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Discover Creative Careers at Artswork 

Date Created: 15th Nov 2023

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Today for Discover! Creative Careers Week, we’re highlighting a handful of the creative roles within our team at Artswork!  

Did you know there are over 3.5 million jobs across the #creativeeconomy? That’s 1 in 14 UK jobs, yet many young people haven’t even heard of most roles! We asked some of our colleagues to share what their role is and how they use creativity at work – we hope this gives some inspiration to those looking for roles in the industry.  

Ruth – Placemaking Creative Producer 

I’m a Placemaking Creative Producer for Artswork. There are 6 of us Creative Producers, and we work across 5 areas in the South East of England; Dover, Arun, Isle of Wight, New Forest and Slough. I’m one of two Creative Producers working in Slough.  

My job is to create cultural and artistic projects within Slough that are developed and lead by young people, in response to their ideas on the improvements they would like to see in their local areas. Another way of looking at my job is to see it as providing genuine ways for young people to have a powerful voice, expressed through culture and creativity, on the places and spaces where they live. 

I spent 12 years as an actor and puppeteer, and I’ve also run my own creative venue, so I love using creativity to empower and enable positive change. In my Creative Producer role at Artswork, I partner with artists to run innovative and engaging workshops that introduce new art forms and skills to young people – artists like Aida Kiraya from Afro Kickz, plastic-waste sculptor Fahima Mahbub, and hip hop contemporary dance company Avant Garde. These curated workshops are the perfect environment for young people to share openly their opinions on the places where they live, and the changes they would like to see. 

Simi – Sales & Marketing Officer 

I support the delivery of the Marketing and Sales strategy for Artswork including… 

  • Our email newsletter 
  • Copy writing for website 
  • Website updates 
  • Designing & ordering print 

I use creativity to process my thoughts and come up with different ideas for the content. Creativity allows me to think differently and see things from different point of view, which is often what is needed to solve any issues. 

Lesley – Learning Development & Quality Manager 

“My role is to manage Learning Development and Quality. I think to understand my role it is possibly useful to understand how it has developed. 

My background was originally in performing and visual arts and creative writing. I spent many years working with young people in education, community settings, and the justice system. At some point, I took a further leap and started to develop my skills in education and finally settled on a PGCE and a Cert Ed in Practitioner Enquiry, entering the world of professional development whilst still supporting young people.  

I worked with Artswork for 15 years freelance before picking up this role and have been lucky enough to be part of the shaping of what I do.  

Initially, my role was about developing our professional development programme working with a range of heritage, arts and cultural organisations and directly writing and delivering training in facilitation, project management, well-being, safeguarding and many other areas. When lockdown hit us, online learning became more crucial and so I began to develop the learning platform and self-guided courses, this is an area where we continue to grow and progress.  

Our face-to-face work remains as important as ever and in addition to delivering training, I also develop public programmes with support from the rest of the team and ensure the quality of what we do by working with our external trainers.  

As an extension of our work, we began to offer mentoring and consultancy to organisations, this has covered areas like leadership, management, equality and diversity, measuring impact and safeguarding. (My work is nothing if not diverse.)  

As my role has developed, I now support other areas of the organisation to develop work and training and as we go forward, I will be working across the organisation to distil the learning from other areas of our work and using this to develop new learning products.  

This is an exciting time at Artswork and late last year I was lucky enough to be involved in a tender to deliver work in schools. The tender was successful and now I am currently working on a programme going into schools to help teachers develop pedagogic approaches to teaching critical thinking skills that support pupils to make better choices about knife crime and antisocial behaviour. The programme uses philosophy, creative and critical thinking alongside drama-based techniques to address challenges that young people face daily.  

At the heart of all the work I make and deliver is creativity, it’s either about delivering training on it or using it to deliver training.  

There are so many ways that creativity can offer access to learning and development and sometimes people can learn as much from a creative activity as they can from reading a book.  

Creativity is an amazing thing and hard to pin down, it isn’t just about creating a piece of art is also about how we think and how we use those ideas and thoughts.  

I love this description of creativity which is included in the Arts Council England Let’s Create strategy for 2020-2030 which suggests that creativity is 

“the process through which people apply their knowledge, skill and intuition to imagine, conceive, express or make something that wasn’t there before.”  

I think that pretty much nails my role and what I try to do.” 

Lucy – Creative Producer Apprentice 

“As a Creative Producer Apprentice, I have an extremely versatile role where my creativity is utilised across an array of daily tasks, from problem solving in event planning, to designing marketing content. Since starting at Artswork, I have discovered an incredible network of creative professionals who have helped me to develop my skills and confidence, which I will carry forward into my career. My creativity and idea generation skills are such an asset for problem solving and evaluating projects. The challenge of problem solving really stimulates and engages my creative brain even though it’s not traditionally considered a creative task and isn’t refined to the creative industries.” 

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