Finally, we arrived on time before 6pm at the Drill Hall, and were the second team to arrive, so we were very pleased, and we enjoyed drinks with everybody, talking about this amazing day - tired but happy.
We are all very happy to have done this challenge, because we met each other and discovered plenty of nice places where we could go again. We worked as a team all day long, and we are satisfied by the result. This experience was a mix of stress, curiosity, and... laughter !
This was an amazing opportunity to meet other creatives. It is such a shame that often we spend most of our time only with people who have rather similar skill sets and career plans within our own subject area. It was very good to meet people who might not have any idea of your specific subject area, but also understand creative practises and ideas, and often can offer very different approaches to creative tasks.
We hope you enjoyed discovering our day through our posts on instagram and this blog. Remember to check out the rest of our instagram posts on https://www.instagram.com/hallaviltti/ !
Fifth stop, last stop. We were excited to hear about the last venue, eager for our last challenge but also anxious to get to the final meeting point of the day, Blue Drill Hall, by 6 o'clock, in an hour! Also, all of us were in a desperate need of a drink...
We learned that Still's is a charity, employing very few (4) full-time people, but a lot of (15!!) volunteers. Even though free work is a bit of a controversy in the creative industries, we also learned that it is a very valuable experience in getting your foot in the door, and in making connections. Volunteering can lead to an internship, an internship to a part-time job, and a part-time job to a full-time job. The employees at Still's come from different art backgrounds, and apparently there's even one who studied photography at Napier!
For our final challenge we were asked to take 5 different photographs from a Fuji photo trail spot located at North Bridge. The main topics for the photographs were:
1. Formal Architecture
3. B&W Street Photography
4. Close Up (texture)
5. Distance (zoom out)
None of us experts in ballet (nor vocabulary on how dancers move across the stage), we had to do a bit of research to find our way to the Traverse Theatre, located right beside Usher Hall.
We learnt so much about the rich history of Traverse theatre from it's birth in a small apartment in Edinburghs lawnmarket to it's focus on showing a wide variety of abstract plays.
Our challenge was create a marketing campaign for the traverses theatre's 'A play,A pint,A Pie' season. Which for £12:40, you get watch a play, drink a pint and munch a pie during lunch time or at 7 at night.
We came up with the idea for massive radio campaign to reach a intergenerational demographic, because we thought that office workers, students, and older people would all listen to the radio more than normal, and have time at lunch to see a play. We would tease all the plays by broadcasting an advert which was a dramatic moment in the production, but cutting it off before the 'big reveal'. We thought this would leave our audience wanting more, and hook the public in.
One google search and a bus ride later, we found ourselves at our next destination: Dovecot Gallery.
We were greeted as we came in by Alyson who had studied Art both as an undergraduate and master’s degree, and now works for Dovecot Gallery taking on a multifaceted role doing things from reception and greeting guests to social media and marketing, whilst also working on her own artistic career. She explained the interesting history of the building we were in, as well as the tapestry weaving they do there.
The building used to be a public swimming pool, and now houses a tapestry weaving studio. We discovered that anyone can apply to be an apprentice weaver, regardless of if you have a background in arts or not! The Gallery is working together with Edinburgh Napier University on providing a virtual reality experience of the tapestry studio, in order not to disturb the weavers as they work – what a fusion of ancient and new technology.
The challenge that Alyson gave us was a way to get more people to come and see the Northlands Creative Glass exhibit that Dovecot Gallery was currently showing. We were struck by how beautiful the works of art were, and had a few ideas about events and changes to the display in order to draw more visitors.
We thought that it would be a good idea to hold a torchlight exhibit in the evening, where the lights are turned off in the exhibition room and guests can explore the art in a different way, taking advantage of the unique properties of glass.
We also thought that some of the works deserved their own partition so guests could experience them without any distractions.
We received our next clue, which told us the next challenge was at a theatre, named for ‘What a dancer does as they move across the stage…’
Whitespace with it's awesome space and beautiful setting, was a fun stop for us. They had a roster of designers, planners, copywriters, motion designers, illustrators, 3D artists, UX designers, artworks…. a HUGE list, stretching over 120 yards.
