Level up your skills and creativity this New Year with these free spaces
Even if you’re already an absolute legend, there’s always room to grow - and New Year can be the ideal time to set yourself some new goals or expand your skills.
Whether it’s learning a creative new art, improving in something you already love or exploring new ways of working, the Vodafone X Level Up program is giving people the chance to fuel their ambitions for the year ahead.
If you’re on Vodafone X, you can get access to a range of Level Up spaces across the country, like music recording studios, dance halls, co-working spaces and photography studios.
You can also dive into a huge catalogue of online courses to teach you everything from how to play the guitar, how to build a website, how to design a poster or logo, how to deliver a good presentation, how to do commercial voice-overs, how to get cast in a movie, how to start a business or how to write code - the list is almost endless!
To show off a few of the options available to people, we here at entertainment.ie sat down with three unique artists who are making waves in their chosen field.
First up is acclaimed Derry musician SOAK. We brought her to JAM Studios, Kells to have a look at their set-up, here’s what she had to say…
I think one of the biggest hurdles to cross as musicians starting out is to try and get yourself studio access. It's impossible when you're young and broke.
You can play a concert, and you're only going to reach those people that are physically near you. But with recordings, people will then be able to share their music across the world, and there's no limit to who they can reach.
For artists and young musicians to be able to access spaces like JAM Studios for free is ridiculous. When I was younger, I would have used services like this so much... It's incredible, to have a professional recording for free is like a miracle. I would have been very happy.
“To have a professional recording for free is like a miracle.”
See the video here.
We also went to check out Talent Garden near DCU in Glasnevin. They’re an international hub of co-working spaces, allowing people to network with other digital and technology entrepreneurs and start-ups in the building, so you can all learn from each other.
One such start-up is Robotify. Young founders Adam Dalton and Evan Darcy are preparing the kids of today for the jobs of the future, by providing an introduction to coding. They first met in science class when they were just thirteen - by seventeen, they were teaching kids how to programme code using small robots.
See them show us around Talent Garden here.
When you are in an environment like Talent Garden, it really makes you feel like you're going to work every day with a mission. Talent Garden is such a handy space for having team meetings, bringing clients in and then being able to have the craic with your neighbours.
The space offers a really nice support system. I feel like I can go into work every day with a purpose. Having that feeling that you are working on something special in an amazing space is pretty paramount to business success.
One of the main things I love about this place is that it gives us a space to feel like we can scale worldwide, as you can really feel the global ambition here. It’s also great to be surrounded by other entrepreneurs and like-minded people.
They allow us the opportunity to meet influential people on a daily basis. You have such a diverse range of people in one place, you never know who you could meet. They could change the way your business looks like in the future.
Adrian Wojtas is a photographer and art director living in Navan.
He’s been gaining followers on his Instagram @adrianwojtas with his unique, striking images. He presents colour as a character in the story that each of his pictures tells, and his portraiture photography often includes dramatic hues and sharp graphics.
We brought him along to The Darkroom, a wonderful facility in Dublin where people can make use of their studio for photoshoots, or get used to analogue photography in their fully kitted-out dark room.
Check out some of the stunning images Adrian was able to create with his time in The Darkroom here.
To me, the studio is essentially a blank canvas. It's uncluttered by what's out there in the world. So you come in, you have a white box, and it's what you put in within that white box that matters. Within this environment, you have so much control that you can essentially create something that hasn't been captured before.
It's all in the practice and the experience of knowing what works and knowing what fails and learning from those mistakes. If you don't do that then you may as well still be at the starting line.
So places like The Darkroom are so important because then you can play around.
Without these spaces, you don't do it.
If you don't do it, you don't know it.
If you don't know it, you don't develop.
So, now that you know what’s available… will you be Levelling Up your 2020?
Here’s a handy map to find some of the spaces available nationwide that might be close to you.
Vodafone X is giving customers the opportunity to fuel their ambitions by unlocking one of the many Level Up spaces across Ireland. Visit vodafonexlevelup.com to find the perfect creative space for you.