Abi started her journey at Real Ideas by taking part in the Emerging Creatives programme. Prior to this she attended university where she studied Fine Art. After she had finished her degree, she had nothing lined up, felt underprepared in her employability skills, and did not know what to do which is when she became part of the RICE collective as part of Emerging Creatives.
During her time as an emerging creative, Abi was pleasantly surprised by what she was able to learn and how she could grow. She highlighted finding value in recognising soft skills and appreciating her hard skills. At first not thinking she had much to offer but in time acknowledging she has certain skills such as communication.
Once Abi’s time was up on programme, she persevered to get a career she wanted by working two jobs: a sales assistant and experience host at Real Ideas. By keeping her relationships at Real Ideas Abi also took part into another group project called Gigsaw in which she helped organise a local music event. Abi did not stop there. She continued to explore as much as she could, next working with A New Direction on an arts and school programme amongst other things (it is a thorough list including a print residency!). Through this time successfully making a creative response to how art should be taught in the school curriculum. Which she later presented at a round table meeting and delivered to Bath University as a lecture.
“I became a yes lady”
Jump ahead to today, Abi is now a badging assistant for Badge Nation. When reflecting on her journey stating that everything, she has achieved is a product of the Emerging Creatives programme and strongly believing that she has now come full circle. As a badging assistant Abi distributes badges to a wide selection of people but finds the ones that involve the young people to be the most rewarding. Remembering her first facilitator digital badge and that value that held with her, stating that badges are what she wished she knew about when she was younger as people deserve acknowledgment above all else.
Alongside all of this, Abi upholds a personal creative practice. Exhibiting her work at Exeter Phoenix and applying for funding opportunities stating that Real Ideas is a gateway into creative opportunities that arise.
“I’m not sure what the future will look like for me (honestly, who does?) but either way, I’m optimistic. Real Ideas has played a big role regarding the opportunities I have had since leaving University; I can’t wait to see what I will do next”