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Creative Roundup – To Make a Monument Exhibition, CQAF Creative Bursaries, Creative Debuts Black & Working Class Creatives Grants, Belfast Film Festival, Innovation, Branding, Viral Justice & Art Direction Events


This week we have highlighted some funding opportunities and bursaries and different local and international events we feel creatives might find useful or interesting



One of the lovely things about the location of our Malone Studios is how close it is to Queen’s University, the location of this wonderful exhibition making vewing it a lovely lunchtime activity. This exhibition To Make a Monument is a new project by artist Jan McCullough produced in collaboration with Household that explores untold acts and histories of labour, care and maintenance; fabrication and DIY; and the communities that form around them. To Make a Monument is part of the Belfast International Arts Festival with installations across Queens University Campus: Outside Elmwood Hall (University Road), Whitla Hall (University grounds), The Graduate School (Queen’s University






CQAF has presented the best in local and international art, music and performance over the last 23 years. They are delighted to initiate a scheme which allows artists, writers and performers to develop new work for their festival.

They have established four creative bursaries to support and encourage new work by visual artists, comedians, musicians and theatre practitioners based in Northern Ireland.

This project has funding support from Perspective Economics and the Arts & Business NI Investment Programme.

DEADLINE: 5pm. 11th November 2022




The Black Artists Grant (BAG) by Creative Debuts is a no-strings attached financial support to help Black creatives based in the U.K.

This grant has been set up because Black artists are systematically under-supported by the art world; by institutions, curators, the artist-led scene, major and minor funding bodies, the market, art schools, and by audiences.




The Working Class Creatives Grant (WCCG) is offered by Creative Debuts in collaboration with their partners and the grant selectors The White Pube.

The grant is a no-strings attached financial support to help U.K based creatives of all ages and has been set up in response to the cost of living crisis. Each month one recipient will recieve £500 to spend however they like.





The attention grab series for marketers. The webinar series provides marketers with creative solutions for how to capture, keep, and convert audience attention in their marketing content.

In Part 3 of Vimeo’s Attention Grab Series experts will discuss how you can convert your audience’s attention into action with Interactive Video. Evidence-based marketer Thomas McKinlay, Founder of Ariyh, and Vimeo’s Interactive Video expert Marissa Ke will discuss proven strategies





22nd Belfast Film Festival
DATES: 3 – 12 November 2022




Great for your pocket and the planet!

Find some new-to-you clothing at Switch:Belfast Thrift Night at the MAC on 3 November in association with Alliance for Choice and Environmental Éadaí.

How does it work?

It’s simple – buy a ticket for £8. This entitles you to take five items on the night until 8.30pm. After 8.30pm, you can take more items if you like. This ensures everyone gets a chance to find something great!

DATE: Thursday 3rd November

TIME: 19.00PM

COST: £8




How can we transform society through the choices we make every day?
Small change can have a big impact on our lives. Through knock-on effects and cumulative action, little shifts have the potential for great harm and great good. And when it is easy to feel overwhelmed at the scale of change needed to solve big, structural problems, we need to recognise the value of practical change we can enact on a daily basis.
In recent times, the twin plagues of Covid-19 and anti-Black police violence have caused Ruha Benjamin to rethink the importance of these every day, individual actions across our lives and societies – from the impact of the chronic stress of racism and inequities in our healthcare system to the power of community organisers who are fostering mutual aid and collective healing.
Here at the RSA, Ruha Benjamin will demonstrate the impact of these micro-changes, drawing on her personal experience and professional research on race, technology, and justice. Alongside the chair of the discussion, Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Ruha will offer an inspiring and practical vision of how seemingly minor decisions and habits can spread virally and have exponentially positive effects.
Speaker: Ruha Benjamin, writer, speaker and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University
Chair: Mandu Reid, Leader, Women’s Equality Party
DATE: Thursday 3rd November

TIME: 13.00 – 14.00PM





Every business will need to rebrand at some point. But it’s often an overly complex process. Discover a proven and simpler way to rebrand.

