Final impressions – Radhika Patel

June 23, 2011 by · Comments Off on Final impressions – Radhika Patel 

Marketing Assistant
(6 Month Placement, Future Jobs Fund November 2010-April 2011)

The past six months have absolutely flown by! Now that I have come to the end of my placement here at Proboscis, I thought I’d take a look back at my time here.

I have been fortunate enough to be involved in quite a few projects in the past six months. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I started off by launching the StoryCube website and have continued to blog weekly on different uses for the StoryCubes as well as including a feature post series about selected StoryCube sets. As I became a more confident blogger, I also started to blog on the Bookleteer blog about the different uses and recently moved onto blogging about my love of fashion and photography with publishing.

Taking part in Mandy’s Outside the Box project was great fun as all the team members got involved. I was mainly involved in the brainstorming part, thinking of different suggestions of ways the game can be played, as well as coming up with numerous words for one of the layers of the game.

I also got to do some photography (unexpectedly) in the studio, usually for documentation purposes. This led onto doing the photography for Alice at the 50’s Fashion Exhibition, which was a great experience, as I have not done something like that before, but would love to continue doing it. The teaching I got from Alice and Giles about using the SLR and photography has been much more effective than any class I have attended. Thank you!

Alongside this, I have been involved in the ‘re-vamp’ of the Pitch Up & Publish sessions; trying to attract a younger demographic on a frequent basis. This is where I was really able to let me creative side run wild, creating slogans and writing copy, which I love doing. This is something I also want to pursue in the future – copywriting.

The placement has been helpful on a personal development level as well as career wise. This was a totally different sector for me to work in, and was quite challenging being put in an unfamiliar environment. However it enabled me to experience and learn new things, which I would not have if I wasn’t offered the, placement, such as the arts and culture sector.

My time at Proboscis has been great and have been lucky enough to be kept on for a few more months.

Moin Ahmed – Final Impressions

June 11, 2011 by · Comments Off on Moin Ahmed – Final Impressions 

Web Development Assistant
(6 Month Placement, Future Jobs Fund November 2010-May 2011)

I have been here at Proboscis for six months now and surely the time has moved really fast. The FJF placement scheme has allowed me to acquire new professional skills needed to understand the real world and the working environment. The skills I have learnt have been advantageous because they have allowed me to take on significant challenges such as working on the integration of the online Bookreader for Bookleteer eBooks.


I would like to thank Giles, Yasir, Stefan, Alice and the rest of the Proboscis team for participating and encouraging me in my working life at Proboscis. This involved our regular Monday meetings where I was given the chance to talk through my objectives for the coming week and what I had managed to achieve since the last meeting.

Here at Proboscis I have been inspired from both creative and technological perspectives, which as a combination has been a great quality to develop for my profession.

Life at Proboscis

I have been working on various parts of the technological side of Proboscis mainly the front end and back end of the Bookreader so that the visual styling matches with the Bookleteer look and feel. The way we as a user would feel that the Bookreader is part of Bookleteer.

I have also contributed towards user testing this Bookreader such that no issues are found in any other browsers or devices. The browsers compatibility testing did involve making sure devices such as iPhone or any Android device displays Bookreader accurately.

I had issues in the past with setting up a local server to duplicate the live Bookleteer site. After having the help of Stefan and Yasir, I have managed to get this working successfully which then allowed me to work on redesigning and creating a new user interface for creating and editing eBooks in edit Bookleteer. This involved removing tables to div tags, which is defined using style-sheet. This is a better method to use because I believe that table tag is meant for listing tabular data, it is not optimised to build structure. Having div tags should improve the search engines optimisation too. I have also managed to remove some drop down options and replace them into radio buttons, which now has pictures to illustrate different options. This new design went live on the site as the final culmination of my placement.

Since my last post I believe my confidence has been boosted a lot as I worked along with internal and external members of Proboscis. This has allowed me to understand other projects that Proboscis deals with, which include non-technical ones too.

