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									                                 Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Creative Choices Festival@UWS
9 March 2010 / Paisley Campus

By Larissa Belch

THE UNIVERSITY’S Creative Choices Festival may now               It wasn’t just UWS students who attended. We had people
become an annual event – after organisers, speakers and          from other higher education colleges. In fact it was a girl from
visitors hailed it a resounding success.                         Cardonald College who won the speed-pitching event.
   The event – a collaboration between University of the West       “She had an idea for a film and her prize was the chance to
of Scotland staff and students – took four months to plan.       be mentored by a film-maker. So it was a good result for her.
   Visitors were treated to more than 30 different events at        “The fourth year commercial music students performed
the Paisley Campus, which gave UWS students the chance to        at a local café in the evening and it was fantastic. It really
put their creative skills on display.                            showcased their talents.”
   It ran alongside the inaugural ‘Scottish Creative Economy        She added: “The students I’ve spoken to have been really
Conference’, which was opened by UWS Principal Professer         positive about the festival. There was a lot of planning. A team
Seamus McDaid to a crowd of more than 50 delegates.              of students got involved and it all came together nicely. It’s
   One of the organisers, UWS Skillset Project Manager           been a resounding success.”
Margaret Scott, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with how it       The Acting Head of the School of Creative and Cultural
went. There are aspirations to make it an annual event.”         Studies, Anne Gifford, said: “The Festival was a great success.
   Hundreds of students benefited from the events, which         It was very good in terms of the mix of people and activities
ranged from the quirky laughter workshop to a presentation       focussing on creativity and partnership.
from the Inland Revenue.                                            “The University really felt like a hub for students to showcase
   On the creative side there was a talk by scriptwriter and     their creative skills and we are definitely
actor Stuart Hepburn, who shared the process of getting a TV        considering running a similar event next year. We will be
project into production.                                         looking at how we can follow it up and how we can get more
   UWS Broadcast Production Lecturer Paul Tucker and Patsi       creative with the format.”
Mackenzie, Executive for Gaelic Programming at STV, were            One speaker Stuart Hepburn, a Lecturer in Scriptwriting at
also on the campus. They spoke about the drama documentary       the University, said: “I think sometimes you can get snowed
Paul made about the notorious serial killer, Peter Manuel, one   under by learning outcomes.
of the last people to be hanged in Scotland.                        He added: “Events like these really give you the chance to
   Margaret Scott said: “The feedback has been very positive.    share creativity and that’s what it is all about. It’s fantastic.”
                                    Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Getting by in business: with
a little help from your friends
By Fern Campbell and Larissa Belch
SCRIPTWRITER Stuart Hepburn had his audience in stitches              80 per cent of his work did not make it to fruition and joked
telling of the challenges getting his Chic Murray film on to          that he knew it was finally time to give up on a project when
our screens – but then made it clear it’s no laughing matter.         he “had blood coming out of his ears.”
   Stuart’s struggle to get Chic’s Last Laugh - a drama about            He advised those breaking into the profession not to take
Greenock-born comedian Chic Murray - into production                  criticism to heart. Stuart spoke with passion about Chic’s Last
highlighted the difficulties facing scriptwriters in Scotland.        Laugh and revealed he was a big fan of the late comedian.
   He said: “You must have tenacity, the hide of a rhino and             He said: “I’m a great admirer of the man. Everyone I spoke to
enough self belief to keep going.”                                    during my research told me a different story about him. He was
   Stuart, who has also enjoyed success in front of the camera        a bit of a devil. Some people told me really bad things about
in STV’s hit police drama Taggart, confessed his latest project       him and some people told me really good things about him.
which will cost about £1.6million to make might never get                At his funeral Billy Connolly described him as his favourite
aired – despite initial interest from BBC Scotland.                   comedian.
   The story follows Chic and an aspiring young comedian on              “He’s the unsung hero who never quite made it to the world
their journey home from London to Edinburgh.                          stage. He almost topped the bill at the Royal Variety Show in
   Stuart was generous enough to share a small section of the         1956 but then the Suez Canal situation erupted and the Queen
script with his audience.                                             never turned up. He made a James Bond film Casino Royale
   A lot of hard work went into producing the final script,           but sickeningly for Chic it was the worst Bond film ever.
which Stuart only began to write after doing a great deal of             “He was the first alternative comedian and his story is
research into the man who he described as one of the greatest         worth a revisit. I would urge you to go onto Youtube and have
comic’s ever.                                                         a look at Chic.”
   He said: “I think it was the fifth draft of the script which was      When asked if he thought the recent release of a Chic DVD
eventually handed to BBC Scotland but I’ve been here before. It       and book would hamper his project Stuart said that he was
might happen, it might not. I’m not holding my breath. There          just glad people are getting a chance to know Chic because
are so many barriers at which a project can fall.”                    “he was an interesting character and a good comedian but
   Stuart told the audience at the Students’ Union that about         nobody really knew it.”