What made white space an awesome space was the fact, that they worked with (rather than for) their clients and you could see the joy on their faces and how much fun they were having, through creating adverts, websites, campaigns, animation, social media, packaging, posters… this list was long, too.
Now! our challenge was to design a brand name and logo for a possible NFL (American football) Edinburgh team. After much discussion and head-bashing, we came up with the brand name: AngryScotts. This was due to the fact that the stereotype that people around the world have of Scots is that they are always angry and this would be a great selling angle for a football team, and great for intimidating the opposing team! Our mascot would be the Greyfriars Bobby; An iconic hero in Edinburgh, and a representation of the small but tough nation that Scotland is.
Being creative and coming up with ideas on command can be extremely difficult sometimes, but this challenge together with the advert we made in Banana Row studios showed us that it is possible to come up with and develop ideas into concepts in just 15 minutes.
To find the next challenge, it was time for a bus ride again.
Here we are, Banana Row Studios ! So pleased to be at the good place, mostly when it is a really nice place.
The manager of this super cool studio, Jonty, welcomed us very nicely and showed us all the different rooms. After that, we sat in a very comfy sofa and learned a bit more about this place, and his life.
Banana Row Studios is a studio where musicians from Edinburgh and further afield can rehearse, record, and even receive lessons! Jonty explained to us how he had come to pursue his passion in music after having many different careers, including working as a prison officer. You could tell that he was really passionate to work in a creative environment, where he got to take on a variety of roles, including managing the studio, doing bookings, and recording artists.
Generally the creative industries do not offer clear career paths, as confirmed by Jonty's background. Often when people talk about creative job opportunities, the high level of competition and small number of available jobs is often mentioned. It was invaluable to hear that you can still take a leap to follow your dreams when you are near 40 years old! And that sometimes taking the risk can be worth it: leaving a well-paying job for a low-paying job where your skills are fully appreciated can make you very happy.
Unfortunatly the clock was ticking and we had to stop the conversation to achieve our challenge.
The challenge : record an advert for the studio.
We immediately had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do, and we laughed a lot while recording. Lucky we were, because Cal is a guitarist and Kumbirai has a nice voice for the radio. Laura had a camera to record everything, and Kat was the manager of the situation. Let's start to record : "Banana Row studios... Excellent for professionals, great for beginners.. "
Our "behind the scenes" in the studio booth live recording: https://soundcloud.com/tream-blue/banana-row-studios
The first trial is always the best, that's why we decided to keep it. We put it on the usb key, and asked for our second clue.
FINAL RESULT: https://soundcloud.com/kat-342/banana-row-studios-take-1-final-choise
" Clue : An award wining design agency that is comprised of thinkers, dreamers and doers.
Hint : Negative space in publishing terms. "
Kumbirai has the answer : Whitespace.
During our Creative City Challenge day we were given clues to find locations for the creative challenges. 6 hours for 5 challenges and a bus ticket each didn't seem too challenging at first, as we all live in Edinburgh anyway and know parts of the city quite well. These clues and challenges took us all over the city, to familiar corners as well as new places, but you'd be surprised of what you miss when you walk around. (I was).
Thank goodness we didn't have to rely on our knowledge only, and so we consulted our friend Google Maps quite a bit during the day and (spoiler alert) never got lost.
Encouragingly, the first bus we saw was the one to take us to the mystical land of Banana Row Studios.
Thank you, technology.
12 o'clock, the creative city challenge begins. We don't really know what to expect of this day, we don't know each other but we are team blue, and we are motivated.
We all discover the items in our envelope with curiosity. A usb key, bus tickets, drink tickets, questions sheets, and the most important : our first clue.
" Clue : One of Edinburgh's leading recording music studios.
Hint : Watch you don't slip on the skin on the way in. "
Gladly, Cal quickly finds the answer : Banana Row studios!
Before going anywhere many questions fuse:
"Do you have enough battery?" Maybe. Why didn't I take my power bank?!
"Does anybody have some data?" Nope. Let's hope the challenge venues have free wifi.
"Who is going to post photos on social media?" Finally, it is Kat who will post photos on instagram (www.instagram.com/hallaviltti/)
Ok, let's go !