Life Before Proboscis and Now

The quality of information and knowledge I have received from Proboscis team members are priceless. This is because I had help from internal staff, freelancers and external members such as Stefan and Paul. I have worked under pressure where I was facing challenges from different perspectives. I believe I took those challenges seriously and researched viable solutions with the help of Proboscis members, which has allowed me to learn new things each and every day. For example:

  • Learning & using Github code repository
  • Installing and managing Linux Debian Squeeze operating system
  • Working with command lines
  • Managing branches  and merges in Github repository
  • Creating pricing estimator for eBooks and StoryCubes ordering system
  • Learning the backend complex framework of Bookleteer to integrate with front end page designs
  • Testing & providing technical support for the Bookleteer User API


My goal before joining the FJF scheme was to work towards a career in web development or assisting with web development. My goal remains the same and I believe that finding a job in this sector in the future will be a lot easier due to the experience, new technical skills and confidence I have built from being here at Proboscis.

I am now looking forward to taking up a new full-time job working where I will be contributing towards the software and web development side of a business. I strongly believe that this experience has made a difference towards my career path as I know what I want to do and now have the confidence boost to do it. Thus I am also  happy to be continuing a working relationship with Proboscis as a freelancer and help towards the development of new services/products in the future.

Moin Ahmed, June 2011

Final Reflections – Mandy Tang

March 11, 2011 by · Comments Off on Final Reflections – Mandy Tang 

Creative Assistant
(6 Month Placement, Future Jobs Fund July 2010-January 2011)

It’s time to reflect on the past 6 months as the Future Jobs Fund placement has now come to an end, it really went by quickly! Other than the placement being too short, I can only think of the benefits I have gained with Proboscis during my time here.

It has been a great experience to explore more about the creative arts, with plenty of opportunities to utilise my artistic skills in all of the different stages of a creative process and exercising my knowledge with people of different backgrounds and experiences of their own.

I am also really grateful to Giles and Alice for their patience and teaching me many things ranging from local area knowledge to introducing artistic influences and techniques in hope that it would inspire me throughout the creative process of each project. With their kindness and constant guidance, they’ve become more of a mentor to me than simply my employers.

I also thank the New Deal of the Mind, firstly for organising this opportunity and providing scheduled sessions – The Goals Training programme, offering support and providing information about job hunting.

During the past 6 months I have been involved in various projects which include the storyboard eBook for Tangled Threads, then moving onto a project inspired by the Love Outdoor Play campaign with a full play set now known as Outside The Box. Once in a while I have assisted in the City As Material project and my more recent work is creating visual interpretations for Public Goods and designing eBooks to accompany the play sets for Outside The Box.


Some examples of the work I’ve created for the projects I’ve been involved in.

Outside The Box was a huge learning curve for me, I learnt many valuable lessons during the creative process. Firstly, how to manage my work flow better. The project became so much larger than anticipated that I found myself struggling with managing the workload, as I had tried to do too many things at once. Then there were elements on the actual product that I had learnt more about, such as decision making for a colour palette and how simplicity can convey ideas just as well as detailed illustrations. I believe there will be much more to learn from Outside The Box, as it will be going through the testing stage soon. I am excited and nervous to see what happens and I just hope that children will like and enjoy playing with them.

The biggest achievement whilst working on these projects was adapting. I was able to transfer many of my skills to fit each creative process but it was learning to think from a different perspective and presenting them in a innovative way which was the main challenge. The work flow and thought process also differed from my original training as a concept artist for games, as much of the work would follow a design brief closely, but with Proboscis it was very open and it possessed very little constraints making the possibilities endless.

I believe with all these achievements and lessons learnt, it will influence my work in future projects – the way I may approach ideas, deciding the colour palette, considering other ways to communicate my ideas across to reach a wider audience and to create art work that many can enjoy and appreciate.

This isn’t farewell! As I am very grateful for the opportunity to stay as part of the Proboscis team so I look forward to future projects and learning more about the creative arts, I’ll be posting about my work so make sure to visit!

Moin’s Second impression

March 9, 2011 by · Comments Off on Moin’s Second impression 

I have been here for over three months now and conversely, time seems to have flown past so quick. I will now describe the work I have been doing and knowledge that I have gained from working in Proboscis.

My last impression was focusing more towards the research of Proboscis’s back end system and how the system is helping many organisations in UK and worldwide.

From the research, I have managed to understand that the Bookleteer system was used a lot internally and externally to create eBooks and Story Cubes to share experiences through this media. Having a system that generates a lot of traffic, it was important to make sure that the process of ordering prints or even to create eBooks/StoryCubes is easy for users.

