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Creative Roundup: Slow Business, Inspiration, Funding & Support & More

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Here is a roundup of some of our favourite things for creatives, upcoming funding and support, events, opportunities and inspiration this week.

INSPIRATION

Slow Business Movement – we are starting to plan our new programme of events, activities and support, so I have been looking at what’s already happening in Belfast and globally. We want all our business support to be meaningful and never want to replicate what’s already available. When doing some research and seeking inspiration this week I came across the slow business movement which immediately fascinated me and seems very different to most of the business stuff in Belfast which seems to mostly be about growing and scaling and as quickly as possible.

I have always been interested in both living and working differently. I have very varied interests and am very passionate about both my work and my hobbies. I am very fortunate and love working and love my job, but also love lots of other things. For me a big part of why I wanted to work for myself was so I could have more flexibility to accommodate my work around my hobbies. However I still find myself getting sucked into the common narratives around busyness and often feel guilty when I do those hobbies during working hours even though that was always the plan and one of the main reasons I wanted to work for myself. I find it very hard not to feel that I have to be available and sitting at my desk from 9 – 5 Monday to Friday, whether I’m actually being productive or not.

I would love to not feel this guilt and actually find ways to be more productive and less busy and in turn enjoy both my work and life more. So the slow business movement and the idea you can still be successful, but do things differently really interested me. I like the idea that you can be ambitious and driven yet still work around your values. That you can do work because it is enjoyable, that you can build a business around things that matter, work to live not live to work and you can start a business with the aim to build a business that is sustainable and resilient according to your personal values. For some this might mean employing 10 people, for others 100 or maybe even just working for yourself and by yourself but doing work you love and having time for hobbies you enjoy. Hopefully we will bring some of these ideas into our new programme of support.

Here are a few things I found interesting.

Slow Business Manifesto

An interesting article

Some great free resources and exercises


FUNDING & SUPPORT

Slow Entrepreneur – Some great free resources and exercises around doing business more slowly

WEBSITE: https://www.slowentrepreneur.com/

 

Craft NI Gallery – call for application for their retail gallery in Royal Avenue, Belfast

WEBSITE: https://craftni.org/call-for-applications-craft-ni-gallery/ 

 


EVENTS

Bernadette Doolan Are We There Yet Exhibition – The first Belfast solo exhibition by award-winning Co Wexford-based artist Bernadette Doolan is currently running at 35DP, a new city centre arts space in Donegall Place.

Presented by Haller Clarke, a local consultancy working to promote culture and arts, Are We There Yet? features 36 original paintings in oils and acrylics which showcase Doolan’s trademark combination of vulnerability, humour and intrigue.

It’s almost over but in a really convenient location in the city centre and in a really beautiful space so definitely worth a look if you are in town on Saturday.

DATE: Until 18th June

TIME: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

LOCATION: 35DP Donegall Place

WEBSITE: https://bernadettedoolan.com/

#blickstudios on
This week we had a quick catchup with our newest Cotton Court resident creative freelancer @emanuela_mae_agrini_art who told us a bit about herself and her creative work

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

Hey there! I am originally from Genoa, a seaside city in Northern Italy; my business was born there about ten years ago and bounced around a bit before moving to Belfast. My idea has always been to offer written communication for companies and individuals, but over time my core is moving more and more in the direction of a mix between visual and written communication. Although I still deal most of the time with content writing and copywriting (both in Italian and in English), I am developing some projects that can combine visuals and words, in the context of graphic facilitation, graphic recording and illustrated content.

What was the biggest hurdle for you starting out and how did you overcome it?

When I started as a freelancer ten years ago, the main obstacle was to convince companies and clients that remote work is still work: the mentality was very different from today and there was a lot to work to do on it. I always supported remote work and for long periods I have been traveling while working between the countries. Today luckily things seem to have changed.

How do you stay creative/inspired?

I pass pretty much all my free time reading books, drawing, and painting and when possible, I travel to see new places and meet new people. I love also to be around the city the more I can to listen to the stories of random people I meet. When I want to recharge, I go to the sea, which is my happy place.

What’s your top tip/piece of advice for anyone wanting to work for themselves/ start their own creative business?

Just make sure you are into it with all your energies and passion, and love every moment of it 🙂

You can read the full interview on our website (link in profile)
Don't forget to take a break for the long weekend. It can be hard when you're self employed to justify taking time off to relax and rest and not feel guilty about it and for many if you arent working you arent earning. But there is always more that could be done so take as much of a break as possible and enjoy the peace of these extra couple of days when people don't expect you to be answering emails or phone calls

#worklifebalance #bankholiday #longweekend #balance #rest #relax #smallbusinessbelfast #selfemployed #freelance #smallbusinessowner
Since the pandemic we have been very busy with new residents and behind the scenes work in the studios, but are planning to start picking things up again with more for the wider creative business community in Northern Ireland in coming months. So we thought it would be a good time to re-introduce the people involved with Blick. Who we are and more importantly why we do it, starting with Blick founder Christine. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How has your work at Blick compared to what you imagined you would end up doing? 

