Youth Arts Leadership Network Investing in Arts Award Participants
Date Created: 6th Dec 2019
Luke is currently on his way to completing his Gold Arts Award, with the help of funding from the Youth Arts Leadership Network. He gives us an insight into how this has helped him along on his creative journey. Luke’s artwork is featured throughout the article.
How has the Youth Arts Leadership Network (YALN) fund helped you towards achieving your Gold Arts Award?
The price of printing at the level I wanted to use does not come cheap when you want people taking part in your workshop to be handling authentic photographic prints. Having the YALN fund available to me made that possible and made me feel really confident in the workshop that I was providing. I do not like sub-par content from myself and having the support of the funding meant that I was able to achieve everything that I wanted to.
I was also able to explore a medium that I was not familiar with and not feel like I had wasted any money in the process. Sometimes there is a risk with new ways of working that may not pay off, so having the fund there helped me immerse myself in my new work without any financial worries.
Would you recommend other young people do Arts Award? If so, why?
Completing Arts Award teaches you discipline. Without a doubt the most important part of growing up and exploring your creative practice is discipline. Having Arts Award as a supporting structure with your work it teaches you to meet deadlines, set yourself a structure that you can stick to and how you can evaluate yourself. It gives you the transferable skills you will need once you go on into your career that will be invaluable.
Did doing artistic, creative things have an impact on your mental health or wellbeing?
I believe that any means of expression is a way to impact you mental health and wellbeing. For me, photography has always been that outlet and it’s something that I actively use to separate myself from everyday life and the baggage that comes with that. I like to be out in the new forest photographing but I feel that if you have your own preferred creative outlet then you can mirror that same peaceful feeling.
Any advice for young people on careers/life?
As you are growing up through education or employment at a younger age, it is prime time to be grabbing opportunities by the horns. Even if it seems like something out of your comfort zone then you should still consider taking it. Opening yourself up to new environments and ways of working allows you to explore things that you would never even know you were interested in. This also means you will be meeting new people which in turn might open doors to you in the future. Making a good impression during these opportunities will only benefit you in the long run as that network grows between yourself and other professionals.
I took on this mentality throughout university and it has since allowed me to work with young people teaching, photography work throughout Southampton and now a permanent position in a contemporary art gallery.