Past and Present Work

There are some changes I have made since my last impression:

  1. Some tweaks in bookleteer blog CSS design to improve page layout.
  2. Adding a slideshow of images of some eBooks and StoryCubes to the bookleteer home page.
  3. Creating an online price estimator for bookleteer’s short run printing service allowing users to customise parameters (such as size, quantity and shipping destination) and receive an immediate estimate of the costs of printing ebooks or StoryCubes.
  4. Improving the navigation menu of the main proboscis website to allow as many drop down options as required.
  5. Testing the bookleteer API for bugs and reporting back to the chief developer.
  6. Working on design improvements to the user interface in bookleteer for creating eBooks.

Future work

I have recently started working towards redesigning and developing the front end system for bookleteer ordering systems. We should be able to incorporate this system with Paypal’s payment system to make the process a lot easier and faster for users. This should allow the invoicing to be made a lot easier than the current system.

We are also looking forward to re-designing the back cover of eBooks such that more spaces are available for users.

Knowledge and skills gained from working in Proboscis

So far I believe my knowledge of WordPress has increased dramatically as I can now work on the back end of WordPress where I believe I am confident enough to edit/add scripts to make the WordPress page more personal yet leave the CMS system unchanged.

My knowledge of CSS has also increased dramatically as I have now managed to understand the requirement for CSS in IE, which involves a lot of tweaking to make sure the pages display accurately.

Using these two solid skills, I have managed to design and create WordPress Portfolio of my own.

For further interest in the future, I want to create the admin side of the pricing estimator page, which will allow the admin to change the figures in database which will reflect towards the estimator and the final cost.

I look forward to working in Proboscis every day and enjoyed every moment of my time spent here.

Radhika Patel – Second Impressions

March 8, 2011 by · Comments Off on Radhika Patel – Second Impressions 

Radhika here, the not so new Marketing and Business Development Assistant. It’s already been 4 months and here I am writing my second impression post… how time flies!

I last left off in the middle of the creation of the StoryCubes website, which has now been launched :). Having worked on the website and written numerous blog posts for promoting the StoryCubes, I have finally overcome my initial difficulty of blogging. This had led me to become a weekly ‘pop-up’ on the Bookleteer blog too, coming up with new and inspiring uses for Bookleteer. The part I enjoy the most, is actually bringing my ideas to life, by creating a mock up of each idea. It’s great seeing my ideas on paper instead of an image in my mind, and for all to see!

birthday invite made on Bookleteer

holiday scrapbook made on Bookleteer

Even though I’m the Marketing Assistant here at Proboscis, my favourite part so far has been the opportunity I have had to dabble in all the projects that are happening, from City as Material to Mandy’s Outside the Box project (great fun!). Being able to be apart of a variety of projects has given me much more understanding about Proboscis, how they work and much more of an insight than I could have imagined.

Another bonus I have had working at Proboscis is putting my photography ‘skills’ into action! This has definitely been one of the highlights so far as I love being behind the camera and being taught by Alice or Giles on using the SLR and about lighting, is much more valuable than attending any class! I am very grateful I have had the opportunity to do this, as it’s something I enjoy and want to continue doing. 🙂

The placement so far has given me a number of opportunities to learn new things, especially finally learning how to use Photoshop, with the help from my fellow placements.

I have continued to learn from both Alice and Giles about the arts and can expect an inspiring story to pop up any time of the day. I feel this has been one of my most valuable experiences here, as before I wasn’t exposed to the arts industry and have been opened up to a whole new world if you like.

However, I am still trying to conquer the four flights of stairs every morning, but apart from the breathless moment I have once I get into the studio, I am enjoying every minute of my time here.

Final Reflections – Hazem Tagiuri

March 4, 2011 by · Comments Off on Final Reflections – Hazem Tagiuri 

Creative Assistant
(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.

The City As Material series of eBooks I co-designed and contributed to.

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

Moin’s First Impression at Proboscis

January 12, 2011 by · Comments Off on Moin’s First Impression at Proboscis 

Who am I?

Hello! My name is Moin Ahmed and I have recently graduated in Computing and Information System from Goldsmiths College.

After graduating I went away on holiday for two months, then came back and started job hunting. In this recession I feel lucky that I have managed to get a call to work towards web development, which is what I always saw myself doing. I previously worked on User Interfaces and started building websites for numerous clients. This also involved working on different project proposals and technical reports.

