New Creatives: Top Tips

For the past (almost) five months I have had the most wonderful opportunity to work with Rich Mix and thirteen other fabulous young people attempting to employ all of our artistic ability and channel it into an event we can be proud of. Sounds easy enough, right? So, so wrong. I had literally NO IDEA the level of work and professionalism that goes into orchestrating an artistic event, especially when they appear to play out so seamlessly from an audience perspective. I can guarantee this; every creative event you have ever gone to was ultimately a product of a lot of stress, a lot of laughs, SO many emails and a hell of a lot of arty people using every inch of their brain power. This is what you can expect from the New Creative programme (emphasis on the laughs and the arty people). So, because of how blindly I went into this experience thinking I was unstoppable, I’m going to share my tips on how to successfully put on an event as a young person who also works, goes to university and still needs to have somewhat of a social life.

1. Accept and Appreciate the work of others.

It is often to easy in the creative industries to fully believe your ideas are the best, and I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of confidence! I often wish I had less doubt in myself. Saying that, do not be afraid to place your trust in others. The team I have been working with over the past 5 months are completely incredible and I have learnt more from listening to them than I ever would have if I had only accepted my ideas and concepts. Get inspired by people the same age as yourself doing totally admirable things as it will only help you in elevating your stance in the creative world.

2. Do not even think about leaving things last minute!

Fundamental. Cannot stress this enough. I guess it is self-explanatory but coming directly from the perspective of someone who continually extended the artist deadline date on a callout sheet because they left the editing of the document to the last minute, I wouldn’t recommend it because the anxiety is real. Also if you, like me, have tons of university deadlines and bills to pay, organisation when it comes to fitting in time for your event is key. There will ALWAYS be time to sort out important aspects of life; it’s just about prioritising and sticking to a schedule (as best you can, we’re all human!).

3. Be comfortable talking to and taking advice from those who have done this before you.

A lot of the aspects of artistic events managing we learnt as a New Creative team were, naturally, from those generous enough to pass forward their wisdom on to us. I cannot thank these individuals enough; speaking to them proved utterly priceless as the advice assisted endlessly with the orchestrating of FIRSTS and indeed I truly believe will stick with me in later life. From Rich Mix’s own CEO Eddie Berg, to Road Gal’s Jasmine Kahlia, to Last Mango in Paris aka Shane Solanki and more, all of our guests provided different outlooks and advice that culminated into a pretty well-rounded idea of how much persistence it takes to be successful in such a competitive and always-moving industry.

4. See as many artistic events relating to yours as possible- gather research!

It may seem like a simple one, but honestly just viewing as many varied artistic events as possible that have some sort of link to your event (even if not) and investigate aspects you wouldn’t usually think about as a passive audience member- i.e. lighting design, stage management and general organisation of the evening. Take it all in and on board. As an example of this, earlier this year, two of the New Creative girls and I went to the ‘Dirty Feet’ poetry progress evening at the Roundhouse, after which I felt our event had to be just as informal in order to create a level of comfortability required for the purpose of FIRSTS. Taking inspiration from other events is fundamental; much like with number 3, learning from those who manage creative events as their day job is going to massively make a positive impact on your event.

5. Document EVERYTHING!

This is of utmost importance. Whether it is in blog form, journals, voice notes, vlogs, literally any format just so long as you document every step of the journey. Not only does it help to be able to refresh your memory and reflect upon the decisions made toward your event, but also it has been hugely beneficial, personally, to be able to send my blog to people to 1) inform them of the event and all the effort put into it and, more significantly 2) have the opportunity to get critique back on not only on the event itself, but also on writing style and technique. Logging week by week has had an immense difference on how I’ve handled this experience and kept track of all the ideas and discussions that occur each week in our Rich Mix meetings. Honestly, I cannot recommend documenting everything enough. It will help you in numerous ways.

Hope this is useful for any young people wanting to take on the challenge of orchestrating their own event or take part in the Rich Mix New Creative programme which I would seriously recommend, by the way. If you did find this helpful I urge you to come to see our event FIRSTS, the culmination of this amazing experience with Rich Mix. FIRSTS is a multidisciplinary performance based around people’s firsts; from the first time they made a coffee to the first time they put on a hijab. The evening will be a celebration of the human experience and the acceptance that we all make mistakes! Happening on the 15th of February in Rich Mix’s Main Space, come along to hear and see hilarious and moving first times- maybe even share a few of your own!

Thanks for reading!

Grace Kirk

Follow our journey as a New Creative Team through my eyes here!:

Grace is a 20 year old English and History student from ‘up north’ wanting to be successful in the arts as a writer, actor and mainly a teacher, to those who (wrongly) believe they can not have an active role in the creative industries due to societal factors or pressures. She will be performing an original piece at FIRSTS.