5 Minutes with Emerge Young Producer Emily Bowers

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As the deadline for our relaunched Emerge Young Producer programme is creeping up, we caught up with previous Emerge Young Producer, photographer and illustrator Emily Bowers, to find out how the training programme was for her, and what she’s up to now.


Tell us what made you want to apply for the Emerge Young Producer Programme?

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, I didn’t feel like university was the best route for me at the time. I was working in a creative job, which was fantastic, but I didn’t see a future in it for me. Then this opportunity came up and it was a way for me to learn how to produce projects, even just simple illustration projects, and it gave me the skills to become a sustainable creative. It’s given me skills for life, y’know, from learning how to do a tax return all the way up to learning how to keep contacts and relationships. I think my gut feeling was, this is such a unique opportunity and I’ve got to take it.


Tell us a bit about what you got up to and the kind of training you had?

Training wise, we covered quite a good skillset, we had training within business and marketing, which worked really well side by side. Learning how to generate business as an artist, which crossed over any genre from music to painting to photography. We also had the opportunity to develop skills in areas that were specific for us. So for me I wanted some illustration mentoring, so Peterborough Presents approached someone who I looked up to as an artist to mentor me and spend some time with me. There were also opportunities to go on go-sees to exhibitions etc.

And then the opportunity to put on a big event was a really big eye opener for all of us I think. We had to manage the budget, we had all these grand ideas but we had to figure out which ones were feasible. I also spent some time with a company called Marshmallow Laser Feast, who are awesome, and I’m now hopefully going to be working with them this year as well, whilst keeping my feet in Peterborough.


So you’ve told us a little already, but what are your plans now you’ve finished? How has this helped you shape your future plans?

I think when I finished it took me a little while to ground my feet again because it was such an eye-opener to find out about the creative industry, but also made me realise I didn’t know that much about myself, just as a person. So I think it took a couple of months after to let all that sediment settle, which is where I’m at now. I think I want to follow up on the opportunities I’ve had with Marshmallow Laser Feast, and work on the creative projects I’ve been thinking about, although I still don’t know 100% what they are, which is part of the fun! Which is another thing I’ve learnt, I look at things in a negative light sometimes, that fear of not knowing where you’re going, but it’s taught me to look at new things as exciting rather than scary, like looking at going to do this Emerge programme, if you’re scared then maybe it’s worth doing it, because what’s the worst that can happen?


What particular bits of the training really stood out as being helpful?

The marketing training was great. That, and learning the whole aspect of anyone you meet, you should try and keep as a contact for life. You know when people go through Facebook and they sort of get rid of their friends, having a facebook cleanout or whatever, you shouldn’t do that because you never know who you know and where your paths might cross over.


Why should people apply? What would you say to people who are thinking about applying for Emerge?

That’s a good question, as people will obviously be coming from all walks of life aren’t they. I would say, the biggest thing for me at the moment which stops me from doing things is knowing how to get these big projects off of the ground. How to build a team of people, who to approach etc.

I’m very envious of people who can apply this time! I had to leave a job to do this. It wasn’t the biggest commitment drop ever, but I had to make the decision to leave full time employment to for this opportunity. But for people applying now, the project has changed so people don’t have to do that or stop the commitments they already have, so don’t worry about it.

You will probably have a project or an idea that is really close to your heart that you really care about, and there’s no better time to do it than when you have the funding there for you, you have a team of people there to give you the help as & when you need it, even if you don’t realise what the help is when you apply, you can work that out as you go along. It’s also a really good opportunity for people to learn about themselves and to develop who they are as people. It’s a really exciting time to be able to put on projects.


To find out more about the Emerge Young Producer Programme, download the information pack below. Deadline for applications is Friday 20th January.

Download The Emerge Producers information sheet

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