My role in Proboscis.

Through the Future Jobs Fund I was able to apply for the Web Assistant role in Proboscis. My first impression of this place was it looked very creative and friendly. I am enjoying here now, with everyone, as it’s a great atmosphere, very creative and I am learning things along the way.

I have been focusing towards my aims and objectives since the day I started, one of which was to set up a local server to test bookleteer and diffusion. In the past I have installed Windows OS and set up a local server for software development so my challenge here was to install Debian OS inside Mac OS using Virtual Box.

I enjoy challenges, and this was a great way of testing my abilities, therefore, to complete this challenge I started with researching and then double checking with the developers to make sure it met the production server specification. Finally on the 21st Dec 2010 I  managed to get the server up and running. Now I am looking forward to test every feature and make sure they all work up to standard.

In the New Year I aim to work directly on developing web projects, primarily HTML, CSS, JavaScript & PHP-based and mobile apps (iphone/Android).  I am also looking to learn as much as I can from others, gaining  inspiration, and being part of the team to research and identify creative opportunities within the organisation.

What is like working at Proboscis?

Well firstly the building is near the station and has a lot of shops and food places nearby. The studio itself is in the 4th floor but I do not think that is a huge problem as a person can stay active, when walking up those stairs! The environment is very friendly and everyone gets along with each other very well which is brilliant. Overall I am enjoying my time here, as its very easy going, fun and you learn something every day!

Second Impressions – Hazem Tagiuri

December 16, 2010 by · Comments Off on Second Impressions – Hazem Tagiuri 

Hello again. Since writing about my initial experiences of working at Proboscis, I’ve been working on various projects, primarily with bookleteer and the blog. Contributing regularly since Karen Martin sadly left us, I’ve been continuing to look at zine culture, and recently highlighting interesting uses of bookleteer in the Diffusion archive. Blogging several times a week has helped me develop a work ethic in regards to writing, something I was struggling with before joining Proboscis.

Giles and I also launched a new platform for collaborative publishing – our Pitch In & Publish: City As Material series of events. The fifth, and final, event “Sonic Geographies” was last Friday, having being held fortnightly since the 15th of October. Developing the format and planning the entire series was an exciting process, and having an integral role in the creation and running of it was a prestige. Being able to trace it’s inspiration from my early work with zines (the idea born from one day zine-making events), to what we plan to accomplish with future Pitch In & Publish series, gives me confidence to be able to create new long term projects.

A definite highlight of my role is having the chance to sit in on creative meetings, listening to established figure’s ideas whilst observing their ways of working, as well as giving input myself. The enthusiasm that results from open-minded thinking and the visualisation of possible concepts, is hard to match.

Several new team members have also joined us – Radhika, Christina and Moin. Their arrival has certainly brought a surge of activity into the studio, enabling us to work together on projects and gain new insights from other backgrounds.

Lastly, I have to thank Giles and Alice for giving me to opportunity to be here (particularly in this turbulent employment climate), as well as New Deal Of The Mind, whose work to find roles for young people in creative industries is invaluable.

Second Impressions – Mandy Tang

December 15, 2010 by · Comments Off on Second Impressions – Mandy Tang 

Wow, it’s already time for me to write about my second impressions huh? If you’re wondering, it’s Mandy here! I started in July as a Creative Assistant for Proboscis, it’s been five months already!! Where did all the time go?! (laughs)

It’s been pretty busy during these five months, Giles and Alice have been cracking the whip to keep me busy working (T_T). Just kidding haha. They’ve been great fun, and most generous when offering advice and enlightening me with their knowledge, it always leaves me in awe with the amount of things they know.

Also, there has been more placements on board! Christina and Radhika are such lovely people, they both have a great sense of humour, easy to talk to and are always offering to help when it seems like I have too much going on (laughs). Oh and Moin; our programmer, joined just recently too! As for Haz… he’s been picking on me since day one!! that aside, he offers me assistance and I’ve enjoyed his blog posts and look forward to his future posts. Thanks guys for your help and support!

During the past few months I have been working on various projects. The first being Tangled Threads, then my current project Outside The Box and offering assistance here and there with City As Material.

Throughout these projects I sincerely thank Giles and Alice for trusting me with creating work without any pressure and just allowing me to carry out the projects to the best of my ability whilst offering kind encouragements. I tend to get carried away with trying to perfect everything so I thank you both for your patience and apologise for the delays!

