Tim Wallace | Inspire

My notes from Tim’s talk:

He says that there is only 2 things in life that will stop you achieving your dreams:

  • Your own self belief
  • Drive

83% of us will give up by Year 2 because you have to fight to survive in the industry and you shouldn’t do it for the money because that’s not enough, you have to love what you do and do it for the job satisfaction, the money is a bi-part and if you work hard enough the money can be very good but it’s a never-ending struggle.

‘Do not underestimate Social Media’ It is a massively powerful tool, Facebook, Instagram (he sells most of his stock images through here which earnt him 38K last year), LinkedIn is brilliant and we need to get set up on it, go on a course if we can because it’s complicated but once you use it properly it will benefit us immensely. And Twitter…use it, because it’s all Reach and REACH IS EVERYTHING.

He went on to talk about our Portfolios and how vitally important these are especially within Commercial photography and meeting prospective clients.

They are a book about YOU to showcase your ability and what you are capable of. When an Art Director is looking at your portfolio he is not buying your pictures he is buying YOU, your ABILITY & STYLE.

Tim shot his first campaign for Aston Martin 8 months after he started his business and 80% of his success is down to his business handling and knowing what the client wants. He approached them asking for a tour to get a bit of background into the business and he noticed that their spare parts cost a lot so he photographed them in a way that made them look like they were worth the money, And that increased their sales by 800% which made him a very popular man.

Tim Wallace 1

Tim Wallace 2

**Know Your Craft Off By Heart**

When selling you need to speak to clients H2H (Human To Human). Art Directors can get up to 50-60 emails per day with people’s work and they won’t even look at them. You need to meet in person with your amazing Portfolio and WOW them, it pays to invest in beautifully made portfolio because you want it to reflect everything about you and how much care and thought goes into everything you do.

**Respect Your Own Work**

Value the work that you do and charge respectively for it, you have to be confident in what you produce because when a client books you they want to be 100% convinced that you can deliver and provide the highest level of work and you must be consistent in the work you produce. Copying someone else’s style is only going to trip you up because if you can only copy then they aren’t buying your style and you won’t be an asset to their business.

**Digital Assets – Not Pictures/Photos**

Use the correct terminology when speaking to Clients. Your power as a photographer is incredible, you can make your client a lot of money if you do the job well.

My Conclusion

Tim was probably the most inspiring speaker at Creative Futures for me, it was the most relevant to me as a Photographer. He is walking, talking proof that you can do anything when you put your mind to it and drive is everything, don’t doubt yourself, keep moving forward and fail fail fail because that will only make you pick yourself up again and learn and do things differently.

Also this year I want to create myself a portfolio that WOWS people so I plan to work on that and the images that will go in it throughout 2017.

Robert Ball | Working From Home

Robert is an Illustrator and has created illustrations for Star Wars, Game Of Thrones & many other books & publications. He got to where he is now basically by accident, via dead ends, mistakes, failures and fortunate accidents. He’s experienced terrific highs and crushing lows because in a creative career you put everything into your work and put yourself out there for it to be criticised – loved or hated.

Robert Ball

My notes:

He started out in 1991 making graphics for computer games like Robocop and went on to being employed by a company as a graphic designer. On the side he blogged and shared his drawings with the world and realised that his heart was still in illustration. He found inspiration for his work from his surroundings – subways/streets etc creating bright colourful artwork of everyday life.

His Moral –


At the age of 39 he decided to become a self-employed illustrator working from home. And the turning point in his career was when he created a poster for a film exhibition which spiraled into a much bigger job than he had expected as he created a series of illustrations of Baddies from films, he made 50 of these and then 50 Goodies. These were then bought from the VMA shop and that led to more and more work off the back of that.

He’s done illustrations for wine bottles, crisp packets, toy boxes, posters, you name it.

He gets the majority of his work through his Agent – The Artworks & their American Company. Working for an Agency is ideal for him because he is not good with the money side of getting jobs so he lets them handle that…haggle the price with clients and then he earns 25% commission which works well for him.


He repeated how important it is to have the correct content in your portfolio, it should only contain the best of your work and only the work that you want to attract more of.


If you work for a company they will put you through training so you must do the same if you work for yourself. Keep your experiences fresh, learn new things to keep expanding and widen your knowledge as an artist.