  Murray’s magical moments
FOR those hoping to be the next Richard Branson the best                 Mr Ives told the stor y of a band who were struggling to get
way to get ahead is to rely on each other.                            studio time because they couldn’t afford to pay for it.
    According to Anthony Ives, from the Scottish Institute               They were so determined to succeed that they agreed to
for Enterprise, the business world goes hand in hand with             clean the studio space in return for a very early Sunday spot
friendship.                                                           - at 3am.
    He told students at the Business Generation Workshop:                Mr Ives said: “New businesses always need a little help at
“You need that straight talking friend who will tell you that         the beginning, that is how the band Snow Patrol got started
those shoes don’t go with those trousers or that haircut looks        – because their friends and family went to their early gigs to
terrible.”                                                            support them.”
    When it comes to financing a company Anthony believes                However, your business can’t thrive on friendship alone but
that it is a “whole lot easier to save on your costs than it is to    combined with a clear-cut business plan there is no reason
raise money”.                                                         why it won’t be a g reat success.
    Therefore, utilising the skills of your peers and your friends       “After all,” he added: “Starbucks started out with a rundown
is a creative way to gain resources.                                  shack in the centre of Seattle.”
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Creative industries have important
economic role for future of Scotland
By Andrew McNair and Graeme Aitchison
INDUSTRY experts and academics               of the conference with eager academics      of funding for Southern-based creative
gathered at UWS to discuss how to            from all over the country and industry      companies.
expand Scotland’s creative economy.          insiders grilling the guest speakers.          With only a fifth of creative companies
   The inaugural ‘Scottish Creative             The opening speaker was Ken Hay,         employing more than 150 people, the
Economy Conference’ was held at the          Chief Executive of the Scottish Screen      aim is to increase employment by 25 per
University of West of Scotland’s Paisley     and Creative Industries Lead for Creative   cent across the board with more minds
Campus and was opened by UWS                 Scotland.                                   effectively meaning more income.
Principal Professor Seamus McDaid to a          Mr Hay told delegates: “We are fully        However, the message from the
crowd of more than 50 delegates              committed to gaining increased funding      conference was that, with a third of all
   The Conference brought together           from governmental bodies, even in these     businesses having reported difficulty
university and business leaders to share     tougher financial times.                    recruiting due to a lack of skills and
national policy and good practice in            “There has been naivety when dealing     experience, there is a need for academics
an effort to boost Scotland’s creative       with the private sector and, yes, both      and Government to step in to solve the
economy.                                     sides need to improve their working         problem.
   During        Professor      McDaid’s     relationship.”                                 It was also clear that it is essential
introduction, he stated that the creative       Other guest speakers included: Colin     more students are encouraged to follow
industries were “particularly important      McDonald, Studio Manager at Realtime        these paths and that they are given all
to the future of the Scottish economy”.      Worlds; Deborah Keogh, Director of the      the right training and are offered chances
   This message was outlined by              Cultural Enterprise Office; and Alasdair    to gain vital experience in order for these
guest speaker Caroline Parkinson, the        Smith, Strategic Relationship Manager       goals to be attained.
Director of Scotland and Northern            of Skills Development Scotland.                The event ran alongside the UWS
Ireland Creative and Cultural Skills, who       During the extended question and         Creative Choices Festival, and marked
indicated that of 3,200 businesses in the    answer session a number of issues were      the beginning of what both the academic
field, 448 of them have a turnover of        raised, ranging from diversification and    and business world hope will be a bright
more than £1 million.                        public sector confidence to the merger      new chapter in the history of the Scottish
   There was no arguing the importance       of the British film industry and the lack   economy.

Expert advice on hitting the right pitch
By Fern Campbell and Gillian McTominay

BUDDING entrepreneurs should always be prepared to                     Carrie Gordon, from Stow College, had 30 seconds to sell
pitch their ideas, according to a leading business expert.          her idea to the room. The HND student wowed the group with
   Whether it is at the side of the road during a breakdown or in   her dream of organising a music festival for under-18s
a high powered executive meeting the message at the Business           She said: “It was good to get involved in the festival and I
Pitching Workshop event was ‘expect the unexpected’.                feel that I have learned a lot from the lecture.” Mr Ives, who
   As part of the UWS Creative Choices Festival, Anthony Ives       has a background in internet companies, said: Being clear
from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise ran the workshop         about your pitch makes you clear about what you’re doing
for students on the art of pitching. Students from various          and gives you more focus.
academic backgrounds participated in an impromptu pitch to
impress their peers.
                                      Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Students brave Dragons’ Den
By Shaun Kelly
                                                The panel of dragons comprised                  Richy said: “I was really nervous about
                                            Gordon Richardson, founder of Coffee            it. This is part of my third year project and
                                            Shop Company Beanscene and former               I was spending four hours a day on it.”
                                            record label owner, George Faulkner                 The four dragons stated that Richy’s
                                            of Scottish Enterprises, Anthony Ives,          pitch was one of two ideas that stood out
                                            Programme Director for Scottish Institute       to them the most.
                                            for Enterprise and John Richardson, a DJ            John Richardson, a DJ who has
                                            and former record shop manager.                 remixed for the likes of Muse, said: “We
                                                They grilled the six students with          were impressed with what we saw. They
                                            questions about their relative markets,         had fantastic passion.” Mr Richardson
                                            running costs and feasibility of their ideas.   also spoke about the feasibility of the
                                                Ideas included scanning software,           students’ ideas.
                                            which reads a CD barcode allowing the               “Some ideas were more feasible than
                                            listener to hear a musical taster on their      others.” Richy plans to continue holding
                                            phone, to a board game application for          the event annually and also wants to work
                                            the Iphone.                                     in hosting events when he graduates.
Third Year student Richy Muirhead
                                                First prize of £175 was awarded to              The runner-up in the event was Cheryl
impressed the experts at the event.
                                            Third Year student Richy Muirhead for           Howarth. Her idea was using barcode
THE DRAGONS’ Den merged with the            his idea of holding an annual Scottish          scanning software on mobile phones to
X Factor at the Creative Choices Festival   Alternative Music Awards.                       scan a CD barcode.
as Commercial Music Students from               Richy also created a mini-website on            The phone then connects to an
UWS and other institutions pitched          social networking site My-Space, which          internet database which will lets you
their ideas to four music experts with      received a toal of 30,000 hits and 4,500        listen to a short exert.
what they can offer the industry.           votes for nominated bands.

Tax really doesn’t have to be taxing
By James Hamilton
SELF-EMPLOYMENT is a path that many students consider               people come in with carrier bags full of receipts and spend
when the end of their course is looming.                            days sorting through them in order to pay their taxes.
   Unfortunately this can be a daunting prospect with all the          A way to save money is to accurately record all your
laws and taxes associated with going down this                      expenditure.
   Colin McMurtrie, from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs             He said: “If you don’t you are going to end up paying more
advice team, offered advice and ways to save yourself time and      tax than you have to.”
money when paying your taxes.                                          Planning for the future is something that the self-employed
   He said: “Doing things right can save you money.” This is        need to take into account.
the best advice he could offer.                                        He said: “I always say to anyone who is self-employed, get a
   One that many new entrepreneurs fall foul of is when the         pension forecast.”
HMRC actually considers you to be officially in business, which        This is to make sure that you have actually paid enough tax
is as soon as you either have something to sell, or you have        to support a full pension for retirement.
already begun to advertise.                                            If you find yourself in a deficit it is possible to make
   The next thing you should do, after declaring yourself self-     voluntary payments, which can help you get a larger pension
employed, is to set up good business records.                       when you retire.
   He recommended allocating half an hour of your time                 The final and most important point was never to be afraid
once a month to sort out the receipts and various paperwork         to ask for help.
associated with your business.                                         There is help available from the website, a number of
   He said: “make record keeping part of your job”. This will       helplines are available and you can also pop into an enquiry
save you time in the long run, as too many times he has seen        centre.
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