DATE: Thursday 3rd November

TIME: 2.00 – 3.00pm GMT






If you were asked to do something innovative, what would you create? Is there a problem that needs to be solved? Ester Dyson summed this up in her contribution to a short article in Harvard Business Review: “Don’t innovate, solve problems”

Choosing the right problems to address is key to the success of any innovation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic many organisations looked at how they could continue to operate and serve their customers in restricted lockdown environments, such as restaurants offering takeaway or cook at home recipes, blind companies making face shields and PPE and engineering firms creating ventilation units for hospitals – all of which solved problems.

Problem Prioritisation and Ideation
This workshop will equip you with:

1. The tools to help you to identify which problems you want to solve to generate more ideas and more optimal solutions both for your business and your customers.

2. The techniques to narrow down your ideas to the most viable options that you can take forward to develop within your business

3. The support available to help you move forward

DATE: Tuesday 8th November

TIME: 10:00AM – 1.00PM

LOCATION: Invest NI North West Office





Learn in the field with photographer Pam Lau as she shares walks you through shooting a brand or commercial project from start to finish.

This workshop will cover a variety of concepts including:

  • How to work directly with clients when there’s no agency as an intermediary and you’re expected to lead the vision and bring your expertise
  • How to assume multiple roles (ie. art director, producer, casting director, and stylist) when you don’t have the budget to bring on an extensive team
  • How to be scrappy, utilizing backwards creation and your existing resources to bring a concept to life
  • Client consultation; important questions to ask and factors to consider, tips for negotiation
  • Pitching a concept to a client through researching how visual style can align with their brand
  • Pam’s approach and creative process to adapting on the fly during shoot day
  • Tips for directing and coaching your subjects and models to achieve the results you’re looking for
  • Q&A session

About Pam Lau:
Pam Lau is a photographer and educator based in Toronto and Montréal. Recipient of the Applied Arts Young Blood Photography Award and named a photographer to watch in a 500px spotlight on Asian Heritage Month. Co-founder of Ecru; a grassroots educational initiative for those facing cultural, financial, and institutional barriers to entering creative industries. Past clients include PUMA, American Express, General Motors, Microsoft, Shopify, VICE, Refinery29. Ambassador for Canon Canada.

Who’s this workshop for?
Emerging visual artists. Samples discussed focus on photography, however the business practices covered are applicable to multiple disciplines
Current freelancers in adjacent fields such as wedding or events interested in taking on more commercial work
Full-time visual arts workers wanting to transition to freelancing
Digital creators looking to tighten up their pitch for brand partnerships
This workshop will be valuable for anyone looking to take their photography to another level, specifically as it relates to brand photography, editorial, commercial, and fashion. Whether you’re a photographer, videographer, digital creator, model, blogger, or just getting started on your creative journey, these workshops provide an opportunity to connect with others in the community and learn something at the same time.

DATE: Wednesday 9th November 2022

TIME: 5pm PST / 8pm EST






Join the Graduate School at Queen’s for Innovation After Hours on Thursday 10th November at 5:30pm.

The Innovation After Hours event series provides an opportunity to network with like-minded people and to be inspired by innovative and entrepreneurial guest speakers who are working on interesting ventures. It’s a casual meet up, with food and beverages open to QUB students, staff and the general public.

In November, they are delighted to have one of Northern Ireland’s most successful hospitality operators, Michael Stewart, as their guest speaker. Michael will discuss his career in hospitality which spans more than three decades and provide leadership and entrepreneurial insights from his journey.

About the Speaker

Michael Stewart has over 36 years’ experience in hospitality which includes leading roles in some of the city’s most successful bars and clubs.

His portfolio includes roles at Lisburn Road venue Bob Cratchit’s, Botanic Inns Group, the former Ultimate Leisure’s Bamboo Beach Club, Irene and Nan’s, Bar Bacca and La Lea, the Potthouse and The Advocate. He then went on to run House Belfast hotel, bar and restaurant, with business partner Alan Clancy on Botanic Avenue – which occupies the former site of Madison’s.

Today he is the Director of Common Market – the street food market, function space and bar located in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and is the Past President of the Belfast Chamber.