Your career is just a journey there is never an end.

DON’T just sit and procrastinate, go and do something, anything as a distraction – walk, swim, cinema because when you have hit a brick wall, sitting and over-thinking everything is never healthy. You need to separate yourself from it and then come back with a clear mind.

DON’T Regret stuff, it’s a waste of time. There is always going to be things you wish you hadn’t done or done differently but there’s nothing you can do about that, just move on and keep learning from everything.


It was interesting to see the path that Robert chose and where it took him to where he is now, and I think it’s reassuring to see that there isn’t a golden rule to success except work hard, fail, learn and keep experimenting and just keep working doing what you love.

Thom Gulsen | All4

Thom Gulsen, Commissioning Editor – ALL 4 (Online Viewing Platform)

Thom explained how he bounced from pillar to post, first studying english and wanted to be a music journalist but there was no career in it so he spent years meeting and interviewing bands, unpaid, then got offered a job with MSN. The turning point was when he started using a dslr and making short films which got him a job on E4 working on Skins & Misfits.


Tom Jenkins & Laura from MASHED (Youtube Channel)

They talked about their channel and shown some examples.

I didn’t really find any of this talk relevant to myself so I don’t have a conclusion from it …. except that perhaps I should of gone to another one instead (My Fault).

Nia Roberts | Taking Control Of Your Ideas

Nia Roberts – Taking Control Of Your Ideas – Swansea Innovations

Nia is a Patent Attorney and used to work for the Welsh Government and is now part of the AgorIP Project for Swanseainnovations.com. AgorIP is about moving ideas into the real world.

She explained to us about how copyright works and how we should make sure that we protect our ideas and make money from them like we deserve to.

My Notes:

Copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the author.

If you take a photograph you own the copyright.

** IP – Intellectual Property **

Understanding IP:


Trade Marks – These protect Your Business Name

Value Of Brands – Don’t choose a name starting with ‘Easy’ EasyJet will go out of their way to cause problems for you. Do your homework and check what trade marks are already being used on the .gov website.

Patents – Maximum duration 20 years. They are very very expensive, can cost thousands and take years to get. You can search for patents on http://ep.Espacenet.com

Registered Designs – This is a very inexpensive way to protect the look/appearance of a product but not the function. (Around £60)

Unregistered Design Right – Anything designed in the UK is covered up to 15 years. You must keep an audit trail of your work from start to finish, so that you can always prove it is your work.

Copyright – As a student, all the work you produce is your copyright. Your work might be simple but it’s still valuable. Sort out ownership in writing with anything you design for someone, avoid controversy.

Trade Secret – Lasts forever.


Nia’s information made me realise how important it is to protect your Business and your work because you can lose a lot of money if you don’t and/or end up in awkward legal battles.

Arts & Business Cymru

Angharad from Arts & Business Cymru helps artists & designers work with businesses – funding etc. The focus on what artists can offer businesses via Networking, Profiling, Marketing.

Simon Macro from FRESHWEST is one of the artists that Angharad has helped and linked to an Eco-Friendly Building company TESNI.

Simon studied Fine Art then moved to design, all he knew was that he wanted to make things / conceptual things that would be useful in the home. He teamed up with Marcus who was making experimental furniture at the time and they shared their knowledge with each other and started taking commissions and building kitchens for people. This took up a lot of their time so they took one day out every week – CREATIVE FRIDAYS to stop their normal work and concentrate on their own designs and build a portfolio.

He insisted on how important it was to have good documentation / Images / Advertising of your work because that’s what gets you noticed.


Also, the importance of PLAY, designing your desires and not really knowing what the outcome will be.

And do charity work, work with the public. This can be rewarding and get your work noticed in areas you wouldn’t think of.

Through Arts & Business Cymru, Simon & Marcus were commissioned to create lighting which suited their eco friendly, contemporary, natural materials & nordic house designs. This was very suited to all their previous work which they had built in their portfolio, their pieces all had a narrative in mind. For example a table they exhibited was made using wood that was washed up on the beach and they created the table from that and shaped it like a surf board which also came with a certificate to explain its story. So they applied this same amount of thought when creating the lighting for TESNI. Instead of just creating a shape for their lampshade they wanted it to be relevant to everything that surrounded it. So they acquired the data graphs of the amount of solar energy that the houses had used over the past 5 years and used that for the basis of the design which created very bespoke pieces…with a narrative.