If you remember reading my first impressions, I mentioned the many different assets in the studio either tucked away or on display and wondering about the story behind them… well… I’ve joined in with my own clutter! I’ve made so many Story Cubes I can build a fortress! Soon I’ll have enough to make a draw bridge to go with it (laughs).

It’s been really fun so far and I’ve learnt a great deal from Giles and Alice. I’ll do my best to fulfil my role and create work which others will enjoy! Have a great Christmas everyone!

A quick doodle of my fortress!

A quick doodle of my fortress!

Radhika Patel – 1st impressions post

December 13, 2010 by · Comments Off on Radhika Patel – 1st impressions post 

Hey, Radhika here, Proboscis’s new Marketing and Business Development Assistant. It has been 2 years since I graduated and I felt like landing a job in marketing which I craved so much, was not going to happen any time soon, until I came across Proboscis through the Future Jobs Fund placement. I applied to the role straight away, which I knew was perfect for me and when I got the call saying I had been offered the job, I was over the moon.

I have been at Proboscis just over a month now and really feel apart of the team. Giles and Alice are both welcoming as well as the other placements. As this is my first time working in the arts, which is proving to be an enjoyable experience, I have had the opportunity to learn about new and interesting topics. I find Alice and Giles to be really knowledgeable which is quite inspiring at times, as I have explored areas which I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t here.

Take the City as Material (Skyline) walk, which occur fortnightly, as an example. This walk has been my favourite so far as I simply love walking around a city (in any country) looking at the architecture. It made me look at London from a whole new perspective, as well as learning interesting facts throughout the day from Giles and the special guest speaker Simon.

I spent my first week getting to know Proboscis, their projects and how to use Bookleteer. Along with Christina, Proboscis’s Education Assistant, we both created eBooks (shown below) using Bookleteer – ‘Eye Make Up Tips’ and ‘My London.’

I am still getting the hang of assembling the eBooks, but I am getting quicker and better each time I put one together. 🙂

Currently, I am working on the new StoryCubes website (launching soon), writing posts for various uses of a StoryCube. I’ve never been a blogger of any sort, so when it came to writing posts I found it difficult to get my head around. However after some guidance from Giles and Alice, I’ve now got the hang of it and am excited to carry on and write more posts for you all to read and enjoy.

What I like most about working at Proboscis is being able to work on my own projects as well as working with the other placements, helping them with their projects and working as a team. We all get along really well and the atmosphere is really relaxed and laid back which makes working in the studio more fun!

This is just the beginning for my time at Proboscis and even though the four flights of stairs takes it out of me every morning, I am looking forward to see what my forthcoming days here will bring.

Mandy’s guest post on NDotM blog

December 6, 2010 by · Comments Off on Mandy’s guest post on NDotM blog 

Mandy recently had a guest post published on New Deal of the Mind’s blog where she discusses her experiences of the first few months and the GOALS programme which is offered as part of the placements run through NDotM.

welcoming another new placement

December 6, 2010 by · Comments Off on welcoming another new placement 

We’re very happy to welcome Moin Ahmed to the Proboscis team on a six month placement funded through the FutureJobs Fund, in partnership with the London Borough of Islington.

Moin has joined us as a coder/web development assistant and will be working primarily on as well as other online projects we have running. He recently completed a degree in Computer Science and Informations Systems at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has been volunteering for non-profits and working on his own projects since then.

Shalene Barnett : Placement Report 2010

September 10, 2010 by · Comments Off on Shalene Barnett : Placement Report 2010 

Communications & Coordination Assistant
(6 Month Placement Future Jobs Fund, March-September 2010)

When I first started working for Proboscis in March 2010, I was unsure about what my role would be or even what Proboscis was really about.

My first month was spent learning about what Proboscis is about. I learnt that they are an art organisation who work on a variety of projects within the art sector, I also learnt that they create and publish eBooks and story-cubes using a programme called Bookleteer which was created by Proboscis.

In my first month I was introduced to tender searching. This was something I had not heard of before. I learnt that tenders are like projects, so I learnt how to project search on various art websites.