Michael also has his own firm Bar Czar, a consultancy and training business for the trade offering services such as security training.

DATE: Thursday 10th November
TIME: 17:30 – 19.00 GMT
LOCATION: The Graduate School, Queen’s University University Road Belfast BT7 1NN




#blickstudios on
Our Time is Now Interview Insight: Tony McGaharan on taking risks to build confidence.

In this clip, Tony shares a beautiful story illustrating how he built his confidence in his early 20’s. Tony moved to Sweden when he was 21/22 to take an Erasmus year and ended up staying for a full year acting as a coach for a female basketball team. He shares a moment when he was doubting himself and didn’t feel like he was qualified, but overcame that doubt by believing he could learn what he needed to.

He really believed that he could do it and anything that he lacked in skills or experience, he could make up for by his passion to learn.

This is a great story about putting yourself out there and taking the risks you need to move forward towards the dreams that you have.

Stay tuned for the full release this Friday!

#confidence #businessjourney #coaching #Belfast #smallbusiness #Belfastcity
We are so excited to share with you our last interview of this podcast series. Over the last 5 weeks, you have heard from such a range and diverse group of people who live and thrive in Belfast.

This week we are excited to share Tony’s story. Tony McGaharan is a learning design and founder of People Playbook @peopleplaybook a global learning and development consultancy that crafts and facilitates learning experiences which are fresh, engaging and interactive. Tony is our 5th and final interviewee for this series of ‘Our Time is Now’ and we are delighted to be sharing his interview with you this week.

In this clip to start the week, Tony dives into how he struggled with confidence as a kid, but developed his confidence through living in a different country when he was young. He shares how, by living in America, it inspired him to think about his life differently. Tony talks about how he always knew he wanted to work with young people, so he started coaching basketball at a young age. This was the building blocks of his life, and the lessons he learnt during that period run through his entire life until now.

Stay tuned for the full release this Friday!

#creativejourney #learningdesign #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #learninganddevelopment
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a fashion content creator and influencer?

What an incredible week it has been to hear Tanice Samuel's @taniceelizabeth story! We are delighted to be able to share the full episode today. 

Tanice is a content creator and influencer and the 4th creative we have interviewed for 'Our Time is Now' video podcast series which focuses on telling the stories of creatives from Belfast.

In her interview we hear about Tanice's creative journey from getting pregnant at 18, through studying and working in Law for 10 years and how through using Instagram to express her creativity through fashion and makeup and her style overtime she was approached by brands and became a professional content creator and influencer.

Tanice dives into what being a content creator is like, how she navigates her job and gives us a peek into the fashion world.

Tanice’s story is a story of determination and resilience. She talks about how important it is to be yourself if you want people to connect with you online.

We hope you enjoy this conversation and are inspired to create your creative dreams.

You can find Tanice's online on YouTube and Spotify links below and in our profile.

You can watch the episode on Youtube:

Or listen to it on Spotify:

You can also find all the episodes and video clips on our website:

This project is in collaboration with Creating A Space @creatingaspace who directed & produced this series.

This project is supported by Belfast City Council

#contentcreation #creativewomen #creatives #creativeentrepreneurs #creativeentrepreneur #creativejourney #creativewoman
Having the courage to leave a stable job and steady income to become a self-employed creative with @taniceelizabeth 

In this clip, Tanice shares how she turned a hobby into a business and became a professional content creator. She shares how she always remained true to herself, her values, and only working with brands that she aligned with.There is such a thrill when you pursue your creative path full time. The road is scary because you don’t have a consistent income. However, you can push yourself to go get your dream & make it a reality. What an incredible story so far, and we hope you’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Tanice! 

Stay tuned for the full release tomorrow!

#self-employment #creative #contentcreator #contentcreation #selfemployed #creativebusinessowner #creativeentrepeneur #creativejourney
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever been through?

