For young people Creative Futures Meet Tom Find out more about the young artists on our Creative Futures programme. Name: Tom Age: 22 Art form: Music and Performance What made you apply for Creative Futures? I need structure to be creative, boundaries within which to be free. I wandered in a creative wilderness for a while, in a maelstrom of ideas and inspirations without pinning them down and creating something meaningful. Creative Futures offers the perfect balance of structure (timetable, workshop planning), resources (studio space), advice (workshops and mentoring) and goals (the exhibition), whilst still encouraging creative freedom. Tell us about the piece of work you’re currently making. I’m fascinated by images, in every sense: words, ego, brands, symbols. I want to explore the dichotomy between self and image – paper and ink, experience and thought, life and death. I’m particularly interested in this tension between self and image because I see it as the fundamental cause of the anxiety that pervades society, especially young people. My starting point is technology and social media, and the torrent of images it overloads us with. The project is still in its nascent stage – my current ideas include a digital hall of mirrors, a performance incorporating live music, recordings of voices and spoken word, and brush paintings. What’s exciting is that it could lead anywhere. What are you most excited to do on Creative Futures? I want to push my boundaries as an artist. I applied primarily as a performer - music and spoken word - but even in the first few weeks I have found my interest drawn to instillation art and painting. It’s amazing to be amongst other creatives, with artistic resources at my fingertips. At the same time, the exhibition will force me to cut down my many ideas into a single project – this focus is something I need. Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme? I will be able to say “I’m an artist” without qualifying. I’ll have a network, knowledge about making a creative career and a piece of work I can put my name to. Find out more about our Creative Futures programme. How can we help?