“Psychopath means psychopath in any language”
Jess Austin talks to BBC Alba producer Patsi Mackenzie and Paul Tucker, UWS lecturer and freelance producer,
about making the true crime story ‘Peter Manuel - Deireadh an Uilc? (The End of Evil) and finds that Gaelic
holds no boundaries in documenting the language of murder.
IT WAS a story that had to be told.          whose mother tongue is Gaelic.                means psychopath in any language.”
   Peter Manuel had killed at least eight        Patsi Mackenzie explained the reason         Patsi brought up an interesting
victims in cold blood leaving a trail of     behind this: “We wanted it branded as         observation. It seems that, when it
destruction and grief in his path.           a Gaelic programme to fill the channels       comes to editing a piece of film that
   His methods and his reasons were          quota but we never thought it necessarily     combines the viewpoints of both English
never fully understood.                      had to be a Gaelic story.                     and Gaelic speakers, it helps to have a
   His hanging took place in 1958 and he         “Many people asked ‘why make it           good ear for music. She explained:
was one of the last men to be executed       Gaelic’ well; why not?                        “What you tend to find is that people
in Scotland yet, little is known about the       “The story is still an important one to   who are musical, people who can read
true story and what really happened.         tell.”                                        music tend to be really, really good at
   Scottish television producer and              Freelance producer Paul Tucker, who is    working with a language that is foreign
native Gaelic speaker Patsi Mackenzie        also a lecturer at UWS, was interested in     to them.
was however, intrigued.                      documenting the story of Peter Manuel            “I can’t explain the science of it but
   With a wealth of broadcasting work        although initially, he was unaware of         all the best editors I know are musically
already under her belt she was to present    just who Manuel was.                          very gifted.” It must be admitted that
the idea to the BBC’s new pilot channel,         He explained: “When I first got the       true crime is often synonymous with
BBC Alba.                                    call from Patsi I remember saying ‘yes’       shock value. To document the life and
   What followed was a collaboration         instantly and then writing ‘Peter Manuel’     times of a serial killer such as Peter
with freelance producer Paul Tucker and      on my hand thinking I would research a        Manuel comes with its own set of moral
the makings of a true life story which       bit about him later on the internet.          obligations.
showcases a man who manipulated and              “The weird thing was that there really       Both Tucker            and      Mackenzie
lied to his victims before slaughtering      wasn’t much about him, anywhere, even         commented on the need to remain
them in their own homes.                     if you’re looking for it.                     true to actual events without overly
   There was always a primary reason             “You get used to using the Internet       documenting the drama which comes
why “the end of evil” was commissioned       to find everything nowadays but in the        with a set of gruesome deaths.
for broadcast and in many ways it was a      end, we had to go back and look at those         Patsi Mackenzie explained her own
case of timing.                              old things: books.”                           point of view when asked if the shock
   The story tied in with the channels           Patsi Mackenzie was quick to explain      factor may have helped the quick
launch in 2008, five decades after           that when it came to choosing the             commissioning of ‘Peter Manuel - The
Manuel’s death.                              creative team behind the documentary,         End of Evil’ by stating: “I think there was
   However, there were other reasons         language came second to expertise in the      definitely an element of that.
as Patsi Mackenzie explained: “The story     area. She explains: “The craft skills come       “You’re in a far better position to
was essentially a trophy piece, good         first. It’s not that I’m saying that Gaelic   get something commissioned if there’s
publicity for the channel which was          speakers couldn’t have done a good job        a shock factor involved and nobodies
going to push viewers but Alba’s mission     but it’s far more than that when you’re       going to deny that.
statement is two pronged in a sense.         putting a team together and actually,            “That aside, I still think that even if you
   “It has to appeal to the bi-lingo         the language starts to shift further and      get two pages in The Record or The Sun
community but it also seeks to fill in the   further down the priorities list.”            subsequently because of the coverage,
blanks for others and Alba might make            Paul Tucker also emphasised the           that doesn’t diminish from the fact that
things that other channels wouldn’t.”        point: “Neither I nor the director could      this is a real story.
   While Peter Manuel was not a Gaelic       speak Gaelic but from a practical point          “I think, anyone tuning in to see a
speaker himself, many of the expert          what happens is that the interviews in        ‘teen slasher movie’ type thing; that’s
interviews for the documentary are           Gaelic were translated into English with      not going to happen.”
peppered with accounts of the man’s          time code and fortunately people say
psychological condition from those           ‘psychopath’ quite a lot and psychopath
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

of Rock
By Constanze Haslacher                                           Tommy McGrory all set to demonstrate his guitar skills with the
                                                                 rest of the ‘Loud ‘n’ Proud’ team.

