Roxana, Indomitable Productions

Interview

For me creative thinking is about two things: being open and being silly. If you’re open and willing to play and explore your practice with other people, you’ll find directions and material that you never imagined.

We talk to Roxana from Indomitable Productions on their new play Photo Finish and what it’s like to be in a contemporary performance collective.

 

Can you tell us a bit about Indomitable Productions?

We first formed Indomitable around one particular show. Co-founders Guy and Jess came to me with an idea and from there we decided to be a proper company. Since then Guy Withers (Tenor, Graphic Designer Puppeteer and all round creative) and I steer Indomitable Productions. We now see ourselves as a collective of people rather than a company. For us it’s about collaborating with creative people we respect and whose work we are inspired by. My rule is if they challenge the way I see the world, then I want to work with them.

We make work based on content and not form. If there’s a good idea then I think that during rehearsal it will find its own genre. We don’t restrict it or decide before it happens. I also believe the work we make is dependent on who is in the room. This maybe sounds silly or obvious, but I really think it’s integral. We don’t limit ourselves to opera, but because of the people we bring to the space it does tend to be music orientated.

Bach to Front Indomitable Productions

It’s the word ‘collective’ that I love. We get to meet these incredibly creative people, bring them together and make work from the places where we share joy or anger or wonder.

How do you use creative thinking in your work?

For me creative thinking is about two things: being open and being silly. If you’re open and willing to play and explore your practice with other people, you’ll find directions and material that you never imagined. We spend so much time from our perspective; up in our heads, where we learnt what we know. Sometimes the biggest gesture of trust is about saying, ‘wait… how do you see this?’ and it offers you all a new place to work from.

The psychological goodness of laughter comes from silliness and that’s what I think should fill the rehearsal room. It’s these silly ideas that feel like gut-instincts that excite me most. Once you’ve made space for people to take and offer these creative risks, it places foundations in for the bigger creative risks. For me this is what builds a good working relationship.

 Bach to Front Indomitable Productions

What’s the best part about being in Indomitable Productions? 

I think for me, it’s the fact that I have other people to make stories with. It’s the word ‘collective’ that I love. We get to meet these incredibly creative people, bring them together and make work from the places where we share joy or anger or wonder.

I think it’s relevant and something that we’re perhaps not even ready to discuss yet; it’s that which really excites me.

Innocence and Experience Indomitable Productions

Tell us a bit about the new play your producing, Photo Finish?

Photo Finish is a new play by James Rushbrooke, winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing. It’s a one-man show in the style of a Ted-Talk, which tells the story of Luke’s journey to find the girl he fell in love with on the back of a Polaroid picture. The play looks at romance, determination and leaps into the unknown.

I’ve always been inspired by James’s writing, to me his style is a mix of Mike Bartlett and Charlie Brooker. It’s exciting but also scary as every time I read his work I end up realising that what he’s talking about is not that dissimilar to our world. Photo Finish is no different, I think it’s relevant and something that we’re perhaps not even ready to discuss yet; it’s that which really excites me.

We are also working with Ollie Savidge, who is lighting and projection designer for the show. His skills alone are enough of a reason to see it in my opinion, but you’ll have to come along to find out!

I think producing for me is about loving what you’re selling. Because that is what it is, it’s a sort of transaction.

Britten's Five Canticles Indomitable Productions

What advice would you give someone looking to get in to producing?

I think producing for me is about loving what you’re selling. Because that is what it is, it’s a sort of transaction. If you love the show, then you’re the best person to sell it on. My advice is to find a demographic that love it like you do and your job will be easier. Although it takes more time than you think, ultimately writing marketing material is just an equation. Read some copy and you’ll spot it, it’s just a slightly different language.

The best piece of producing advice I got was: don’t work when you’re tired. I know we’re all exhausted creatives, but seriously, if you’re tired take a nap and start a fresh. Whether it’s your show or someone else’s, it’s not worth you getting ill!

You can see Photo Finish at the Waterloo East Theatre on the 23rd-25th July. To book tickets visit the Theatre’s website.  If you would like to find out more about Indomitable Productions have a look at their website here.

