Photo by Ray Roberts @rayroberts
Social media handles: @kukadoodles
Tell us about your creative path so far and any milestones that you have?
I’m predominately a writer with a focus on poetry. In 2016, I joined the Barbican Young Poets which massively changed my creative practice, career, and me as a person for the better. Other milestones include being part of ‘A Change is Gonna Come’, a show created in collaboration with Boy Blue Entertainment which ran at The Barbican, being on the main stage at the Walthamstow Garden Party 2019 and I was one of the top 6 for the Words First program 2019, which led to me working with BBC Bitesize.
What are other creative art forms that you enjoy?
I especially love music videos, as they combine two art forms I love (music and movies). I love seeing how music is interpreted into visuals, how cinematic music videos can be, and how some creators can build worlds and narratives through this medium.
Tell us about one piece of work you are not proud of, and what did you learn from it?
There’s a poem I’ve been reworking on and off for about 2-3 years now. I’m constantly seeing it as a work in progress as I can’t seem to get it to a stage where it feels finished and I’m happy with it. I’ve decided recently that it’s done. I don’t feel I was particularly clever or innovative with the language or imagery, but the piece stays true to the message I wanted it to have so I’m making my peace with that.
What is your best self-care technique?
When approaching self-care, I try not to have a wider goal other than to feel better. My favourite technique is meditation – just lying on the floor with a cushion under my head for about ten minutes and listening to rain sounds has been immensely powerful.
On the surface, it can seem like an utterly pointless exercise as you’re deliberately doing nothing but it’s the most powerful self-care practice I’ve found. Caring for yourself is a radical act.
What are some platforms that creatives and freelancers should be using right now and why?
I use Trello to organise my workflow and keep an eye on all my projects, as well as to help manage my day.
Scrivener is a writing software I use for everything, from scripts to poetry. It’s very intuitive and formats things for you which is fantastic.
Everyone should be using Instagram and TikTok and finding ways to use the platforms in a way that works best for them. That can be showcasing work, finding communities and opportunities, or networking.
If you were on a desert island and could only take one piece of creative material to help you with your work what would you take and why?
I would go with the classic pen and notebook – I tend to think through writing and it’s a way for me to make discoveries.
How do you seek out opportunities?
I predominately use social media platforms – Twitter and Instagram being key ones – and follow accounts or people who share opportunities.
I also sign up to email newsletters from organisations that share opportunities. Otherwise, I’m now at a stage I’ll get some opportunities through people contacting me directly, which I’m very grateful for.
What does support mean to you?
For me it means having people who encourage you, believe in you, and hype you up without ever tearing you down. They’re excited about you and your work, love it without inhibitions or jealously – they’re basically like a fan club made up of your friends.
What are two useful pieces of advice that you have received from people about your career?
I always pass on this piece of advice I picked up from Roger Robinson: “If you’re an artist, claim it. If you can’t claim it as an identity, you can’t do the work”.
I’m not sure who originally said this, but I always think “don’t compare your first draft to someone else’s finished piece”.
What are the next steps with your work that you are looking to take?
I’m hoping to move into live performance and develop shows with my work. I’m not quite sure how exactly that will look but I’m excited to see where things take me
Could you share with us some support materials that you have found useful during this period?
Here is a website that’s complied resources for freelance artists: https://ukcovid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/#Benevolent-Funds
Here are websites for learning new skills: