The content you are viewing is from the 2016 Festival. For the current Festival information please click here!  

Young Creatives Blog

Isabel Inkster on Life After 2013 PIAF

Tuesday 19 January 2016

  • Interview
  • Profile

From Perth to Madrid and back again – Isabel Inkster shares with us her experiences since 2013 PIAF. 

Since my stint as a Young Ambassador (as it was known back in 2013 – I’m showing my vintage here) for the Perth Writers Festival, a lot has changed. I continued with my Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English), moved to Madrid, returned to Perth and finished my degree. I’m now on the other side of tertiary education, working at an independent bookstore – which has allowed me to continue talking all things book-y – and enjoying a stretch of plan-making and dream-weaving between undergrad and postgrad, student life and potential career.

Looking back, the Young Creatives was a great eye-opener into the complex workings of the arts industry and festivals, in particular. I felt incredibly privileged to be backstage among the writers I admired, and inspired by their discussions. In some ways, it was that literary stargazing that kept me motivated to continue my creative writing through university, and I have since had poems and articles published in university journals. Additionally, the insight into the hard work required in the arts industry – as in any other competitive field – prepared me for my practical work as an intern for Vice magazine in Madrid.

This position required hands-on promotions in both Spanish and English, and a familiarity with the professional world of event management. My Spanish was probably (definitely!) insufficient for my position, and I often had to ask once, twice or three times before I understood exactly what my task was. It was a challenging experience, but I was very grateful for the confidence and understanding that my time with PIAF had given me. Back in Perth, I’ve since worked with alternative arts festivals and I volunteer at events with RTR FM. I aim to continue my journey in the arts, keep learning more and stay involved with PIAF as a keen patron and hopeful future-employee.

If I had any advice to the next lucky lot of Young Creatives, it would be to keep your eyes and ears open, ask many questions, ask again if you need to and once more to be sure. It’s a special thing to be surrounded by people as passionate as you are about art, and willing to impart their practical experience and wisdom.