ONE very inspiring event for every musician was the                 Some of the boys of the original band are now professional
presentation by the Loud ‘n’ Proud charity. The music school     musicians and are teachers at the Loud ‘n’ Proud music
turns young children and teenagers into musicians and puts       school.
them on stages all over Scotland and Britain.                       Although it wasn’t a lifelong ambition for Tommy, it was
   Tommy McGrory, the founder of the charity, used to own        surely an inspirational career choice. The school doesn’t target
a car sales business, which didn’t work out for him. He ended    a specific group of children. Tommy says: “Somebody walks
up having to seek a new job and decided to look back on what     in the door with the dream to play music, we basically do
he liked to do, which was playing in a marching band. So he      anything we can to remove what stands in his or her way to
founded a brass band for kids in his community and for two       pursue that.”
years rehearsed in his garage and played small gigs at local        Some kids don’t have a lot of support from their parents,
events.                                                          some are poor and some are disabled. None of this means
   At the same time his son formed a rock band and used          they can’t be brilliant musicians. Tommy says: “We do our
the garage as a rehearsing space. Tommy got equipment and        best to teach everybody how to play instruments and put
instruments and organised gigs for them.                         them together in bands.”
   Then one day he wanted to spice up things a little bit for       The professional musicians tutor children in one-onone
one of the brass band gigs and so added the drummer, guitarist   sessions, band tutoring and vocal coaching.
and bassist from his son’s band. They then played some rock         At the moment the school has 22 bands. Most of them are
songs together and Tommy remembers: “It sounded so good          four piece or five piece and there is even a rock orchestra.
that we decided to stay in that formation.” This is how the         They play pop, jazz and rock music. They also have samba
rock orchestra was formed. And that was the starting point of    bands and percussion. The school’s biggest flagship event is
the little music enterprise called Loud ‘n’ Proud.               the “School of Rock” in which 20 of the best students play
                                                                 their music with rock band instruments as well as brass and
                                                                 percussion instruments.
                                                                    The charity received various different accolades such as
                                                                 the Arts and Culture Award from Paisley Partnership and
                                                                 also an award from Strathclyde Police for their work in the
                                                                    According to Tommy his School of Rock helps to keep kids
                                                                 off the streets through a very simple method. He said: “The
                                                                 kids get involved in stabbings because they hang around with
                                                                 the wrong friends. All we do is give them the opportunity to
                                                                 hang around with us instead of them and play an instrument
                                                                 instead of drinking.”
                                                                    The school doesn’t just do social work. The quality of the
                                                                 music is excellent. Many bands compete in competitions
The School of Rock spring into action at the Festival.           like “Battle of the Bands” and “Live UK Unsigned” which are
                                 Creative Choices Festival@UWS

some of the biggest band competitions in the UK. The band        explained: “People who want to play instruments know this is
that just got through to the second of four rounds of “Live UK   one of the best schools in Scotland.”
Unsigned” consists of 11-year-olds and the boy who wrote the        The concept is unique. They teach you how to play an
songs is a very talented 15-year-old.                            instrument, they put you in a band, then they put you on a
  Tommy says: “The judges came up to me to say that the          stage and find the biggest crowd they can get. Nine full-time
band didn’t get through to the next round because they are       staff and eight session workers as well as six volunteers change
young or cute, this is not the X-Factor, they got through        children’s lives around every day of their working week.
because they can play.”                                             Tommy finally added: “It has been a long road of no money
  The school doesn’t do a lot of advertising because the gigs    and sleepless nights, but I’m still here and it is just fantastic.”
speak for themselves. Tommy says it isn’t really necessary. He

  Play it safe
                                                                 THIRD Year UWS Performance students treated
                                                                 lunchgoers at the Student Union to a hard-hitting look
                                                                 at Internet dangers in their play ‘Safety Net’.
                                                                    The play by ‘Be Yourself Productions’ is a thought
  By Gillian McTominay                                           provoking look at what can happen if Internet
                                                                 relationships go wrong.
                                                                    The team will be taking the play on a tour of secondary
                                                                 schools to help warn children of the threats of online
                                                                 predators and of the harm that bullying can have on a
                                                                    The play, which was written by the students, told the
                                                                 story of 14-year-old Emily Sharp who is filmed dancing
                                                                 and put on YouTube, much to her embarrassment.
                                                                    However what starts off as a cruel joke leads to
                                                                 horrible bullying from her peers.
                                                                    She finds comfort from a stranger named Jack in an
                                                                 online chat room who tells her he is a 16-year-old boy
                                                                 from her local area.
                                                                    After a few weeks of talking to one another over the
                                                                 Internet, Emily decides to meet up with her online love,
                                                                 much to the dismay of her friend.
                                                                    Nevertheless Emily continues to speak to Jack and he
                                                                 finally persuades her to run away with him.
                                                                    The play ends with a harrowing scene from a news
                                                                 reporter standing outside Emily’s home telling of how
                                                                 the 14-year-old has been missing for days and that police
                                                                 are aware that a man in his forties is to blame.
                                                                    Matt Littlefair, who played Jack, said: “We thought
                                                                 because it is such a heavy storyline it needed a bit of
                                                                 light hearted humour, especially if we are taking it in to
                                                                    He continued: “It is quite a daunting prospect to
                                                                 go into a secondary school playing the character of a
                                                                    Overall the performance showed the actors
                                                                 commitment to the message of the play, which all in all
                                                                 made a very entertaining show.
                                                                    It certainly proved to be a big hit with the Student
   Performance student Matt Littlefair (who played Jack)
                                                                 Union audience.
   contemplates the issue of internet bullying.
                                      Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Forgotten Polish treasures
By Klaudia Jedrychowska

