Having graduated last summer as a Digital Arts student, I felt relieved but nervous in regards to what I should do next. I was someone who was interested in graphic design, film and writing, so I wasn’t exactly sure of where to start. However, I knew that working in television was something that I was passionate about and something that I wanted to pursue. But on the other hand, I was also aware that I needed to have a steady income whilst looking for an internship. This led to me falling into a rigid full-time work circle at a retail establishment. The money was good but I was left feeling uninspired, under-valued and disheartened by the lack of stimulation from my environment. Working long hours also meant that I was tired and out of practice when it came to doing artwork in my spare time. When I actually had a day off to do applications I no longer felt equipped to fulfil the roles that I was applying for and felt stuck in a job that I had no passion for. I also didn’t have as much time to see my friends because I was so tired and ended up in quite a low place.
Whilst at work I started talking to colleagues about what they actually wanted to do in life and a lot of them had creative aspirations whether it be, blogging, film or fashion. This was a reminder to myself that we all have to work jobs that we don’t like in order support our future career goals and dreams. However, I wasn’t balancing my time well enough to ensure I was still expanding my art portfolio or working on my poetry.
At that point I decided to start work on a project titled ‘My seed’ which was a pivotal part in my time of doubt. The response from people online and at work reassured me that I was still able to create an impact with my work. I would do a little bit whenever I had time and eventually entered it into a competition called The Loop Contest and later submitted a poem called ‘Drown’ which placed Top Ten. I then decided to go part-time and left my job as they only wanted full-time staff. I was then able to develop a healthier work and life balance where I felt more productive and able to spend more time with my friends and family who inspire me. My mood was a lot better and I felt more hopeful in my quest to become a development/creative intern for television. I also prioritised working on my own personal projects in my own time and sent more applications. This ending up with me getting more interviews where I met more people like myself at the assessment days. Networking and gaining knowledge from others about schemes and interview tips helped to advance my efforts. I kept getting to the final stages of production companies like Fremantle media but just missed the final spot. However, each one was a networking opportunity and I encourage everyone to talk with fellow candidates and ask for the emails of those who interviewed you for both feedback and information on future placements. Some of my interviews this year have been through recommendations from past interviews so I believe this is an effective way to build a network.
Some sites I can suggest are Hiive, The Dots, Creative access and Social Fixt facebook page. Recently a friend from university also suggested a site called Crowdskills, a place where freelancers have the chance to work on a plethora of different projects in videography, content writing, graphic design etc. I found this to be useful as it’s gave me the opportunity to connect with companies directly and use my skills for different tasks. Whilst waiting for jobs I am still able to work part-time and work on my own projects. So if anyone is stuck and unsure of their next move I’d say there’s no harm in using this site as it gives you the chance to use your skills and collaborate with others. It’s flexible and you’re in control of how you manage your time. I hope to one day be a director, and there is no direct route so I have started writing my own scripts more to submit on sites such as BBC writers room. I am also writing my own book and in the running for a few poetry competitions whilst I wait to hear back from some Production schemes. There may be times when you feel like you aren’t being proactive but remember that if there isn’t any work available, you have the power to create your own projects as well. Your end destination may change or not be known but grab every opportunity on the way and use your hardships to inspire your content.
“From a seed to a fruitful tree of abundance, I stand statuesque. Roots entwined but always in search of new ground” - Tkeyah Alyssia Renee