It’s so incredible to have heard so many stories of resilience within this project so far. How people have lost their loved ones and overcome grief, which lead them to really expressing themselves creatively
In this clip, Tanice shares how she lost her dad a few years ago and how that impacted her mentally and physically
She shares how she felt so lost and didn’t know what to do with herself.
When she took some extended time off from work, she started documenting her life, sharing the things that she loved.
Form there, her husband said that she should post the photographs she was taking on Instagram and that became the start of her creating her brand.
Creativity was the thing that got her through the hardest time in her life.
How incredible.
Stay tuned for the full release this Friday

#contentcreation #creative #creativeentrepreneurship #creativeentrepreneur
Have you ever struggled with being your full self?

In this clip, Tanice shares her journey of working as a lawyer for 10 years before embarking on her creative career and gives us an insight into what the corporate world can be like.

She shares that in the corporate world, it’s very focused on climbing the career ladder and how many men would rise through the ranks.

She shares that it wasn't a place for her to express her full self and that she wasn’t able to express her creativity.

Stay tuned for the full release this Friday!
Have you ever had people not believe in you?

Welcome back to another week of wonderful stories! We are so excited to kick off this week with the incredible Tanice Samuels @taniceelizabeth who is a content creator based in Belfast.

This week, we dive into her story of how she got pregnant at 18 and was determined to finish school and go to university to study law. 

She shares that she pushed herself because she wanted to create an amazing life for her and her son.

What an inspiring story hopefully it will give you the motivation needed for this wonderful Monday evening!

Stay tuned for the full episode release this Friday!

#ourtimeisnow #contentcreator #creativejourney
#businessjourney #inspiration
Don’t forget you can listen to the full hour long interview with Mel Carroll illustrator, designer and the founder and director of Usfolk Illustration agency now on Spotify and Youtube (links in profile). We also wrote a short blog on some of the key things we learnt from Mel’s interview. 

1. Art and Creativity can be a useful outlet and a tool for self-expression and personal development

“I used art as escapism. It allowed me to disappear into my own world.”

“Instead of being the queer kid I was the kid who was really good at drawing.”

“My creativity came from my queerness.”

2. The journey to success as a creative isn’t always linear or easy

“My whole university history is pretty messy. I had a mental breakdown. I lost my mum when I was a late teenager doing my A-levels. I don't think I properly dealt with it.”

3. Sometimes, the toughest experiences in life turn out to be the most valuable

“In hindsight, it was one of the best things that happened to me. When I was first in university, I didn't really appreciate it. I wasn’t really interested in the learning aspect. It was more about the partying and the fun. When I went back, I felt really lucky to be able to do it. Financially, it wasn’t easy for me. But I really appreciated every minute of it.”

4. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and put in the hard work to build your skills and portfolio

“It’s your portfolio that matters.”

“When starting out, I didn’t have the skills I needed, but I was pretty sure I was going to learn them. I think you have to put that effort in when you are starting out.”

5. You only live once and should follow your passion

“Something that I regret not doing when I was younger was not following my passion for painting.”

“Follow your passion for drawing and painting and never stop.”

You can read the full blog on our website (link in profile)

#ourtimeisnow #illustration
#illustrator #creativejourney
#artist #Belfastcity #usfolk #usfolkillustrate
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

This is a question that we always ask at the end of each interview. It’s always so beautiful to acknowledge your journey on how far you've come & what it has taken for you to get to where you are now.

In this clip, Mel shares that he wishes that he followed his passion more instead of being so worried about getting an adult job.

He shares his passion for fine art painting & to lean more into what brings you joy.

It’s been such an amazing week hearing Mel’s journey & we are so excited to share the full release of the episode tomorrow!

#creativestartups #creativejourney #followyourdreams #followyourpassion #artist #illustration
Do you think it’s important to put yourself out there?

In this clip, Mel shares his journey of how he got his first job creating logos. He shares that he didn't have the skillset or didn't feel like he was qualified for the job, but pushed himself to get better at his craft.

This then led to him building an amazing skill set within branding.

He shares that it’s important for creatives to put themselves out & build their portfolios to get the type of work they want!

Stay tuned for the full release this Friday!
Have you ever struggled with your mental health?

In this clip, Mel shares with us his journey with grief, his mental health & how his mother passed away when he was a teenager.

He shared that he had to be taken out of university after having a mental break down & then came back a year later, only to find himself more in love with what he was doing.

