Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Artivism Community Project and Festival Placement

My second weekly visit to Armley Mills involved much of the same sort of thing as the first. We simply continued on with our paper mache puppet heads - adding extra layers and priming them with emulsion. Again, a highly satisfying process.

There were two new comers this week so once again it was introductions all round, and one member of the group had brought in some of his photography work to show us. I spent a while chatting to a man called Steve, he is the ultimate fountain of knowledge. I like to call him Fact Man. His great-grandfather (maybe great-great?) was the founder of Armley Mills, he's involved with Wakefield Westgate Studios and he used to be a mega pre-computer graphic designer in his day. I can't remember the name of the studio he used to work for but it was London-based and he did the type-setting for the Miss Selfridge and Saatchi campaigns in his day - so I'm guessing that particular studio was, erm, good.

He was talking me through photo type setting, which was the process used to produce large bodies of type before computers - all the text is exposed onto photographic film which is then spaced and lined up by hand. Sounded pretty daunting. He was also talking about the interviewing process for graphic designers in his day - the interview that secured his job at the design studio in London rendered CV's irrelevant. The candidates were given a compass, ruler and drawing materials and told to draw a border of a particular size with rounded corners - whoever was most accurate got the job. Crazy.

Managed to talk to Jane about the I Love West Leeds festival that she organises as well. This is the first instance in my life where the whole 'it's not what you know it's who you know' cliche has worked in my favor. She needs some interns to commit to 2 days per week for the next 3 months to help with general running of the festival. Initially she said that she understood from Christian that I probably couldn't offer up that much of my time but right now I really don't have anything stopping me - from now on the timetable seems to be plain sailing. Basically what she's done is sent out a formal intern application (I'm signed up to the Arts Council weekly jobs mailer and I spied it on there) requesting CV's and some pieces of extended writing, which she will then shortlist and interview. However because I've been involved in this community project, Jane has simply said that I need not apply this way at all, I've got a secured position regardless of how much time I can offer. BOOOM.

Festival management was never something I had considered getting involved in until the opportunity arose. But now that it has I can't possibly turn it down, it will be so beneficial and, obviously, an incredible thing to have on my CV. I have no idea if events management will become a focal point in my career direction, I'm not sure it will as I still want to be a 'maker', but this project definitely can't hurt!

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