The journey continues…An update from our Trainee Producer, Lola Panton


I want to start this blog by saying a big thank you for all of the love and support I have received from the first blog post. This is such an exciting journey I am on and I am so grateful for this opportunity.

I have been enjoying this process so much as not only am I learning new skills from our sessions, I have been learning as we start to put our project together and gaining knowledge from experience. I think one of the major new skills I am developing is how to put together a budget which is also the role I am undertaking within our group. Whilst I have put together mock budgets before, I have never managed a budget for a project with real money attached to it. I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out and the difference in what I am expecting costs to be and whether it matches up with reality. I found the session we had on this so interesting and it has definitely helped when beginning the budget template.

I also enjoyed learning more about artist briefs and how to liaise with artists. An element which is so important when working in the arts industry is being respectful of creatives and the value in their work. This is why I felt this was a key session as, being fairly new to producing, I want to make sure that I am incorporating this well into my practice. It has been useful finding out more about putting together a brief as we want to make sure that we are clear in what we want to be created.

I feel I am growing more confident as I move through the process as being able to put into practice what we are learning as we cover it has helped to really test these skills and understand better what is needed to make your project successful.

I would like to take a moment to comment that both Shanika and Rachel have been so supportive throughout the scheme so far. It has been lovely to have friendly faces to see each session and have their continued guidance. They have been great if we have had questions between sessions on replying quickly and have been a joy to learn from.

I have also loved all of the guest speakers that have joined us so far. Hearing about their experiences within producing and their careers, the top tips they have and even the problems they have encountered has helped me see that I can achieve the goals I have set and that it is alright to make mistakes along the way as long as you learn from them.

Since the last update, we have split into two teams within the group. One is taking on a digital based project and the other is creating a performance based project. I have opted to do the Physical Project as I felt my background in dance would lend itself to this and it would be the most enjoyable for me. One of the things that I really enjoyed but also found rather challenging was formulating our idea. Getting to collaborate with people who have backgrounds in all different fields of the arts has been a highlight as it pushes me to think about concepts in different ways. It is so interesting to learn from them also and see how the way they work shapes my thinking. I am really excited to be able to start meeting in person though as working on Zoom does come with some difficulties. We are hoping for good weather to make this possible!

As mentioned earlier, we have also taken on individual responsibilities within our group. We decided that elements like the creative aspect, research and various admin tasks would be useful if we all contributed to. Then, we have all taken on a role which we can be solely in charge of. However, we will be able to help and support each other throughout also.

At the last meeting with the full group, we presented our finalised ideas of what we hope to produce. I loved hearing what the other team had been up to and how their project was progressing. I think we are at a very exciting stage now as, with the concepts decided, we can start putting things in place to make it happen. Hopefully this will mean I have lots of exciting updates for you next time…

Stay tuned as we document Lola’s experience through our Trainee Producers Scheme run by Arts by the Sea and Emergency Exit Arts