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Ten questions for ten creatives
- What do you do for a living?
I coordinate and develop creative projects, usually involving children and young people and art. Sometimes these are in museums and galleries, and sometimes these are part of ‘public art’ programmes out in the community.
My job ranges from brain storming with all sorts of people and organisations to come up with ideas, raising funding, to working on the ground to make it happen. And sometimes sweeping up and making tea.
- What was the path that led you to do what you do now?
A wiggly one! I started with an Art Foundation, but rather than get inspired I lost confidence. So I decided to do an academic degree instead and studied Archaeology and Ancient History. Then I missed making things, so I re-trained as a stone mason and conservator and repaired old buildings for about six years. I ended up in ‘arts administration’ by accident; I didn’t know that such a job existed. It gives me the variety I seem to love. Despite feeling very knocked after Foundation, I have ended up working in the arts really happily for over twenty years.
- What did you want to be when you were at school?
A farmer, an artist, an archaeologist, a traveller, an estate agent (yes really), an auctioneer, run a cafe… I didn’t really have a clue.
- What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
It’s OK not to be single minded. It equips you for jumping between lots of worlds.
- What do you like my most about your job?
That it is always changing, is often surprising and I get to work in all sorts of places with all sorts of brilliant people.
- What do you find most challenging?
Spreadsheets and budgets. These are a big part of what I do, and maths was always my weakest subject at school. But because I have to do this to make sure things happen, I just get on with it now. I actually enjoy the challenge of stretching and testing myself, and am much more confident now than I was.
- What’s your favourite song (at the moment)?
Elbow ‘What Time Do You Call This’. I always really like Guy Garvey’s lyrics.
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
New York. With my family.
- Name three things that you always take with you to work on an average day.
Big pencil case (lots of things in there!), to do list, phone.
- Tell us a joke or a secret.
I wrote this in my joke book when I was nine. A man with three hairs goes into the barbers for a trim. “How do you like your hair parted?” says the barber politely. “On the left”, says the man. The barber combs the hair, and one hair pops out. He’s mortified. “Not a problem, part it in the middle” says the man. While the barber tries to do this another one pops out. “Oh don’t worry”, says the man “just leave it all messy.”