My Conclusion:

I don’t work in design, but in Photography there is always some aspect of creating something new, whether it is a scene, a prop….. or a story behind a photograph. I enjoyed Simon’s talk, it was good to get a behind the scenes look into how they create / modify their tools enabling them to make very individual pieces. And I really like the way that everything they make has a some form of narrative behind it. I think the service that Arts & Business Cymru offer joining artists with Business’ is really exciting and a great opportunity to get your work out of the studio.

Barry Purves | What Is Art?

Delivering the Key note speech was Barry Purves, who has taken many roles throughout his career – an Actor, Animator, Director, writer, teacher. Some of his well known animations include Wind In The Willows, Rupert Bear, Twirlywoos to name a few and he has been involved in Films like Mars Attacks and King Kong. His successful career in animation since 1987 has received great recognition and BAFTA and OSCAR Nominations.

He presented his work on a 4 minutes showreel, something he said was very difficult to cram 40 years worth into just 4 minutes. It was lots of little clips from his productions with music from The Penguin Cafe Orchestra which was really good and the clips were arranged to fit the pace of the music.

These are my notes taken throughout Barry’s presentation on – WHAT IS ART?

He says Art is all about storytelling because we all like and want to tell stories, to share things about ourselves and our time here. But just talking about ourselves sometimes isn’t enough and can be effected by politics, ethics etc.

So we have to find a way of being noticed and getting our story across and this is where using a ‘device’ comes in useful like costumes and puppets.

He traced back through history to caveman times and discussed the paintings on the cave walls that shown a storyboard-style picture of an event that had happened, and another which was just a collage of painted hand prints on a wall. This was their device to tell their story…to show their existence.

The first ever oil painting by Jan Van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife 1434 was analysed for years about the meaning and reason behind many objects in the painting. It was his showreel, a way of displaying his talent by including as many different painted textures as he could.

Barry Purves 1

Stories are a way of saying ‘I Matter’ And one of the greatest storytellers was Shakespeare who deals with metaphors, history, his society and whats happening to him in his stories.

By using a device such as a costume / puppet etc you can get away with saying things that might not normally sit very well with some people. They allow the viewers to enter into their world and their story.

Barry Purves 2.jpg

In Hamlet, ghost/clowns/songs are all used and are artificial things which speak the truth to get a message across.

What’s very important is that stories need a change of perspective.


  • PINOCCHIO, He had to learn what it is to be a real boy before he could be one.
  • E.T. He came to a broken family, heals them and then he’s gone.
  • Mary Poppins, She comes to a broken family and heals them then leaves, she has an umbrella that talks which is the device, it is the most honest thing in the film and it says what needs to be said to the audience, almost says what you are thinking anyway.

**SO having a device is crucial to storytelling**

  • Facebook is a device, people use it and hide behind it to be more opinionated than they might do in a face to face conversation.
  • Having a cup of tea/pint with someone is a device, it gives people liberty to talk.

He went on to talk about Greek Myths & Folk Law…. is there any truth in it at all, or was it just their way of making sense of life as it happened.

Art is about enjoying the liberation devices give you, to create something from scratch where every element like the colour palette, the composition, the light, everything influences the message/story that you are telling.

Animation uses visual metaphors strongly.

Ballet is the most honest artificial storytelling – the body language, the costumes, the colour, the music. All those elements are the device and say more than words can.

We have to find a device to get our story across, and to end he quoted “ Give A Man A Mask And He Will Tell You The Truth’

I found Barry’s talk very interesting, I must admit I was a huge fan of Wind In The Willows when I was a child amongst many other animations and my son loves Twirlywoos which is one of his current productions.

My conclusion from Barry’s talk was that he sees Art as a way of expressing and telling our stories / getting a point across and that every artist has a different way of delivering this whether it’s through costume or the tools that they use. I enjoyed seeing his journey which has got him where he is now, I think I would have liked to of seen more of a behind the scenes of the work involved in creating his animations.

FEATURED IMAGE taken from Watershed