 

 


Work Stories: Georgia, Sadler’s Wells

Interview

A lot of what I do is project to project based, which is great, as it never loses momentum. It’s always a bit exciting

This Is It! speaks to Georgia about working as an Intern on the Creative Employment Programme at Sadler’s Wells.

 

What were you doing before you started working at Sadler’s Wells?

I was volunteering at a drama company in Camden. This is a theatre, film and training company that focus on launching young people’s careers in acting. I was working on the writing and producing side of a show with them.

 

 I work across a lot of shows, so I am very lucky in that I get to see a range of shows at different stages.

 

What was it that interested you most about applying for this position?

It was a really unique in that it was a really good position but also a very well regarded famous company. I think there’s a lot you can learn from working in such a large company and a lot more possibility for progression. So as a first step in to the industry, it was a really good role.

Sadler's Wells

 

I’ve learnt a lot about budgeting and the influence of the Arts Council, which I think is really important. These I feel are all transferable skills, which can be applied to any kind of theatre.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Sadler’s Wells?

I work in the producing and touring department. A large part of my role is administration, but also other jobs that run along side that, like Arts Council support, the logistical side, which is really interesting to see. I work across a lot of shows, so I am very lucky in that I get to see a range of shows at different stages. I see shows at their conception, still in the research and development phases as well as ones that have been fully launched. It’s nice to see the creative bit at the start, how the art discipline, forms and then what happens when they are off the ground. I got to be involved with auditions as well, which was really fun.

I’ve also taken over the touring blog, which is quite exciting. It’s nice to have a mouthpiece to write about Sadler’s Wells and the touring department.

I got to go France where a show was touring, so that was a big plus!

 Sadler's Wells

What skills have you learnt so far?

I’ve learnt lots about the research and the preparation that happens before things go on tour. I’ve also learnt a lot about budgeting and the influence of the Arts Council, which I think is really important. These I feel are all transferable skills, which can be applied to any kind of theatre.

It’s been good, as I have worked on one smaller scale show and another that’s the total opposite, so it’s great to see how these things can work within the framework that’s been provided. It’s really good to see the framework of both a small and large budget and how different things operate within it.

I think that a lot of stuff I do, in general it doesn’t really feel like an internship it feels like a job.

Has there been a moment or day that’s been a particular highlight?

I’d probably say the trip to France. I had worked on the show for a few months, so it was really great to go out there and see it. It was great to be there with everyone involved including the dancers and musicians. I also got to meet the tech and wardrobe team and find out a bit about what they do, which was really nice. It was really nice to see what you know on paper but in the flesh.

A lot of what I do is project to project based, which is great, as it never loses momentum. It’s always a bit exciting, even if I have a day, which maybe seems a bit duller because it’s slightly more data based, that project is then done and I move on to the next job.

 

It’s been really good in that everyone here has been super supportive. It’s very much the emphasis that once people are in the company the company allow them to flourish as much as they can.

 

Have you faced any challenges during your time here?

I think that a lot of stuff I do, in general it doesn’t really feel like an internship it feels like a job. A lot of the jobs I do seem difficult at first, so it’s a challenge in that sense. For example we had a premiere for one of the tours with about thirty people travelling. It was difficult at first to work out what name is what and things like that. I think you just need to be really organised.

Sadler's Wells

Would you say working here has influenced your future career?

Yes, I would say it has. It’s definitely made me more knowledgeable about what a day-to-day job in theatre is like. Before working here it was difficult to know exactly how it all worked and so it’s made me a lot more knowledgeable about that. I feel a lot more confident that I know what I’m talking about.

It’s been really good in that everyone here has been super supportive. It’s very much the emphasis that once people are in the company the company allow them to flourish as much as they can. It’s not a big company in the sense that you’re a cog; it’s more that they want you to grow and flourish with them.

 

Can you give any advice to somebody who might be starting a similar role or a placement?

Just to be super friendly to everyone, that can make the biggest difference. Once you’re in the office be really chatty and friendly, it’s a really small thing but I think it makes a huge difference. Then if you want to do different bits of work and get more responsibilities for yourself, you have that connection with people, that’s what it’s all about.

