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Korey Patterson: Creative Spaces Reflection

We asked our Creative Spaces 23/24 Alumni to reflect on their experience completing the programme. Next up is Korey Patterson, read about his experiences as a spacer below.

Korey Patterson speaking at the creative Spaces Showcase
Creative Spaces Showcase 2024 – Image by Owen Davies

The Creative Spaces Programme is responsible for igniting my Illustration career. I wouldn’t have otherwise had the time, resources or support network to initiate the beginning steps of becoming a professional freelance Illustrator. It wasn’t my original plan for the outcome of the programme, but it became a necessity for me after realising that illustration was something I could develop into a feasible career path. 

My time at The Stove filled me with confidence in my unique abilities and prepared me for working in the Creative freelance world as well as the general business world. I’ve gained necessary experience in fields I didn’t consider relevant before, and I’m very grateful for those opportunities.

Korey Patterson drawing Goose for Laurieknowe Primary Pupils.
Korey drawing a goose for Laurieknowe Primary Pupils

Having the time and funding specifically was one of the most useful elements of the Programme as I am much more considerate to the dedication of personal development and training/practice in Illustration. I have also been given lucrative opportunities for me to utilise my illustration during (and now after Creative Spaces) which has been a direct consequence of being an associate. Without this opportunity, I would have never deemed my skills worthy enough to start a career in Illustration, but now I have solid confidence that I am deserving of a chance to prove I’m the best person for the job.

I heard about the role through word of mouth and I was encouraged to apply from friends and family, the job sounded class and I would have been dispirited if I didn’t get it. But I got selected for an interview which was a fun and great experience. If I was nervous for anything, it was how I was going to get along with my potential colleagues. But that was quickly dispelled during my interview and within the first few weeks working with Sahar, Mia and Martha. It might sound cliche but I genuinely feel like I have made friends out of my colleagues within the Creative Spaces team. From being anxious to know if we’d all click, to having dinner at each others houses, was a natural development that I’m really glad happened but not entirely unexpected giving just how well we worked as a team and the warm and pleasant nature of each of them.

The role is a lot of fun, because of the people you work with but also the type of jobs you’re responsible for whilst working as an associate. Programming events is an electric atmosphere as it starts with just throwing fun and interesting ideas around and trying to not get too excited and ahead of yourself over. Then when you have more serious responsibilities, you have a plethora of people there to guide you through what is expected of you. I felt like, the Creative Spaces team were so keen to all be on the same page all of the time, there were no moments when I felt behind on any projects or that I wasn’t up to speed on anything Mia, Martha and Sahar knew.

Korey sketching Devine Tension for Creative Spaces event – Draw Me Like One of our Dumfries Girls

Surplus to the fixed duties of the Creative Spaces programme, I was frequently giving side tasks and projects to help with from other members of the Stove team. For me, this was a form of encouragement and chance to hone my creative practice within a professional environment. This I feel was a direct response to identifying my personal ambition of developing my Illustration – which was a consequence of being in the Creative Spaces programme and Stove environment. There was a period where I was struggling to overcome the feeling of imposter syndrome which seems natural whilst being amongst so many artists and creatives. However, my mentoring sessions with DJ McDowall gave me the confidence in my abilities and reminded me that my practice is unique to other illustrators. The mentoring sessions are such a valuable asset to the programme and we all benefited from them immensely whilst working at the Stove.

My goal before applying was to become a competent freelancer by the end of the programme. Since the position has ended I’ve been commissioned to do live illustration for multiple organisations around the local area. This is something I would have never had the confidence to do before applying to Creative Spaces. I will state that the programme is responsible for these work opportunities which all count toward building Korey Patterson Freelance Illustrator.

Written by Korey Patterson

Situated in the heart of Dumfries, Creative Spaces collaborates with young creatives from across the region, providing young people with opportunities to engage in the arts. Whether it’s through events, workshops, mentorships, or our annual Associates Programme, we aim to enhance Dumfries and Galloway’s creative scene by offering free access to opportunities and paid commissions.

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