What happens after a project is done? At CuriousWorks, emerging artists build up their skills, talents and experience on various arts, community and social enterprise projects. Every project is a learning experience, no matter what your role in it is. We’ve had the privilege of seeing how the Curious Creators have grown and developed as artists, but it can be difficult to track a person’s progress just through social media posts and occasional project outcomes. So we’ve asked some of the Curious Creators to reflect back on some of their past projects and share their perspectives.

Andrea Beeten is a Curious Creator who recently started working at CuriousWorks in administration and finance.  We asked her to write about her journey as an artist so far,  and what it’s been like working part-time at CuriousWorks.

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

 J. R.R. Tolkien

The journey of an emerging artist is not an easy one. It is hard to find full-time or consistent work in a creative role. You are often faced with making the choice between stable work and trying to achieve your artistic goals around your work hours or casual work while you volunteer to get experience.

Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice. Maybe I should have got a full-time job and climbed the ladder. Even if it wasn’t in the industry I wanted, but I would have had a stable good paying job. Instead I maintained a part time job in retail that was flexible so I could get time off to work on projects when the opportunity arose.

When I finished my university degree all I knew is that I wanted to work in the film and TV industry. I was fortunate that I got to experience various roles on projects at CuriousWorks as a Curious Creator. I was an assistant director and assistant editor on their first feature film Riz. Once I joined the writer’s group, I realised that what I love most about storytelling is writing the story. I’ve always enjoyed the sci-fi and fantasy genres and writing is the best way for me to share my story ideas. I am currently one of the three writers on When the Tide Comes In, a multi-platform project in development.

I’m not only a Curious Creator, I am now a part time employee at CuriousWorks. I’m gaining professional experience in the arts. I’m learning about what goes into running a company from finance to everyday administration tasks.  I never thought I would enjoy working in finance. Now that I do, it has surprised me that I actually do like it. Hopefully I’ll work full-time in the arts, so I can eventually leave the retail world behind me.

Balancing two part time jobs, my personal life and my artistic ambitions is difficult. It’s not easy, but worth it. Time seems to go faster the busier you are, and there never seems to be enough time to do everything. But you begin you learn how to better use your time. I struggled with the heavy workload. Something always had to give. That something tended to be writing as everything else seemed more important.

When I was focused on my work and personal life, and finding it hard to make time for everything, I felt a little lost. I felt that something was missing. When I began to get back into writing consistently, I felt like I found myself again, and not losing myself in everything happening around me. Making time to be creative is just as important as working and having a personal life.

Finding time to write is hard, but you make it work. I am now cutting down my working hours so I will have more time to write and have a better work/life balance. I’m still figuring out the right work/life balance for me, but hopefully I’m heading in the right direction.

Do I regret my choice? No, I don’t think I do. If hadn’t made the choice to stay in my retail job, I may not have been a part of the projects at CuriousWorks. It has allowed me to spend time working on my artistic ambitions while having stability. Now I’m on the path to achieve my goal to become a writer.

By Andrea Beeten

You can read more about Andrea and the other projects she’s been involved in here.

Photo taken from the 2016 Urban Stories showing at Riverside Theatre.

 

Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

OUR OFFICE IS LOCATED ON THARAWAL COUNTRY. OUR WORK TAKES US ACROSS THARAWAL, DHARUG AND  GANDANGARA COUNTRY. WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE TRADITIONAL OWNERS OF THE LAND ON WHICH WE WORK, AND PAY OUR RESPECTS TO ELDERS PAST, PRESENT AND EMERGING.