Meet Carlo Howdy y'all, my name is Carlo. I am a Fine Art and Illustration Graduate from Coventry University back in Bristol making art and doing creative things. I am an artist, illustrator, abstract story teller, resident kool kid and awkward human being. My projects explore poignant and thoughtful ideas that revolve around mindfulness, mental health, personal well-being and introspection through a filter of playfulness and humour. Name Carlo Age 23 Artform Fine art & Illustration Why did you apply for Creative Futures? After I graduated university with a degree in Fine Art and Illustration I slowly became lost in how to apply the things I had learned in order to start up a creative career. Life happened and my motivation wavered. Then Creative Futures appeared. I knew I had to go for it- it would be the perfect opportunity to regrow my confidence and learn the skills I needed if I wanted to find a place for myself in the creative industry. So here I am now, eager to reignite my passion to make art again. Tell us about the work you are currently making. I am a visual artist, illustrator, abstract story teller and awkward human being who likes making things. I made a graphic novel about finding the meaning of life if life in itself held no inherent meaning featuring hats that come to life, dogs that can talk and other strange inhabitants that make bad puns. Right now, I host a weekly show on Instagram called “Bootleg Pokémon” where my guests and I draw Pokémon from memory. It’s a fun mess where people can hang out online, and the drawings never go as planned… What topics would you like to explore and why? The topics I would like to explore revolve around mental health and mindfulness using a platform of humour to open the way for thoughtful and honest conversations. Over the years I have had many bouts with my own depression, anxieties, feelings of intense loneliness and isolation. For a long time I was never comfortable talking about those feelings openly. I slowly built the confidence to do so when I was able to make fun of my “brain noise”. And by “make fun of” I don’t mean to disregard those feeling but the opposite: to take those feelings on and play with them in a way where I could eventually become able to deal and maintain them. It’s a lot of hard work and I still have plenty to do within myself… But I think it’s important to talk about the states of our internal worlds as authentically as we are comfortable to do so. And there’s nothing to stop us from having a laugh or some fun along the way. Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme? I want see myself by the end of this programme to have a better understanding of the business side of creative business. I want to have the confidence to find opportunities to showcase my skills and make progress with my career as a creative. Ultimately, I want to have the self-assuredness that the whole creative thing is something I can do, and do well enough to live and thrive on despite its difficulties. Find out more about Creative Futures. How can we help?