We’re asked sometimes about our creative process. “How do you come up with ideas for clients?” “How do you stay on top of trends?” “That campaign you did was cool - where did that idea come from?"
When asked those very questions recently, Alex had an answer you might not expect. It involves something she’s been doing since she was three years old. Over to you, Alex!
I recently gave a presentation on Clearbox’s creative process and how it’s evolved in the four years I’ve been with the company. One of the elements I mentioned was how we used to have three extra days of holidays that were assigned to volunteering or inspiration days. This meant you could do activities that you were passionate about without using your oh so precious holidays.
While the inspiration and volunteering days were a great bonus, our current benefits package has since expanded to include unlimited holidays. This gives us even more flexibility and opportunities to take on projects outside of work that we are passionate about. Which, in turns, helps us become more creative.
A big passion of mine is dancing. I was a part of Donna Whitten Dancers in Portadown from the age of three and continued dancing and performing at my university in Liverpool. However, when you begin a career in PR, there are (surprisingly) a lot fewer opportunities to dance - even though I tried to give tap lessons in the office one afternoon.
So, since I’ve been in an office-based job, I’ve been on the lookout for any opportunities to be connected to the arts again in any way I can. So when my mum joined the Portadown Dance Festival committee and asked me to help her I jumped at the chance.
During my years dancing as a child, we performed at the Portadown Dance Festival every spring and it is part of a lot of great memories for me. Most of the pre-festival committee meetings were held at night but the festival itself runs from Friday to the following Saturday and begins at 9:30am and finishes usually around 9:30/10pm. This gave me the perfect opportunity to use some of my unlimited leave to volunteer, something I probably wouldn’t have been able to commit to had I been restricted to my usual holiday allocation.
My main jobs were organising kind volunteers who would staff the box office and be ticket stewards at the entrances. I also helped organise people who helped on the stage, announcing the competitors and introducing their dances. There were hundreds of children from across Northern Ireland and over five different dance schools that took part. The whole experience was such a boost to me personally to once again be part of something that I feel so passionately about.
The week was a massive success and I’m really grateful to have been a part of it. I am also grateful to Clearbox for the opportunity to participate in something so close to my heart, and I can’t forget to thank my generous, lovely colleagues who picked up my work while I was off - THANK YOU!