POLISH Folk Art is like a bottomless
well, which hides amazing works of art:
painted eggs,carved wooden toys and
breathtaking laces. Unfortunately, this
well is too far away from civilization,
located somewhere in a field, forgotten
by many Poles living comfortably in big
   Although there are many rural artists
they do not know how to promote their
work. It goes slowly into oblivion. It
becomes unpopular both at home and
abroad, particularly among children and
young people. To help promote Polish
rural art, Ania Sznajder, aged 28, is            Some of the pieces of Polish art on display.
organizing exhibitions in Scotland.
   Ania came to Scotland from Tarnow,               It is not easy to find folk artists on         The art is now known as the Little
southern Poland, in October 2009. Her            the internet as not many of them have          Collection of the Polish Folk Art and
family is closely related to the folk art.       a website. But they do exist. It is hard to    Craft. The first exhibition she staged
She speaks with emotion about her                believe how many treasures sleep calmly        was on March, 9, at the Creative Choices
grandmother and her hand-made laces.             in the village houses, undiscovered and        Festival, the second takes place on March
She knows the art of carving toys and            not appreciated, hidden somewhere in           14 during the International Women’s Day
clay pots.                                       the dark.                                      in Stirling. Ania presents painted Easter
   Ania is an ethnographer and she is               Ania Sznajder wants to discover those       eggs, Easter palms, wooden toys, laces
researching rural craft. She says it’s not       masterpieces and present them to Poles         and muc more.
easy to get in touch with the village artists.   in Scotland. Why here? “Because that’s            Ania and friends are planning more
Many of them remain in the shadow                where I am right now. And because I            exhibitions and workshops for children.
and their work lies s somewhere in a             think Polish immigrants can’t forget           She said: “I want to teach them how to
basement instead of proudly decorating           where they come from. I want to bring          make flowers from the blotting paper
the shelves of the local museums.                to them a piece of Poland.”                    or Easter eggs. The young generation of
   Unfortunately, museums have plenty               Ania is writing a doctorate paper on        Poles abroad should develop knowledge
of items related to folk and no longer           Polish folk art. She brought to Scotland a     about rural art.”
buy local art.                                   number of pieces produced in the Polish           Ania feels passionate about folk art.
   Many Poles, especially those living           countryside. Every item has been created       She promotes it without any tangible
in cities, do not know about handmade            by a human hand with astonishing               benefit and just for her own satisfaction.
pieces of art. According to the economist,       precision and patience. All are unique         She recognizes that most of the
Anna Brzęska-Mikoda, aged 26, the                and of a high quality.                         immigrants come from villages or small
reason is simple: “People from villages do          The craftsmen spend a few hours of          cities and that they may feel connected
not know how to promote themselves,              hard work to produce a single exhibit.         to the folk art.
they can not think like business people,         Ania’s collection became popular thanks           She hopes her exhibitions will be
and do not know how to get to the                to the support from her supervisors at         interesting for them and aims to promote
buyers, how to get a grant or to organize        the University of the West of Scotland,        Polish artists abroad. She said: “I hopes
an exhibition”.                                  Katarzyna Kosmala and Graham Jeffery.          to create strong links between Polish
   Artistic soul is far from what is                She also works closely with the vice-       and Scottish artists in order to exchange
material, calculated and mundane…                president of the Polish Association in         experiences. It will help us learn about
unfortunately.                                   Stirling, Ewa Helińska- Hughes.                each other, understand our cultures and
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

bring Poles and Scots closer together.”          Anna Brzęska-Mikoda finds another           and the need for functionality pushed
   Little Collection of the Polish Folk Art   reason why this art is so unpopular. She       to the margins by those who do not
and Craft now consists of dozens of items     said: “No Mum would ever gives those           know how to cope with the speed of the
and it is still growing. Ania believes that   toys to the children, they don’t have          21century lifestyle.
promoting Polish culture in Scotland will     any safety tests.” Those items are not            They stay away from the cynical world
improve our image among Scots, she is         created for mass production and that           of ‘made in China’ products, but they
not afraid of creating a picture of Pole      is what makes them so unusual but it is        appreciate originality and traditional
peasant. She believes the folk culture        also why folk art is not popular.              values.
is an important part of Polish art and           According to Anna, the artists should          They spend hours doing what they
Some of the pieces of Polish Folk art on      think about the functionality of the art       love and are happy if there is someone
display. By Klaudia Jedrychowska must         in order to increase a demand for it.          like Ania who is interested in what they
be promoted in Poland and abroad.                Ania Sznajder says the art has changed      do.
   Ania says openly that folk art in Poland   as a result of the migration of people             Ania’s work is invaluable. She brought
is slowly disappearing. She mentions          inside the country. People, who moved          Poles the forgotten and missing piece of
a school in Bobowa, which was closed          out from villages to the cities took with      our culture.
down after almost a hundred years             them years of tradition and skills. She           She keeps discovering these hidden
because there were no people interested       found few folk artists in big Polish cities.   treasures and encourages artists to
in learning how to make laces.                   Ania reg rets that most of the beautiful    promote their work. Thanks to Ania
   Ania assures me that folk art still        handcrafts lie somewhere in the rural          these hand-made masterpieces can be
exists. It is hidden somewhere outside        homes rather than praise their creators.       taken out of a bottomless well and be
the cities in the houses of those who do      Civilization ceases to understand itself.      brought closer to the light.
not know how to promote it.                      The mass production, the commerce

A colourful exhibition of folk art was on display at the University of the West of Scotland’s Paisley Campus.

  Klaudia Jedrychowska offers an insight into
  the Polish tradition of painting Easter eggs ...
  THE CUSTOM of painting eggs is closely connected to                the remains are called wydmuszki. One of the most popular
  Roman Catholic traditions. It has been a symbol of Easter          methods of decorating eggs is the batik (wax) method.
  for centuries.                                                     An image is drawn with a funnel coiled out of sheet metal.
     A decorated egg is called “pisanka” (plural: pisanki).          Pisanka is dipped into paint and then the wax is removed.
  Painting eggs is a family activity, which takes place before          The new method, developed in 20th Century, is to etch an
  the holidays. Then pisanki are taken, along with other food, to    image with a sharp instrument, for example a razor, on the
  the church on the Holy Saturday to be blessed and served for       surface of the egg. Pisanki artists use indelible pencils, felt-
  breakfast on Easter Sunday. According to the tradition, you        pen refills and stamped ink to decorate the eggs.
  should share the eggs with your relatives while exchanging            The tradition of decorating eggs has over a thousand years
  wishes.                                                            of history.
     Nowadays this custom has begun to disappear. In the                The first Easter Egg dates back to the 10th Century and was
  Polish villages it developed into a folk art. Local artists came   found during excavation near Opole. The custom of painting
  up with several methods of decorating eggs. Before starting        eggs was adopted by the church in the 13th Century.
  they make a small whole on the top of the egg and empty it,
                                    Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Students take a virtual look
into the world of business
Lisa Boyle uses her imagination to explore the benefits
of SimVenture at UWS’s Creative Choices Festival.

