Image : (L-R) Sabrina Mahfouz, Geoff Barrow and Sarah Cox at THIS IS IT! Bristol
“When it comes to creativity, there’s a strength down in the South West that you don’t get in London.”
Portishead’s Geoff Barrow was among top creatives that spoke candidly about their path into the creative industries, giving invaluable advice to young local people starting out in the field.
The music producer and founding member of the legendary Bristol band spoke about his break into the music business, from inauspicious beginnings making tea for respected bands to Portishead fame and founding his own record label. He told the audience “when it comes to creativity, there’s a strength down in the South West that you don’t get in London.” and warned them “not to be ashamed” about not being from the capital.
The Creative Society’s THIS IS IT! event at The Engine Shed on Wednesday 2 April combined talks, networking, workshops and discussions aimed at boosting the creative career potential of the area. Sarah Cox, a Director at Aardman Animations, inspired the assembly with her advice to “find what you love doing and let it take you where you want to go” and Mike Smith of Virgin EMI Records urged “don’t wait for anyone to hand you the perfect job – get out there and do it yourself”.
The participants, who attended from local organisations including Watershed and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, presented creative project ideas to the star-studded panel. Vicky Wheeler, a Digital Communications intern at the Architecture Centre enthused of the experience “it’s really exciting getting to present your creative ideas to such inspiring professionals.”
The participants rated the day a success, highlighting the impact of the advice imparted on their career prospects – “It was a brilliant day and I feel like I have got so much from it in terms of networking, ideas and – most importantly – self-validation. It was so nice to hear from people who had pursued their creative passion unwaveringly and ultimately ended up somewhere they were happy with” and already anticipating the return of THIS IS IT! to the region.
Check out the highlights of the day on our Storify page here.