A very small child >>View Video>>
I was always interested in mental health and wellbeing since I was a very small child. My mother was a nurse; she studied anatomy and physiology. Every evening we had dinner at the same time and always after dinner there were these incredible discussions that my mother would start, even when we were small kids. She was very interested in philosophy and theology and science in general and she was always making us question everything and looked for our feedback as well based on what our own experience was.
I was also very creative myself; I loved to draw, I loved to paint, I loved to make things, be crafty. When I was a kid I used to put on loads of plays and get the neighbourhood to come and we’d charge them in and then give the money to charity. I used to put on craft fairs with my friends and we’d make everything and sell it all and give the money to charity too. It was just fun, we did it for fun. I don’t really know where that comes from.. the family was very creative.
There was a lot of music around when we were growing up and every party ended with a sing-song. I used to be too shy for that but funnily enough I could put on a play no problem and I loved to dance as well; I used to go to dance classes. It gave me joy.
Joy >>View Video>>
I always believe joy stems from being in some sort of a creative environment and it just seems to me that it’s part of being human, even if you’re not necessarily producing something, people still enjoy experiencing other people being creative. It’s something inherent in us. I think there needs to be a bit more attention paid to that.
Education >>View Video>>
I was very interested in education. I felt that if we were all educated better as a society in terms of wellbeing, it would make for a better society. I did a degree in psychology at UCD, where I focused on child psychology; I was very interested in the development of the human mind.
Music industry >>View Video>>
Although I moved to Ireland when I was seven, I spent a lot of time working in America; I was actually born in New York.
I worked in the music industry from a very young age and I’ve always supported musicians and other creatives. In the 90s I organised all the international tours for My Bloody Valentine; I was their tour manager and I coordinated the recording of Loveless which is now a classic album. I was doing full production tours so I was the production manager and toured all over American and Europe, Australia and Japan.
I spent many years touring; I think I might have been one of the first female tour managers internationally… I’m not quite sure, I must look into that. I might not have been the first, but I was definitely one of the first for sure.
A big nurturer >>View Video>>
I started a record label early on when I was working for Warner Bros; I worked for Reprise Records and for the president there Howie Klein. He gave me the green light to go ahead and start an independent label in London.
I was able to work with a lot of artists who weren’t quite ready for a major record deal and I’m friends with all of them today. I’ve always worked on the ground level with people, helping them first get started, that’s been my thing – helping people get off the ground and I think that’s because there’s a big nurturer in me and that’s where I get a lot of fulfilment.
In London I had a record label called Morpheus Records. I’d worked with My Bloody Valentine for five years up until that point. I worked with alternative and pop artists from London and hip-hop and metal bands from America so I was bringing metal into my little label in London including a band called Snake River Conspiracy; we went on tour with Queens of the Stone Age in the early days (on their first album) which was really fun.
I worked with an artist called Mad Lion so I got into this reggae/hip-hop world. I just had fun basically, I was able to put out singles and put out albums through independent distribution so I got to learn the ropes of the whole thing.
I managed Rob Ellis for eight years. He co-produced PJ Harvey’s album ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’ which won a Mercury Award.
Came back to Ireland >>View Video>>
I lived in London working in the music industry for 14 years. I’ve toured the world and worked with an American major record company for nearly seven years and I gained a lot of knowledge and I’ve worked with various UK feature films, so I learned so much.
What I really wanted was to bring that knowledge back to the country I grew up in. When I came back to Ireland I was still running Little Sister Records from my little cottage here in Wicklow after my daughter was born. As it happens she’s turned into an extraordinarily creative young woman.
BIMM, Dublin >>View Video>>
I’m the Head of Careers, Events and Industry at BIMM in Dublin so I organise all the gigs and the festivals, recording and masterclasses.
I led the professional development module for seven years and that actually brought me back to all my psychology because that module is based on the whole person and looking at skills that are required to be a professional.
The professional development module involved teaching students how very small changes can lead to very big outcomes. Within the module I’ve actually learned an awful lot myself again and had to look a lot at new theory and new evidence around how you can actually make small changes in your thinking and address those limiting beliefs we all have.
I’ve spent many years now working with BIMM students on making all of those little changes that have a huge impact on their career path and it’s been incredible to watch them going from really not believing that they could make those changes to having the outcomes that they’re looking for.