IMAGINE running your own business, employing the staff
of your choice and designing your own product without the
risk factor?
   Well now this is possible, thanks to SimVenture, the ultimate
business venture game that allows people to see what its like
to run your own business and feel the pressure virtually.
   SimVenture teaches what it’s really like to start up your own
business, by letting users toy around with finances, marketing
strategies and allowing them the choice of how they wish to
advertise their own business.
   The game also allows users to get the chance to view how
well rival companies are doing in the business, finding out the
quality and style of their products and letting them adjust
their own product design, style and production percentage to
ensure they provide the best product of the bunch.
   The game looks very confusing at first but once you get into
the swing of things, it is fun to see how you would succeed in
running your own business.
   At the bottom of the screen there is a scale of progress
including profit / loss, stress levels and efficiency. By clicking
on the Run Month feature, players can see how well the
company has done after training and employing colleagues,            Students virtually exploring the world of business
buying equipment and attempting to raise money for the               Pictured: (L - R) Amy Junner, Second Year Business Student
company.                                                             gives a demonstration of SimVenture to Third Year Journalism
   It can be difficult to work out how to sort out the company       Student, Larissa Belch.
finances, especially if in real life you are no good with numbers
and budgeting.                                                          Within another 20 minutes (two months in the game)
   The game however, allows users the opportunity to hire            I had managed to sort the financial problems with the aid of a
their own accountant and other staff to sort out this type of        loan and felt pleased with myself with my scale of 84 per cent
thing for them.                                                      efficiency and low stress levels. SimVenture is a great idea for
   If only it were that easy in reality … but depending on how       those excited at the prospect of starting their own company,
the game works out, it may decide that there is no worthy            however may provide a shock factor to those who had started
applicants to hire, leaving game players left with no employees      out with the belief it couldn’t be that hard.
or a bad accountant. This game is no bed of roses.                      After several months running the company (virtually of
   After assuming that I had perfected the game pretty quickly,      course) I had grasped a fair idea of how dedicated, efficient
after clicking on run month the first time, I was shocked to see     and financially stable you had to be to run your own business.
that I had spent £4,268 and had started off with only £3,673.           SimVenture is very real and highlights the bonuses and
   The game mimicked my own reality, with my inability to            the pitfalls of running your own company. The game will
budget wisely and curb exotic spending. SimVenture was               prove beneficial for those looking to start out in the business
already proving harsh, which made me realise I was glad this         industry. Students take a virtual look into the world of business
had only been a game.                                                Students virtually exploring the world of business.
                                    Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Game developers show                                                    Animation Advice for
off their work at event                                                 UWS Students
By James Hamilton
                                                                      By James Hamilton

                                                                      STUDENTS got an inside look at the animation industry and
                                                                      the commercial side of marketing a product at the Creative
                                                                      Choices Festival.
                                                                         Patrick Imrie, an experienced freelance animator and Sheila
                                                                      Robinson from creator of i-Phone apps Gatlin International,
                                                                      answered questions from students on a variety of subjects.
                                                                         It was revealed that the industry expects many students to
                                                                      do their first job for free.
                                                                         The studios get some free labour and the students get some
                                                                      professional experience and have something that they have
                                                                      been commissioned to do, to put in their portfolio.
                                                                         Students also got an insight into the commercial side, such
Clockwork: one of the games developed by the UWS students.            as how to market anything they make such as an i-Phone app,
                                                                      while still making a profit.
THIRD Year Games Development students displayed their                    Advertising was seen to be very important as a well-
work at the Creative Choices Festival.                                marketed app could make up to £50,000.
   As part of their Computer Games Development studies they              In the end it gave students interested in that particular
have been designing and developing their own computer games.          industry a chance to find out how their skills would be applied
   The games ranged from a 1930s gangster-themed first                in the real world.
person shooter, featuring a level set in a train station to a third
person steam-punk hack and slash.
   The skill of the students was particularly impressive as the         Graduates urged to
majority of the textures and models used in the levels were
their own creations, made over the first semester.                      look beyond Google
   Senior Lecturer John Sutherland said the reason for this
level of practicality in the course is to “get the real world in      By Paul Deatcher
and the academic world out”. Many of the students will put
the project in their portfolio.                                       GRADUATE job searching can be a daunting and harrowing
   He was keen to state that they were not simply his students,       prospect.
                                                                         Just deciding on where to start looking is often stressful
they were fully-fledged game creators.
                                                                      enough and for most, Google would be the first port of call.
   One of the more ambitious projects on display was a game              But UWS careers advisor Colin Dewar used the ‘Don’t
called ‘Clockwork’ Richard Coyle.                                     Just Google It’ seminar at the Creative Choices Festival to
   Although they were making their game from the engine of            implore students to go beyond the everyday search engine
a first person shooter, they were making a third person sword         and concentrate on the employability skills and resources that
fighting game where the player has to leap about with a sword         would help them land that lucrative first job.
that doubles as a grappling hook.                                        “Limiting their employability options before they begin
   The general theme of the game is the player is on an island        searching is a common problem for students looking for
that is a giant clockwork machine that powers things like doors.      graduate jobs.
   The games finale is set on a giant clock tower in the centre          Colin said: “Most people are unsure or are completely
of the island that the player has to get to the top of.               unaware of the hundreds of jobs they will qualify for with their
   There was clearly some talent on show as some of the               degree.
                                                                         “If someone has a Journalism degree, they may think their
imagination and effort that went into creating the textures
                                                                      only job opportunity will be with a newspaper but this just
and the storylines of the games was very impressive.
                                                                      isn’t the case.”
                                                                                                                   continued overleaf
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

  Graduates urged to look beyond Google - continued from previous page

   He explained that knowing what you are qualified to do              And understanding which job markets are in most need
rather than assuming is an important first step in joining the      of graduates is essential when looking to maximise your
working world.                                                      employability chances.
   Knowing what employers are looking for is another crucial           “Public sector and ‘green collar’ jobs are the sectors that
element in job hunting.                                             are crying out for graduates,” Colin said.
   In a survey quoted by Colin, 35 per cent of employers felt          So by all means, students should chase down their dream
unsatisfied with graduate employees handling of customer            job and try to make it happen but if it’s that first step on the
service.                                                            career ladder they need, they should look at the markets that
   Colin added: “This is a statistic which is current and which     need them too.
applies today.                                                         So when beginning the pilgrimage to employability,
   “Customer service is a major concern of employers so             students need to understand what they are qualified for, what
it would be worthwhile amending your CV or preparing                employers want and who wants them.
interview answers which demonstrate excellent customer                 And to at least try and delve deeper than the first page of
care.”                                                              results thrown up by search engines.