I'm Christine. I studied fashion and textiles at Belfast School of Art and worked briefly as a textile designer for fashion in Italy before returning to NI to start my own creative business. I was one of the founders of Blick way back in 2007 with a group of other creatives all struggling to find suitable workspace in Belfast, somewhere affordable and flexible alongside other like minded creatives. I will talk more about that journey and the story of Blick in future posts. I currently run Blick with my sister Rosy who does all our finance and operations with support from our board of Trustees as Blick is also a registered charity. 

I always wanted to work in fashion for as long as I can remember, so working at Blick is very different to what I imagined in one way, but I also always dreamed of working for myself. I just didn't think it was even possible. Not knowing any business owners and going to a very traditional grammar school starting a business just didn't seem feasible to me when growing up. So I ended up pursuing a career in fashion, but the reality of having to work in a big city, sitting at a desk all day, alongside the financial challenges of working within the industry led me to make the decision to return to NI to start my own fashion business. I struggled working alone at home and then met a group of creatives on a creative business course at Ulster University and we all realised just how important being with other like minded creatives on a similar path was and we came up with the idea for Blick. I ended up then taking over running Blick myself 
Link in bio to our blog with the rest
Hill streets lovely breakout areas, where you can sit and have some lunch or a coffee away from your desk 

#hillstreetbelfast #sharedstudios #coworkingspace #blicksharedstudios #cathedralquarterbelfast
Congratulations to our resident Dani McFerran, founder of award winning Graphic Design studio @doneanddusteddesign, as she was recently celebrated for her contribution to entrepreneurship at the House of Lords to mark International Women's Day! 

Read all about the F:Entrepreneur event, and Dani's amazing businesses on our blog - link in bio. 

#residentnews #residentpromotion #blickresidents #blicksharedstudios
Our lovely main room in our Malone studios is available for hire and we now have a special reduced rates for anyone wanting to make an ongoing longterm booking of 8 weeks or more, we currently still have availability for Thursday and Friday evenings and Sundays. Prices and details are on our website (link in bio) or email christine@blickstudios.org for more info 

#roomhire #maloneroadbelfast #belfast #eventspace #blicksharedstudios
Our Malone Road studios illustrated by resident and team member @jenny_eva_design 🌿

Offering private and shared studio space, 51 Malone Road is a beautiful space full of character and natural sunlight, perfect for finding some Monday motivation!

Find more of Jenny's work at jennyevadesign.com ✨

#blicksharedstudios #blickresidents #belfastcreatives #belfast #maloneroadbelfast #illustration #studio #coworkingspace
A warm welcome to Holly @holly.e.m who has recently joined Blick as a resident in Cotton Court.

Holly is a theatre graduate and has recently moved to Belfast, working as the marketing and growth lead for a production company called Tell based in York!

Check out @tellyork and our interview with Holly on our Blog >> link in bio ✨

#meettheresident #blicksharedstudios #coworkingspace #studio #remoteoffice #dedicateddesk #cottoncourt #belfastcreatives
Our second studio space in the Cathedral Quarter; Cotton Court, illustrated by resident and team member @jenny_eva_design ✨

Find it on waring Street opposite the Merchant Hotel. This space provides dedicated desks and private offices for creative businesses, and is the perfect city centre base to meet clients! 

Find more of Jenny's work at jennyevadesign.com 👀

#belfastcreatives #supportlocalartists
#blickresidents #blicksharedstudios
#illustration #hillstreetbelfast #belfastcathedralquarter
What a gorgeous weekend. Hope everyone got to enjoy the good weather.
Did you know that as well as providing physical workspace for creatives we also provide virtual office space for only £20 a month. A city centre address creates a confident and professional first impression and separates your business and home life. You can choose between our South Belfast address at 51 Malone Road, BT9 6RY or our Cathedral Quarter address 46 Hill Street, BT1 2LB

For more info visit our website (link in profile) or get in touch
Hill St soaking up all the sunlight today ☀️

Our shared studio space on the top floor of this lovely building is the perfect base for a growing creative business, with great coffee around the corner, break out spaces to catch up with clients and a friendly organising team on hand to help!

Find out about our other studio spaces on our website > link in bio 🌿

#blicksharedstudios #belfaststudiospace #coworkingspace #sharedstudios #dedicateddesk #networking #belfastcitycentre #belfastcreatives #inspiration
Our lovely Hill Street studios by resident and team member @jenny_eva_design✨

Check out more of her work at jennyevadesign.com!

#belfastcreatives #supportlocalartists
#blickresidents #blicksharedstudios
#illustration #hillstreetbelfast #belfastcathedralquarter
Beautiful sun filled views from our Hill St. studios this morning ☀️

#blicksharedstudios #belfastcathedralquarter #studiospace #inspiration #sunlight #workspace #workspacegoals
We got the chance to chat with Documentary fillmmaker Gillian Callan, one of our newest residents at Cotton Court. Gillian shared her top tips as a freelancer, who inspires her (Whitney Houston!) and how she overcame any hurdles starting out. 

Have a read on the blog 👉 link in bio!

#meettheresident #blicksharedstudios #studiospace #belfastcreatives