It’s so refreshing to hear these types of stories because we can always assume that everyone’s journey in linear & straight forward.

It’s beautiful to hear the rawness & openness on how Mel navigated all of this at such a young age.

Stay tuned for the full release this Friday!

#creativeentrepeneur #illustrator #artist #creativejourney #mental health #creativity #creativebusinessowner #creativeentrepreneurship #business  #businessjourney #businessstory
Have you ever used your art and creativity as an escape? 

Happy Monday, everyone! We are so excited to start a new week with a new story! 

We are delighted this week to interview Mel Carroll @melcarroll_usfolk who is a designer, illustrator and the founder of UsFolk illustration agency @usfolkillustrate

In this clip, we get to hear how Mel had a huge passion for art and design from very early in his life. 

He tells us that he knew he was gay from a very young age and used art as a means to escape as well as to develop skills that gave him confidence and validation. Being good at drawing meant he wasn't seen or didn't feel like just that 'queer kid'.

He beautifully shares that his “creativity came from his queerness” 

Stay tuned for the full release on Friday!
Don't miss the full hour long interview we did with Linzi Rooney as part of our new video podcast series 'Our Time is Now' 

Linzi shares her story and creative journey from graduating from art college and working in journalism and photography to founder and owner of @wearebornandbred_ a Belfast City Centre store and e-commerce brand specialising in  Belfast and Irish themed gifts 

Link to watch or listen in our profile 

#creativewisdom #creativejourney #creativeentrepreneurship #creativeentrepreneur #businessjourney #Belfast #belfastcity #creative #businessadvice #creativeinspiration
We are delighted that our 2nd full hour long 'Our Time is Now' interview with inspirational Belfast creatives is now live. This episode is with Linzi Rooney founder of Born & Bred a Belfast City Centre store and e-commerce site specialising in Belfast and Irish themed gifts and homeware. Linzi gives a fantastic interview all about building a successful business and living life on your own terms. There is so much good stuff and wisdom and inspiration to be found in Linzi's story

You can find Linzi's interview online (links below and in our profile)

On our website:

On Spotify:

On Youtube:

#business #inspiration #interview #commerce #belfast #creativeentrepreneur #businessadvice #businessstory #born&bred #blickstudios #ourtimeisnow
Our Time is Now Interview Insight - Linzi Rooney founder of Born & Bred sharing her experience with the pressure of social media

Have you ever felt under pressure when it comes to social media for your business?

Maybe you feel overwhelmed or not knowing what platform to be on as a business?

Or maybe you feel stuck in knowing what content to be creating & post?

In this clip, Linzi talks about the pressure that she felt on social media last year & how it really impacted her.

You are constantly questioning yourself on what's the right thing to do & how to grow your brand.

Linzi shares that you just have to stick to your values & not chase wanting high engagement.

Create good content, showcase your product & be consistent with posting.

Do you struggle with social media?

Let us know in the comments below!

Stay tuned for the full episode release this Friday!
Do women in business struggle with confidence?

Happy International Women’s Day!

We are excited to share this next clip where Linzi talks about how she is passionate about growing the female industry & nurturing female talent.

Linzi touches on how women may not have the confidence in what they can achieve & maybe feel like they have to be more in the home rather than taking the plunge to follow their dreams.

When it comes to building a business & also creating a family, a lot of pressure is put on the woman to balance everything.

Lizni talks about how it’s a sensitive topic at the minute & it’s very difficult to say the “right thing”.

What are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comments below!

#happyinternationalwomensday #womeninbusiness #womenentrepreneurs #creativestartups #creativewomen #confidence #business
Our Time is Now Interview Insight Linzi Rooney: Jack of all trades, master of none. 

In this clip, Linzi talks about her experience of going to university & being told that in order to be successful, you need to specialise in one thing. 

Linzi shares the importance of having a diverse range of skills in different areas, especially when it comes to running your own business. Running a business is hard. 

One positive thing that comes out of it is – you learn how to be an adaptable & resilient person! 

