(6 Month Placement, Future Jobs Fund July 2010-January 2011)
Before starting my placement here, I had only vague notions of a career in writing, knowing I would inevitably employ my ability in some way, but entirely unsure what form this would take. I enjoyed scribbling poetry and other writing, usually as a result of my leisurely days, having decided not to attend university or embark on a meditated career path. These jots were the results of experiences I had in place of established life routes, and I never conceived they would shape my creative ambitions for the future.
Working at Proboscis has channeled my writing into a medium that lets it develop and influence others, rather than lurking in scrapbooks that never see the light of day. By regularly blogging – describing what’s going on the studio and my own creative processes, as well as researching inspiring works and spreading the word – I’m honing my craft and developing a work ethic. More exciting however, by creating and taking part in projects that use my scrawls, such as the City As Material series, I’m producing original writing pieces that are slowly forming into a respectable body of work. Although mostly short poems, (albeit with common themes that allow them to be compiled and displayed in their own right) I’m looking towards short stories and longer pieces to spur my development further.
Having the opportunity to showcase my writing, and letting the environment and events experienced here inspire it in turn, has influenced what route it might take. I wouldn’t rule out trying to publish an anthology, or at least submitting my work to publications – something I had only done once before, without reply. Even having a hand in a publication which displayed other people’s work, would be of great reward – then again, I’ve been doing that here with City As Material, and barely noticing the ramifications. I don’t think you comprehend the opportunities and possibilities available during a placement like this, until it is nearly finished, or asked to write an account of it. Perhaps that’s just my skewed look at it – motivation has always been an issue and this is my first job in the creative sector. I know there are people who are industrious (and rightly so) when it comes to their creative work – endlessly writing, committing to multiple internships and gaining ladder-holds and experience – yet I’m only just easing into that groove.
I think therefore, placements such as these could definitely benefit from being longer. Approaching the end of the 6 months, after adapting to creative working and learning techniques, I was just settling in and at the peak of productivity. Thankfully, I am being kept on as a full team member, but if the placement had ended there, I fear I might have been at a loss – not able to showcase a portfolio of work which was created in these additional months, and perhaps having to resort to a non-creative job, where it would be extremely difficult on focus on and develop my writing.
On a more optimistic note, as a result of the placement here and the work I’ve been involved with, we’re currently planning and scheduling new City As Material events for this year, as well as more Pitch Up & Publish workshops. I’m looking forward to sharing the techniques and experiences I’ve gained, with people who might now be in the position I was last year, and who are interested in using bookleteer and getting their work seen. Thus, it seems I might be able to take on a similar role that Proboscis and New Deal of The Mind have performed for me – undoubtedly rewarding, and a symbol of how placements such as these can positively influence people, who then hopefully inspire others.
Hazem Tagiuri, March 2011