  Taking time out with poetry
  By Lisa Boyle
  FOR those who wanted to escape the buzz of the Creative
  Choices Festival, the poetry corner provided the perfect
     Students relaxed with a cup of coffee in the library at
  the Paisley Campus as some of the best Scottish poems
  including works by Norman McCaig and Hugh MacDiarmid
  were read out by Raewyn Riach.
     The poetry corner provided comedic relief from the busy
  atmosphere of the festival with poems such as ‘The Solitary
  Sleeper’ by Helena Nelson and McCaig’s ‘Toad,’ which
  brought laughter from the students seated at the event.
     ‘The Coming of the Wee Malkies’ by Stephen Mulrine
  was typically Scottish and was well received by those who
  participated in the poetry corner.
     The poems came from the extensive Scottish Poetry
  Collection held by the University of the West of Scotland
  at the Ayr Campus, which offers students free access to the
  Scottish Poetry Library outreach collection.
     Raewyn said that poetry could be beneficial to people.
     She said: “It allows people to think about things from
  different perspectives and is meant to deliver different
  possible ideas.”
     The fantastic collection available at the Ayr Campus will
  be a pleasant option for students who like to indulge in
  poetry reading, with more than 450 poetry books to choose
     By bringing proof of address, you can borrow up to four
  poetry books as a time, for free.
     Whether it is some light entertainment or intense poetry
  that is being sought after, this is bound to be a popular place
                                                                    Time for rhyme as Raewyn Riach waxes lyrical
  to escape for some quiet relaxation time.
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Experimenting with song
Jess Austin and Lisa Boyle spoke to          a songwriter what you really need is       humming the melodies of the song.
Commercial Music student Ashley              time. We were going to write songs, be        Ashley spoke about the meaning
Little and her lecturer David Scott          creative and push boundaries.”             behind her lyrics. She said: “The songs I
about the week-long Advanced                    “When you give them time and space      write are often about me and someone
Songwriting experiment and found             to create; boom!                           else. It’s written about the possibility of
out that musical achievement                    “The results speak for themselves.”     a relationship but not really knowing
comes from hard work, persistence               While the student’s were away for the   what’s going to happen.”
and enthusiasm.                              week, intensely concentrating on writing      The students who took part in
                                             fresh music in a new environment,          watching the event went away buzzing
WHAT happens when you take a class of
                                             Marta Adamocwicz recorded the              from the atmosphere and helped aspiring
aspiring singer songwriters, a medley of
                                             experience with one on one interviews      songwriters to receive inspiration and
musical expertise and then gather them
                                             with some of the students and clips of     tips on starting out as a successful writer
all under the same roof? Well, as the
                                             them performing. The video proved to       and performer.
Advanced Song Writing showcase was
                                             be very successful and included all live
testament to, quite a lot in fact.
                                             songs from the student’s work from that
   Ashley Little, a fourth year Commercial
Music student from Ayr Campus showed
                                                We asked what Ashley thought the
off her musical abilities by playing an
                                             process of songwriting was and she said
acoustic piece at the Creative Choices
                                             “For me it is getting me to look at the
festival, a song that she had penned
                                             way I write songs.
                                                “I used to have an idea in my head
   The guitarist, who says her influences
                                             then find lyrics and go and try to write
include Glasgow bands ‘The Pearlfishers’
                                             different melodies for it.”
and ‘BMX Bandits’, explained that the
                                                Ashley also performed an acoustic
week-long intensive course, which took
                                             act at the festival with a song she had
place at Glasgow’s Scotland Street
                                             written on the week the group had went
school last year, had helped her develop
                                             to Scotland Street school to concentrate
as a songwriter.
                                             on writing songs.
   The decision to spend the week at the
school together was made in an attempt          The song was named ‘Make You
to get the student’s away from the usual     Love Me’ and she sang beautifully with
routine they had at university.              heartfelt lyrics and soft guitar riffs.
   David Scott, Lecturer on the                 The chorus of the song was extremely    Songstress Ashley Little put on a great
Advanced Song Writing course said: “As       catchy and students went away              acoustic performance

  Business thrives at the Festival
By Gillian McTominay
A LEADING business expert gave valuable advice about              some of the problems that individuals attending the seminar
the world of networking to students as part of the Creative       had encountered.
Choices Festival.                                                    Amanda spoke to the group about the importance of being
   Amanda Kremer, Managing Director of Thrive, spoke to UWS       organised in networking environment and also that honesty is
students during the ‘Growth for Business’ workshop.               always the best policy.
   THRIVE brings together likeminded people from small and           She said: “It’s important to know how to work the room when
medium enterprise companies in a series of networking clubs.      you are at a networking event and not to feel intimidated.”
   The workshop dealt with some of the common issues that            The seminar was of great value to many of the group who
arise when networking at different events and also tackled        went away with a lot of new knowledge and confidence.
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Over the moon at Caffe Luna
THE PLACE: Caffe Luna, Paisley.
The time: 7pm to 8.30pm. The
event: The Creative Choices ‘open-
mic’ night, where students from
Ayr Campus’s Commercial Music
degree course performed some
original acoustic numbers to a
packed crowd. Jess Austin went
along to the event to check it out.
   FIRST UP to the stage at the bustling
Caffe Luna was Akira, who mixed
Folk and Blues together to create an
irreverent style.
   His voice soulfully soared into the
crowd and made for an interesting
opener to the night. Favouring a staccato
vocal style,segments of words were
broken up into concoctions of vowels,
which sounded sharp and punctuated.
His bluesy style was a breath of fresh air
from the usual Celt folk style.
   Each song offered a taster of what to
expect from this young up and comer.         Jamie Marshall demonstrated his skills as a singer/songwriter with a range of interesting
For a sample of his work visit:www.          songs perfromed with a haunting voice.                           Next to fill the stage with sound was         It is these two elements which
                                             Jamie Marshall. His acoustic style was        makes expressing the emotions in
                                             reminiscent of new folk, particularly         his songs so easy. Overall, Ross is an
                                             Mumford & Sons and Noah and the               intriguing young talent to keep your
                                             Whale’s latest output.                        ears open for in the future.
                                                While his instrumental ability was
                                             clear to all, it was his baritone voice
                                             that spoke most of his talent as a
                                                Marshall’s voice was both powerful and
                                             yet restrained, being able to carry every
                                             note across the room with ease without
                                             bellowing: a hard feat to master.
                                                To listen to more of Jamie songs:
                                                Last up on the night was Adam Ross,
                                             who offered up a medley of different folk
                                             styles, from humourous ditties about life
                                             to subtler strummed acoustic ballads.
                                                Like Marshall, Ross’ voice has a
                                             wonderful tone to it being both rich and
                                             delicate all at the same time.
Akira was a hit with the crowd as he                                                       Adam Ross impressed the crowd.
played his blues and soul set.
                                   Creative Choices Festival@UWS