Let us know your thoughts about this in the comments below. Stay tuned for the full episode this Friday! In the meantime, you can watch our other videos on our website:

#creativeentrepreneur #creativebusinessowner #Belfast #belfastbusiness #creativeentrepreneurship #ourtimeisnow
We are so excited to introduce our next creative guest for Our Time is Now - Linzi Rooney who is the founder of Born & Bred @wearebornandbred_ a Belfast City Centre store and e-commerce site specialising in Belfast and Irish themed gifts and homeware.
 Born & Bred exists to help artists thrive. Founded in 2014 by Linzi, Born & Bred sells beautiful, locally-made gifts in their shop.
Born & Bred has impacted over 300 local makers and provides a space (both online and offline) where artists can come together to learn, share and sell.
Born & Bred has received an array of accolades including Top place to shop for art by Lonely Planet, Top 10 places to shop in Belfast by the The New York Times and Top 50 independent shops in the UK by The Guardian.
We had the pleasure of hearing Linzi’s story on how she first started out on her creative journey by being a freelance photographer.
Through different jobs, she realised very early on that she wanted to work for herself & build something of her own.
You guys are in for a treat with this story! Stay tuned for the full episode release this Friday!

#creative #creativeentrepreneur #creativeentrepreneurship #creativejourney #womenbusinessowners #womeninbusiness #womenentrepreneurs
Looking for some Sunday inspiration? You can now watch or listen to @macystewartstudio's full hour long interview on her creative journey from starting out to becoming an established full-time photographer. 

Links in profile and below




📸 by @creatingaspace 

Graphics by @mehimandherdesign

#photographer #photography #creativebusiness #creativebusinessowner #creativefreelancer #womaninbusiness #womanbusinessowner #creativejourney
Some inspirational weekend listening! 

Macy Stewart's Our Time is Now full hour long interview is now available to watch or listen to online links below and in our profile. 



Have you ever been burnt out?

What an incredible week it has been hearing about Macy’s journey of starting out as a photographer.

Over the last few days we have heard how she got started, the lessons of being a creator & how she balances being a woman in a male dominated industry.

In this clip, Macy shares that 5 years later she was finally getting the work that she dreamed of, getting to a place of being established only to constantly find herself feeling burnt out.

When you are building a creative brand, it’s very easy to fall into feeling like you’re constantly behind & the workload can feel endless.

What’s beautiful to hear is that Macy pushed through that phase & now is a place of finding that work life balance that we all hope to have!

Stay tuned for the full release tomorrow!
Not feeling respected as a woman

In this clip Macy shares how the film & photography industry is very male dominated & how she has experienced a lot of disrespect on sets.

She shares the challenges she has faced, the confidence she is building & how hard it can be to thrive in a male dominated space.

It’s a really interesting thing to highlight because women do have to work twice as hard & can’t afford to have a “bad day” or an ego. There is a lot of unspoken pressure & it’s great to hear Macy speak out about it.

Stay tuned for the full release of the episode this Friday!
Do you struggle knowing your worth? 

This is an important thing to work on when you are building a creative business. So often we can find ourselves seeking validation from others, or simply placing our self worth in others hands. 

In this clip, Macy talks about the early stages of her career & how she had to learn to believe in herself and find herself worthy. 

Stay tuned for the full release of the episode on Friday!
Have you ever struggled to find your passion?

We are so excited to kick off our new video podcast series ‘Our Time is Now’ in collaboration with @creatingaspace with support from @belfastcitycouncil

Over the coming weeks, you will hear different stories about creative businesses, the creative journey & how people overcome adversity.

In this clip, @macystewartstudio shares with us how she dropped out of school at 17 because her father passed away.

She shares how she was dealing with her grief & how photography was a positive a way for her to process what she was going through.

She shares how she was just following her passion for photography but never thought it would turn into a career!

Macy has such a powerful story of resilience, inspiration & being a strong person!

Stay tuned for the full release of this episode on Friday 

#creatives #Belfast 
Not long now until we share the full Our Time is Now interviews, but in the meantime here is a taster of what to expect. Amazing insights and honest stories from some really inspirational local creatives doing things differently and making their mark on the world.