Once the first month had passed, and I fully understood what Proboscis was about I was asked to try and think of a way that the eBooks could be used to connect with young people. Over the next couple of months I went about creating a variety of eBooks and story cubes using Bookleteer. I came up with many different ideas such as a calendar, lyrics pad, diary etc. All of these were brilliant ideas but we still could not find a way to make them into a project so as to connect young people to Bookleteer.

One day I was sitting having lunch with my boss and a colleague and we were discussing things we do in our spare time. My boss discovered that I create music and said he would of liked to have known that in the interview. This sparked an amazing idea which was called the MeBook and this MeBook was going to be the connection between young people and Bookleteer.

The MeBook is an informal curriculum vitae. It is a little booklet that would have everything that you would not think about telling an employer in an interview. Its all about what interest you, what makes you tick. We did a trial run making MeBooks but discovered that it was difficult to lose the formalness so because of this another idea was born it was called MeSketch. The MeSketch was another eBook which we created with questions about you, what your ambitions are, what drives you etc. We also structured a workshop as we thought this could be the easiest way for people to understand what the MeBook and its contents were really about.

I had now arrived at the fifth month of working for Proboscis, preparations for the mEbook were going well, and Proboscis had another project for myself and a colleague to work on. It was called Seven Days in Seven Dials. Seven Dials is an area in Covent Garden. A colleague of Giles and Alice (Proboscis directors) had found an empty shop off one of the streets leading of Seven dials and decided to turn it into an exhibition with the help of several FJF placements. We were split into different groups over the time we was there. I was documenting the work of each group so I got to work with different groups everyday.
The first day in seven dials I spent following the film group. They were creating short videos about the seven streets in the Seven Dials. This was interesting as I got to know what each street had to offer weather it be a shoe shop or an interesting piece of history.

Over the next couple of days I followed the photography group and the podcast group. The photography group produced some amazing pictures which I later made into a photography book. The podcast group made podcast about the surrounding area of the Seven Dials, and also some history about the area of Covent Garden. The exhibition was a success.

I am now in my final month at Proboscis and have enjoyed each step of my journey here. I would like to thank Proboscis for showing me my creative side and giving me this opportunity.

Shalene Barnett, September 2010

Karine Dorset : Placement Report 2010

August 13, 2010 by · Comments Off on Karine Dorset : Placement Report 2010 

Communications Assistant, bookleteer
(5 Month Placement, Future Jobs Fund March-August 2010)

I first heard about Proboscis through the Islington Council. It was part of a job search placement by the Job Centre called FJF (Future Jobs Fund). I believed I was applying for an admin position and was happy to get a Communications Assistant position instead. I previously went to college to study for Professional Chef Certificates and left with the NVQs. Generally I worked in that field for a while.

Originally my interests in Proboscis was to try a change of career choice, but quickly it became about being creative, wanting to work on projects and workshops and generally communicating with the public. Working at Proboscis I was involved in a workshop once a week for a period of 8 weeks with a women named Sally Labern on a project called the drawing shed. I was asked to take part in this workshop to show the community of Walthamstow’s YMCA how to use Proboscis’ Bookleteer website and create their own eBooks. There was a project I worked on called 7 Dials in 7 Days, based in the heart of Covent Garden. I spent 5 days researching, collecting and observing the main area. At the end of the project, I produces an eBook called ‘The Alternative Whistle-stop West End Culture Quarter Tour’ on the experience and the cultural attractions. I also brainstormed, designed and created my own series of eBooks and StoryCubes.

Working at Proboscis, I have learned how to use new types of software and applications like NeoOffice and a Sketch light. I have gained more experience in communicating and designing. After six months at Proboscis I have got in touch with my creative side. Throughout this placement I’ve always felt comfortable and able to express my self, which made the job easier and more inviting. Working here has made me realise that I want to pursue a career that involves working more with people, mainly children/teenagers. I now have more confidence in myself and my abilities to learn new things and follow my own initiative.

Karine Dorset, August 2010

Seven days in Seven Dials, Books

August 6, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Last month Proboscis and our FJF Placements Shalene Barnett and Karine Dorset worked with with participants on Seven Days in Seven Dials. Three download print & make books created by participants in the project are now available to download. The project involved the creation of a temporary exhibition of films, podcasts, photography and books in an empty shop in Covent Garden, put together in one week by participants from London’s Culture Quarter Programme, working with the projects initiator Dan Thompson from and the Empty Shops Network, podcaster Richard Vobes, photographer Steve Bomford, artist Michael Radcliffe, Proboscis and Natasha Middleton.
The books, made using Bookleteer, are available to download from Diffusion.