You can find out more about Sadler’s Wells here and more about the Creative Employment Programme here.

 


Why the Creative Industry is Important

Dominic tells This Is It! why he thinks the Creative Industry is so important and predicts what it’s future might be. If you want to write a piece for This Is It contact Izzy to get involved.

 

According to an article published this year, the Creative Industries are now worth ‘£8.8 million an hour’ to the UK economy. That’s a total of £76.9 billion a year. So the creative industries are hugely valuable right?

For me the largest impact the creative industries make on society is the ability to change the way we interact with one another.

The economic impact film, music, art and design have on society is obvious. However the numbers don’t tell the entire story, largely because, as most creative types will tell you ‘it’s not about the money!’

Films like Pulp Fiction and Fight Club first exposed me to dark humour and cinematic violence. While I was definitely too young to watch these films, they inspired me to want to watch more and more.

For me the largest impact the creative industries make on society is the ability to change the way we interact with one another. We can now contact anyone, anywhere, at anytime and all you need is a smartphone. A tool designed by a ‘creative’ that people will now spend hundreds of pounds to own. Apple and Steve Jobs managed to create an entire lifestyle around beautifully designed products, cinematic commercials and stores with patented staircases.

Personally it has been film that has had the largest impact on me. Films like Pulp Fiction and Fight Club first exposed me to dark humour and cinematic violence. While I was definitely too young to watch these films, they inspired me to want to watch more and more. The impact these works had on me is something I still feel today.

While this all sounds warm and fuzzy you can’t ignore the fact I’m still talking about an industry. An industry that for me, is about to face some interesting times.

Will the next batch of graduates look to pastures new? I hope so. I believe the Internet (as usual) is the answer.

Traditionally creative folk gravitate toward cities like London and New York due to the established arts scene and job prospects. However the cost of living in London has made it harder for young talent to establish itself.

Will the next batch of graduates look to pastures new? I hope so. I believe the Internet (as usual) is the answer. It’s a platform for creation, promotion and networking allowing you to base yourself nearly anywhere while still reaching a global audience. Soon we’ll be seeing new creative hubs springing up outside of London, New York and Paris with young people seeking a lower cost of living.


To read more of Dominic’s work have a look at his This Is Us page HERE.

 


Skill Up: Digital Print on Fabric

If you are an illustrator, artist or craft lover printing your work digitally on textiles is a great way to turn your handmade drawings in to professional sellable products. With an unlimited range of colours, complete freedom in customisation, experimentation and prototyping you are a lot less limited than with other forms of printing on fabric.

In order to get the best quality print possible it’s important that your artwork is in the right format to be sent to print. Have a look at this great blog post that gives you a step by step guide to designing and getting your designs print ready: A Beginners Guide to Digital Printing

Artists to Look at:

Rachel Parker

Rachel Parker Textiles

Rachel Parker designs

 

Rachel Parker is a textile artist who creates digital prints for hand stitched designs. She was awarded the Textile Study Group Graduate of the Year 2012.

Melanie Bowles

Melanie Bowles Book Launch

Melanie Bowles Book Launch photo by Cristina Schek

Melanie Bowles combines digital and traditional printing techniques and specialises in designing creative systems of participatory design for printed textiles. She is also the author of the bestselling book Digital Textile Design.

 

Where to get your work printed:

Spoonflower is a website where you can easily upload and order your designs to be printed on a range of material. It is particularly good for prototypes and experimentation as there is no minimum order.

The Centre for Advanced Textiles is a fabric printing bureau based at Glasgow School of Art.

The Silk Bureau is the UK’s leading textile printing company for a mix of individual designers, retailers and design studios. For a full price list and how to order contact them through their website.

Good sites to get you started:

Textile Artist for great interviews and tips on textile printing.

Lacuna Press has a good tutorial for for hand finishing the edges for scarves.


Art Collectives

Our Top Picks

Struggling to get your work shown in a gallery? Or are you finding it hard to motivate yourself to produce solo work? Working as part of a collective can be a great way to not only get your stuff seen to a wider audience but also have more of an impact with your creativity. Some of the best collectives combine cross disciplinary skills to produce amazing results.

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