE. He explained that there should be healthy environment around you. This will improve your working capabilities and allow for collaboration between industries and guidance. I agree with this statement as I think a positive working environment will enhance the creativity and enthusiasm in your work and create a healthier team relationship. Skills can 17036950_782826761894164_1058669578_obe shared between business to gain further experience and create valuable networks.

Gareth Jones is the founder and CEO of Welsh ICE, that enables entrepreneurs to come to a facility where there are workspaces and available professional guidance for them to succeed in creating their products and growing their business. This includes any industry and product, such as Game Developers to builders. This promotes collaboration between industries and provides help for people just starting their new company. This could be beneficial for those in my industry of film and photography. If I had a working space in their facility I would be able to create links to other companies where I could offer photography or videography services. I could create strong networks and gain further experience. Help would be regularly available, especially when dealing with the management and business side of my own company. The location was not close to my current location but Gareth Jones announced that he has plans to build another place in Wrexham, which would be a much more suitable location for myself and others close to Wrexham.

Gareth also brought to our attention that most people do not know what their best skills are. He does not believe skills just include communication, problem-solving and other key skills taught in lower education. He explained that when a part of the company they also identify your skills that can include attitude and the way someone looks at the world.

I found this talk beneficial as it opened up another contact that would be able to aid me in becoming a freelance photographer. The center being opened in Wrexham produces further opportunities to find a positive working environment and somewhere I can grow my confidence and create strong networks with other businesses.

Theatre Clwyd

The Artistic Director, Tamara Harvey first spoke about her career and the facilities at Theatre Clwyd. At the age of 17 she took any jobs that related to the performance sector, including working behind stage on the sound and lighting.

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She stated that the theater attracts 25% of the welsh audience, hosting various activities including panto’s, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and more. She came into her current role 18 months ago, but became aware of the struggle the theatre has been suffering. Many cuts were made, only being able to produce a few shows that reduce the financial intake and audience engagement. However, she has since been able to improve the financial status of the theater along with hosting more shows throughout the year and creating a diverse range of activities on the site.

From this I have learned that the theatre participates in various events that do not only relate to theatre. They welcome collaborations and could be a possible place to connect to. I think the theater is open to helping students of different abilities and may have beneficial experience opportunities for film or photography. They also open the behind the scenes to the public, which suggests that they are willing to discuss any roles behind the productions. This may provide an opportunity to speak to photographers for the theater.

Oriel Wrexham

Joe Marsh came to introduce us about Oriel Wrexham. She explained that this is a gallery that offers people the chance to display their work, accepting work placements and volunteer placements. This will allow students to create valuable collections with professionals in various artistic sectors and have first-hand viewing of their exhibits that can offer beneficial insight to how professional practitioners display their work.

They are currently developing a larger space to move their gallery in Wrexham. She enthused how important collaboration is because it allows people of different skill sets to help one another in areas they do not have a strength in and also opens connections between businesses.

Cheetham Bell

Andy Cheetham is the founder and chairman for Cheetham Bell. He began by telling his journey to how he became to have his current position. He explained that he left school with little qualifications to work in a chip shop. He then was able to become a student at Glyndwr University when it was a college, he now is a fellow of the University.

He applied for many jobs but got refused, although he expressed that he never gave up. He eventually found a career in advertising and was first asked to make the advert for the chip shop that he worked in. He entered and won competitions which led to him becoming noticed and asked to create advertisements.

His advice;

  • Be flexible
  • Have an open mind
  • Do not submit to failure

He is known as the head of storytelling in his current career and has made the following adverts;

  • Dreams – mattress replacement.
  • John West – tracking identification on cans

This talk was motivational as it emphasized that many fail at first but this is just a learning experience. Many successful people fail but this does not discourage them or stop them from achieving.

Discussion Pannel

The first conversation between all the guests was protecting your own work. They suggested NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) which aids in protecting ideas. This is useful information that will benefit me in the future for my work. I will research NDA to found out more information and how it could apply to a prct in the future.

One guest said to allow yourself to be vulnerable. They explained that NDA can break the trust between businesses because they feel that they are protecting their ideas from the other business when they should be collaborating on a project. They used examples in their business of clients who would not discuss their ideas but expected help from them.

They expressed that you should be open to criticism, and open minded to others ideas. You should allow influences and do not show negativity or possessive behavior. Working with clients or other business is about the relations between one another.

More advice for collaborating is to have a decision maker. If no one is in charge then predicts will not have progress. No one will finalise ideas and no movement will be made in the project. I can relate to this and have experienced this issue in group work. When no one is taking lead the work process slows down and nothing is agreed upon. This is advice that I will use for the future, making sure someone leads the group to make sure progress is being made and tasks completed.

All responsibilities must be accepted by everyone working together and everyone must feel apart of the production. Collaborating will only be successful if everyone feels valued and if an effort is put in by all members. They stated that do not be afraid to say no in situations. Opinions must be voiced and discussed in order to overcome problems and so that everyone is on the same level.

Communication is the key to successful collaborations. It must be clear what everyone has to do in the project and the direction it is going. The businesses or clients all must be working to the same end goal which can only be ensured through good communication.

This end discussion panel was especially informative and related to my profession. It provided useful information about working with others which can be applied to group work and when working with people of completely different skills. I have been able to hear advice on the best ways to work together and how to make a successful project with healthy communication.

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