Mandy Tang : Working At Proboscis – First Impressions

August 5, 2010 by · Comments Off on Mandy Tang : Working At Proboscis – First Impressions 

Hi all! I am Mandy, one of the creative assistants who just joined recently. I am a junior concept artist who have previously worked on iPhone games and is seeking new challenges in the field of creative arts as I work on my portfolio. With my artistic background, I’ve been assisting in the Sensory Threads project so far and have had a go at creating my own storycube and ebook with Bookleteer.

From the first two weeks of working with Proboscis I can confidently say that it has been very enjoyable. When I first stepped into the building I questioned the dark lighting and the long flights of stairs, but the studio proved otherwise. As a junior artist, being surrounded by art equipment and technology can easily be compared to taking a child to the toy store.

The studio located in the attic of the building had great lighting, the angled ceilings and structure of the room gave off a unique feeling. Everywhere you look you will find assets used for previous projects and interesting objects hidden away to save space. It may look like organised mess to others, but I find that each object no matter the size has a story – what it was used for, where did it come from, how long its been there. Every day I find myself noticing something new and just wonder about the story behind it.

The working environment in Proboscis is very laid back and comfortable, I get to do what I enjoy most and with people who are very friendly and are creative themselves. I am particularly inspired by the work in which Giles and Alice do, and admire them in creating an organisation which keeps growing and reaching out to others. The number of clients that come to the studio for meetings makes me realise how much they take part in various projects and it makes me nervous thinking I will be assisting Giles and Alice with these projects.

Giles and Alice as my boss give good guidance and I believe working with them will really help me to define myself as a junior artist, I hope after this placement I will gain valuable experience and participated in various projects. I hope to have explored a different side to creative arts and use this knowledge to refine my own work and portfolio.

I also discovered the source of everyone’s energy in the studio is alot of coffee… or tea *grin* I look forward to the upcoming projects in which I will be assisting with, and will do my best to be a team player.

A small display of the work I've been doing recently

Hazem Tagiuri : First experiences at Proboscis

August 4, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Hello, Haz here. I’ve been asked by Giles and Alice to write about my first impressions of Proboscis and my experience of working here as a Creative Assistant for the last fortnight, under the Future Job Funds placement scheme. I was fortunate enough to get a placement just as the scheme was ending, and it’s a welcome opportunity after an otherwise unproductive year for me, an opportunity where creativity is a crucial part of my role, and something to be celebrated, rather than suppressed, as in previous job experiences.

As would be the case for many other young people in Future Job Fund placements like this, I have no prior education or experience in the arts, only a recreational passion. Any initial trepidation has been eased by the focus on existing strengths and interests (for me, literary) and a comfortable, relaxed environment to get familiar with Bookleteer, by creating eBooks and StoryCubes of my own. The studio, and the surrounding architecture of Clerkenwell, with its rich history, is inspiring. This was the basis for my first StoryCube, a simple photocube of historic buildings. Simple, because my initial idea, a 3D model of Smithfield market made using multiple StoryCubes, was a tad too ambitious for my first attempt, alas.

My eBook was a very slight portfolio of poems, which led me to start thinking about how Bookleteer could be a useful tool when creating zines (small circulation publications) and inspiring people to create their own through its simplicity. I’ll be exploring this during my time at Proboscis and sharing any interesting ideas and creations I’ve found from the zine scene on the Bookleteer blog, hopefully even attending some zine fair’s with a on-site Bookleteer workshop and writing about the experience.

Haz and Mandy in the studio

Future Jobs Fund Placements: Karine & Shalene

March 15, 2010 by · Comments Off on Future Jobs Fund Placements: Karine & Shalene 

We’re very pleased to welcome Karine Dorset & Shalene Barnett who have started recently at Proboscis on six month placements through the government’s Future Jobs Fund. They will be working primarily on, helping us explore ways to bridge across to people in the 18-30 age group.

Proboscis is currently part of two FJF schemes; one through our local authority, Islington Council, and the other with New Deal of the Mind. We will have more openings for placements through NDotM in the coming months – if you are eligible for an FJF placement (age 18-24 and unemployed for more than 6 months) and would like to know more about a placement with Proboscis, please get in touch.