BIMM Discs | AMS Records | AIM Ireland
At the moment I’m getting a release ready (for BIMM Discs) by one of our BIMM students – Tadhg. I also have my own record label too called AMS Records and I manage Vernon Jane which is one of our BIMM graduate bands. They’re a phenomenal band and I put out records as well with other BIMM tutors. I just meet these really creative people and I’m like, “Oh I love that”. I’m also on the steering committee for the Association of Independent Music in Ireland, AIM Ireland.
Moonlight >>View Video>>
I moonlight as a music supervisor; putting music into film, and that’s given me an insight into the film world and working with directors and producers in film. It’s been really interesting to do that as well as knowing the music industry so well.
Dave Reid >>View Video>>
Dave Reid and I came into contact with each other at BIMM. I invite a lot of different people from across the industry to come in to meet the students to get different perspectives which is why I invited Dave.
Once Dave and I got talking to each other it became very clear that we are similar in our thinking; he also has a background in psychology. I felt all the work he was doing with First Fortnight was important so I invited him to start coming more regularly to do one-on-ones with our students because I felt that he had a very good perspective; he was coming from a very knowledgeable place in the music industry due to his work managing bands and with the Choice Prize but he also looked at the whole person and their wellbeing. His advice is really productive for our students. He spent several years coming into BIMM every week so we developed a good professional friendship.
The right energy >>View Video>>
Very early on in the process of developing Minding Creative Minds, Dave invited me to be a part of it. I was just really, really supportive of the idea; I thought it was fantastic and I know Dave is a really great person and somebody who comes from such a good place so you know that the right energy is going to be around it. Because of that I just wanted to help if I could.
The fact that you can actually get free access to legal advisors, financial advisors, career advisors, as well as counsellors and psychotherapists really is what makes Minding Creative Minds very special. It’s a response to those things that can bother people as they go about their day to day business and think, “Oh God I can’t really afford to call someone and ask about this”, whereas we have people on-hand who are actually going to know the answers; it’s an incredible service.
As a career advisor in BIMM, and as somebody who meets students regularly, I’ve been able to point them in the direction of Minding Creative Minds when they’ve had issues that maybe I can’t help with. Some of them have told me that it’s been fantastic for them; it’s solved problems before they’ve become problems.
Meet and Greets >>View Video>>
The Minding Creative Minds Meet and Greets are a wonderful way for people (who are at the moment really isolated) to come together with lots of other creative thinkers. It’s a lovely way to get to know other people who are working in the creative industries and it takes away some of that sense of isolation but also what I really love about these sessions is that people are so willing to share their own experiences and their own ideas. It’s a very positive space, you go away feeling uplifted and thinking, “Oh gosh we’ve got such an amazing collective of extraordinary people in this country that we can deal with anything.”
Innovation is the answer to everything isn’t it? And the more we come together, the more we talk to each other, the more innovative we can all be because we can spark ideas within each other. I always come away from a Meet and Greet session thinking, “Oh wow, we can do this, we can do that.” I do feel like it is just going to keep getting better and better and bigger and bigger in terms of what might come out of it because we have all these skills between us as well and when we can actually get together physically, or even if we can’t, we will be able to find ways to use our skills to benefit each other.
Sole trader >>View Video>>
In other sectors which are more systematic and better established there are support systems in place, like HR, and there’s potentially health insurance, and you can get help if you need it but if you’re a sole trader because you’re a creative, you don’t have that tiered system, and it’s harder to find the people who can help you.
Corporations always do things like take their staff out on trips to boost morale and get people to know each other because it is about peer support. They also spend quite a lot of money on professional development resources. They know that if they put money into their staff and improve their skill sets then they’re going to have better productivity as a corporation. A sole trader doesn’t have the resources or the finances to do that.
Minding Creative Minds makes support available that’s actually tailored a little bit more towards the concept of you being a creative person who doesn’t have that support network, you can get specific support such as career guidance.
Improving all the time >>View Video>>
I’m delighted to see that in Ireland infrastructure is improving all the time and I am a cog in that wheel. I came back to help make a difference. It’s just so nice to be able, at this point in my life and my career, to be able to provide some of the knowledge that I’ve learned and share it, and work with other people in the industry in Ireland who are equally as experienced and knowledgeable, to actually be able to put our skills together and help others.
Remember, if you’re a member of the Irish creative industry, you can talk to a counsellor free of charge at any time of the day or night. Simply call the phone number below.