When I first started writing for The Big Idea in 2008, it was with the modest idea that I’d be sharing my experiences as I found my way through this nebulous thing called an arts career. As I wrote back then, “I aim to talk about some of the things I see and think about, and also figure out (rather publicly) some things about being an 'emerging artist'."
As time flowed by my contributions to The Big Idea took on other forms. I’ve written from the sidelines at festivals and gone backstage at touring shows. I’ve taken full advantage of the fact that being a contributor for The Big Idea allows me to approach artists making cool stuff under the guise of publicising their work (but really it’s because I want to find out their secrets and learn for myself.) I hope I’ve been open to being approached, too.
But all this has taken me away from the original reason for the Talkwrite column. In recent years, I’ve written very little about my own processes, though I’ve been making plenty and thinking a lot about the way the arts ecology operates. Like most things, this is changing very quickly. I believe that the more we talk and write about it, the more able we are to solve challenges, to collaborate, and to form a community (notice how I dropped in those trendy C words?)
But seriously, I’ve found a lot of pleasure in trading ideas and debate whenever I get together with fellow arts makers. It might not be easy, but understanding the push and pull of forces (funders vs artists; programmers vs makers; and so on) helps us work together instead of against each other.
So this is me turning back to my original purpose. For the next little while, I’ll be doing less artist interviews and more talking/writing on some of the challenges facing us in our creative lives. I’ll be writing unashamedly from my little corner of the universe, so please feel free to suggest topics I haven’t yet seen. I’ll be opinionated, but I’ll also feature ideas and opinion from those who know more than me. From the role of indigenous language in theatre productions to who should be funded to tell the stories, I aim to respond to current happenings in our world. Hope you’ll be up for the conversation.