Based in Glasgow, Cryptic is an award winning internationally renowned producing arts house presenting today’s most imaginative, pioneering artists whilst also nurturing the creative talent of tomorrow.

We caught up with the team about their experience of the Creative Kickstart programme and the impact it’s had on the organisation and the young people.

This blog features excerpts of an interview with:

Fiona Haggerty, Project Manager
Claire Moran, Producer
Aimee Adam, Marketing Assistant

Chloe Charlton, Assistant Administrator

Meet the managers:

Why did you get involved?

Fiona We saw Creative Kickstart as a really good way to get younger people on board and have the capacity and budgets for the set up and training and to offer mentoring, which we believe is important for people who are at the very beginning of their careers.

We've been able to work with Chloe and Aimee to identify specific training opportunities that they're interested in and relevant to their role and we’ve continued to check in regularly to ensure it remains useful. They’ve both been going on training courses and webinars in person and online and we’ve also been able to offer Aimee some external mentoring from a communications professional.

What’s the impact of bringing new, younger recruits into the team?

Fiona I think it makes for a lively organisation to hear the perspective of younger people and feed that into our work – we’re a small team so their opinion really matters, we aim to take it on board and we hope it’s reflected in the work that we do. Also, engaging younger artists is a key element of our programming so it's really important for those artists to see that they're represented within the team.

Claire As an organisation, one of our focuses is emerging artists but we’ve not had the opportunity to support early careers marketers/producers. Kickstart gave us this opportunity and has allowed for a more holistic approach to the expansion of the team and the development of skills within the creative industries as a whole. It was also about succession planning – both Aimee and Chloe will be staying in the team and Kickstart not only gave us a funded and supported opportunity to create these roles, and provide training, but it also gave Aimee and Chloe an opportunity to test the water and understand whether this is an area of work they want to develop a career in.

Meet the Kickstarters:

Aimee Adam, Marketing Assistant

Prior to her Kickstart placement and now permanent role, Aimee studied illustration at university and then a master's in fashion marketing before graduating last year. COVID-19 meant she missed out on internships linked to her master’s so once she graduated, she was struggling to find a job, which is why she decided to try the Kickstart route.

Chloe Charlton, Assistant Administrator

Chloe graduated from Glasgow Art School last year and had been working in hospitality while taking on some freelance and self-generated work such as workshops and events, but she was struggling to find a job in the arts and then Creative Kickstart came along…

Has the Kickstart placement shifted your career plans at all?

Aimee Sort of, I originally thought I wanted to get into fashion marketing, but I've always had an interest in the arts, and I found arts marketing really insightful.

Chloe It’s confirmed my plans - I wanted to work in an arts organisation and this experience has given me an insight into how it works. It’s been really nice being in a small team, it’s exposed me to the various different procedures that take place.

What type of work have you been doing and what skills have you developed?

Aimee Website management, which I’d dabbled with at university, but now I've learned so many skills about managing a website. Also a lot of social media and video editing, which was something I'd never tried before and I've learned lots of skills in that.

Chloe I'm the admin assistant so my role involves quite a range of different areas like managing the office, financial stuff, drafting documents, scheduling, liaising with artists etc. I've learned so much across all of that and seeing how it all runs together.

Have there been any specific highlights at all?

Aimee The festival (Sonica, Cryptic’s international audio-visual festival) was a big highlight – the experience and the fast pace of it all, that was amazing.
Chloe Yes for me it’s the festival and also Cryptic's responsiveness to us has been really amazing. We’ve had a lot of discussions around what we want to gain or hoping to learn and there’s been a lot of support to find relevant training – it’s been great.

Would you recommend young people consider vocational training routes such as this?

Chloe Yes, massively. These kind of roles can be hard to find or to get, so the opportunity to gain those skills and training and create connections in the field is really valuable.

Aimee I think with a lot of jobs now, people just don't have the actual experience to do them but opportunities like this help you build up that skillset that can transfer to other jobs.

Find out more about Cryptic on their website or follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Erratic Weather SiyaoLi