                                                                                         For more information visit:

                                                                                            Third up on the night was Ashley
                                                                                         Little, who had previously played a set
                                                                                         at the talk on advanced songwriting.
                                                                                            Little has a sweet voice. It’s soprano
                                                                                         and works well with her gentle strums of
                                                                                         the guitar and her songs about love and
                                                                                            Some would argue that the current
                                                                                         trend is for female musicians with
                                                                                         deeper voices, but Little proves that a
                                                                                         traditional female voice is nothing to be
                                                                                         ashamed of, filled with uplifting choruses
                                                                                         and catchy lyrics that are begging out to
                                                                                         be sung along to.
Ashley Little wowed the crowd performing her catchy songs with emotive lyrics.

Brookmyre’s on fire
By Gillian McTominay
AN AUDIENCE with a well known Scottish novelist was                 and has a strong connection with the West of Scotland, having
held at the University of the West of Scotland as part of the       being raised in Barrhead.
Creative Choices Festival.                                             “We are delighted that he took part in our Inspiring People
                                                                    series and provided a highly entertaining insight into his
                          Christopher Brookmyre gave the            work.”
                          crowd an insight into the depiction of
                          journalism in the media in his fiction
                          as part of the Inspiring People series.
                             As part of his work shop entitled
                          “Never Let the Facts Get in the Way
                          of a Good Story” the writer delved
                          into such issues as corruption, crime
                          and social injustice.
    The novelist was born in the Barrhead area of the West of
Scotland so the University was particularly pleased to have
him at the event.
    Brookmyre has won such awards as the Blood Award for
Best First Crime Novel of the Year (1996) for his work Quite
Ugly One Morning.
    The author also picked up the Bollinger Everyman Award
for comic fiction (2006) for his book All Fun and Games Until
Somebody Loses an Eye.
    His latest work ‘Pandaemonium’ is his 13th novel to date and
it tackles the colliding worlds of science and the supernatural.
    Gill Troup, Depute Principal of the University, said:
“Christopher Brookmyre is one of the country’s leading authors
                                  Creative Choices Festival@UWS

Inspiring folk at the Union
by Graeme Aitchison
                                                                       Referring to independent countries in Europe such as
                                                                   Denmark and Sweden that produce 30 or 40 films per year
                                                                   on a similar budget, he discussed his internationalist politics,
                                                                   which came about as a result of his filmmaking.
                                                                       “We don’t control our means of production in this country, it
                                                                   all comes from England and we have the lowest film production
                                                                   in Europe but at the end of the day I’m not a nationalist I’m an
                                                                   internationalist,” he said. “I take an international view on the
                                                                   film industry.”
                                                                       “It’s all about budgets, it is unbelievably hard to get funding
                                                                   as it all comes from down south.”
                                                                       Peter spoke honestly about his career, saying that he had
                                                                   no idea what he was doing when he became an independent
                                                                   producer. He also emphasised how seemingly meaningless
                                                                   events can change a person’s life.
                                                                       “The idea for Rob Roy came to me when I was driving in the
                                                                   hills of Balfron and it just hit me,” he revealed.
                                                                       “I thought to myself that there was a gap in the market
                                                                   for a historical Scottish film, although of course within weeks
                                                                   Braveheart was in production as well!”
A FASCINATING insight into the world of film, theatre and
                                                                       After developing the idea he flew to New Zealand and got
music was provided on the day at UWS Paisley’s campus              writer Alan Sharp for the project, alongside director Michael
Students Union. The series of talks, held in the union’s           Caton-Jones, and with Liam Neeson as the lead actor the film
Exclusive Space area on Storie Street, went on for most of         went on to critical and commercial success.
the day and involved musicians, Hollywood film producers               He finished his speech by telling the audience that due to
and artists.                                                       what he called ‘the democratisation of technology’ anyone
                                                                   with talent and the correct equipment could now make a film,
   The event was kicked off by Jackie Sands, the Strategic Arts    without having to worry about budgets, and he told them to
Co-ordinator for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.                    ‘just do it’ and they will have a fantastic time.
   With a background in theatre design and scenic art, Jackie          The final speaker of the day was a student at the University’s
has worked in the creative industries for more than 20 years and   Paisley Campus, Andrew McLellan.
delivered a talk focusing on the decisions that have influenced        The 4th year student talked about his work and gave an
her and allowed her to develop a successful career.                exclusive showing of his music video, produced alongside the
   Later in the day, students lucky enough to have a ticket        music as opposed to working the video around the song.
heard a 40- minute speech by Peter Broughan, the producer of           Andrew, who took a year out before returning to complete
Hollywood films such as Rob Roy and The Flying Scotsman.           his degree, spoke about how it was important to make the
   Peter spoke passionately about the need, in his opinion,        correct decisions for yourself in music, finding out what music
for Scottish independence in order to fully exploit Scotland’s     means to you and also discussed the opening out of music
talent pool.                                                       with the emergence of new technology.

Publication written and produced by UWS 3rd Year BA (Hons) Journalism Students, with assistance from
Design & Graphics, Corporate Communications, UWS. Artwork by Steven Sherlock, 4th Year Digital Art
Student, UWS School of Creative & Cultural Industries
Graeme Aitchison • Jessica Austin • Larissa Belch • Lisa Boyle • Fern Campbell • Paul Deatcher
Constanze Haslacher • James Hamilton • Shaun Kelly • John McDade • Anne Marie McMorrow
Andrew McNair • Rachel McPherson • Gillian McTominay • Klaudia Jedrychowska

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