Monday, 30 March 2015

How To Get Big On The Internet

I recently attended the last in a series of Creative How To talks by Amy Martin, entitled How to Get Big on the Internet. No stranger to this manner of creative career navigation session (having followed the previous Cannon Hill Lectures series at mac birmingham and generally spending time gathering as many nuggets of wisdom about how to move forward in the arts as possible), I was surprised by how much the talk gripped me by the shoulders and gave me a renewed sense of optimism towards my own online presence.

The exciting part was that the internet had aided the careers of each speaker in lots of different ways, including being asked to speak at events, run workshops and write articles directly as a result of the content they create and distribute online. It was these potential benefits to social media engagement that I had begun to lose faith in, always enjoying it on a personal level but beginning to doubt if it could help me professionally; something that this session injected with a fresh sense of possibility.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Character Factory

This weekend I led my first ever workshop. a little drop-in number for kids following Flatpack Film Festival's Cartoon Rock screening. I was crazy nervous in the run up, partly because I haven't conducted workshops of my own design before and didn't know what to expect, but also due to imagining kids swallowing small parts or getting paper cuts - I mean, nobody likes a boo-boo. Armed with safety scissors, pritt sticks & a variety of coloured paper shapes (lovingly hand cut, like posh chips) I descended on the Birmingham & Midland Institute and got set up.

Fresh out of a morning film session and armed with bowls of cereal, lots of children filled the tables and began working with the shapes in front of them. Circulating and chatting to the families taking part, it was nice to see both parties regarding the creations as characters with personalities and traits, with one little girl making a rather abstract fellow called "plap-plap" who enjoyed drinking wine, with another youngster declaring their creature's favourite food was "vegetarian fruit". The shapes began to come alive with the imagination of their maker.