Temp Stories: Lizzie Connor – Putting your course into practice through Talent Works
Lizzie Connor is a recent BA Design Management and Cultures graduate from London College of Communication (LCC). In July 2019 she participated in Talent Works, a project run by LCC that employes UAL students through Arts Temps to work with local social enterprises, charities and community groups who find it difficult to access high-quality communications talent to help them grow. We caught up with Lizzie about her experiences on that project and how Arts Temps has been a useful tool for applying the skills she learned on her course to real life briefs.
Hi Lizzie, could you tell us more about the project you worked on?
So the programme lasted 5 days and involved 30 students from across UAL. We were given a selection of live briefs from a variety of local social enterprises, charities and community groups and it was up to us whether we wanted to pick a brief closely tied to our existing skills or whether we wanted to try out something a bit different. There were all sorts of tasks, from designing a leaflet or a poster to building a website or creating a video.
I was keen to collaborate so decided to work on something that required multiple temps – a fundraising video for a local charity called Edible Rotherhithe. They are a community food growing, gardening and arts charity based in Southwark and work closely with schools and community centres to offer food growing, gardening, and arts & crafts workshops for children and parents.
We were really proud of the final product and you can check it out on my website!
And what did you find most worthwhile about the project?
Through this project I really wanted to expand my network and try out something new. I think within UAL you sometimes have to seek out opportunities for cross-College or cross-course collaborations. So I found it really valuable to work alongside other students from different backgrounds and disciplines. It was also nice to form some new local connections, especially in these crazy times!
Some people also used it as an opportunity to expand their portfolio — I think you could adapt the project to get what you wanted out of it. But the whole process of having the briefing and then allocating tasks and managing workloads was useful for everyone.
For me, it was really valuable doing real work with actual clients. It gave me a taste of what a creative workplace could be like; we were all using our skills together to create something of high quality to meet the client’s needs and also gaining feedback for future projects.
How did the skills you learned on your course allow you to make the most of the project?
Aspects of my course definitely helped with the process. For example, the research side of things and making sure we were delivering exactly what the client wanted. I could use my research skills, which are more closely linked to my course, as well as offer some of my drawing and digital skills.
But it was great to work with people from all different backgrounds. For example, I did some illustrations for the video and someone I was working with took them and overlaid them onto the film footage and slightly animated them to create a fun and engaging video! But it was cool working with a small charity and seeing all of our skills and interests overlapping to benefit them.
How do you think working on the Talent Works project and with Arts Temps has affected your career?
I think working on a live project is the thing which confirmed that my course is something I’d actually really enjoy for a future career. Plus, it was great work experience and a good stepping stone between studying and finding a role after graduating.
It helped me use my skills to benefit a great charity and allowed me to feed off other people’s creativity, whilst still having the support from UAL. Maintaining networks and picking up a few extra skills alongside looking for full-time employment shows you’re being proactive and passionate about what you’re doing, which in turn helps with future employment I think.
It sounds like it was such a great project, congratulations on graduating and good luck in the future!
Since graduating Lizzie has been able to put her studies into further use and is currently working with Arts Temps as a Design Management Assistant, check out more of her work on her website.