Leeza started her career in the arts on our Creative Futures programme. She is now running poetry workshops, has been commissioned to write a spoken word piece with young people and has released two films, programmed at SPARK festival at Tobacco Factory Theatre. 

I’m Leeza Awojobi and I’m 24. I was on theCreative Futures programme at CYN. At the time,I was at a place where I hadn’t developed into poetry seriously, I had just quit a door to door marketing job and didn’t know what to do. I spoke with a friend about my worries and fears of the unknown from having a career in the arts. Due to by background I’d been told that it wouldn’t ever be a proper job with a good salary. She suggested I sign up to ACE newsletters, which is where I saw the Creative Futures programme. It was at just the right time for what I needed. I needed someone to direct me. 

The main way it helped me, was it exposed me to other artists in the industry and in Bristol, who are producing amazing work and getting paid for it. It opened me up to networks to be able to make a start. It gave me an opportunity to make and produce my own work and receive a commission for it. 

 

 

Since then, I’ve been running programmes of poetry workshops, which I have really enjoyed as I’ve been able to build my skill set and share it with others. I’ve worked on other pieces including ‘Held in our Pockets’ and continued to write. I’ve also explored what my poetry might look like in film form, which led me to release two films. 

My work has been programmed in the SPARK festival at Tobacco Factory Theatre, and I’ve spoken on the panel at the Future Proof conference for Visual Arts South West regarding support for emerging practitioners. I’ve started studying again and have been thinking about how I want to take my career further post my MA in Comparative Literatures and Culture. 

I think, last year, when I was doing ‘A meal around Bristol’, working with the poetry group who were mainly made up of OAP’s, this was significant as it made me realise that I always want an element of real human interaction in my poetry. We ate sandwiches and we spoke. It was significant for me. 

Aside from the Creative Futures programme, Creative Youth Network has helped me through the alumni networking lunches and by having a good structure in place to allow things to happen. I’ve met people who’ve led me to new work. Creative Youth Network are always posting, sharing and following up with opportunities. They’re good at thinking about who would be good or enjoy certain projects and putting them in touch with one another. From other young artists to organisations and paid opportunities. 

“I think part of being human is being creative. To use it as a point of connection with other people. If I didn’t have that I think I would be less human.”   


Website: www.eyesandoath.com

Email: [email protected] 

Instagram: @eyesandoath 


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