Author Archives: Guest Blogger

Turning A Hobby Into A Profession

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Amanda is a knitter from the US who uses SkillPages to showcase her skills in a new country.

Working With A Newborn

When I moved from the US to the UK, I found myself in a strange country with a newborn baby. So, in order to fill my numerous waking hours courtesy of our son, I took up crocheting and knitting.  These are interests that I’ve had since my college days but didn’t have enough time to hone at that stage of my life.  After a while it turned out I was rather good at them.  My favourite thing to knit is lace but I can do children’s clothing quite well also.

So, discovering I was good at something I enjoyed and that I could do it with a newborn attached to me, I joined SkillPages to offer out this talent to others.  I hoped there would be people out there who may have had the desire for such crafts but lacked the knowledge or skill to execute it themselves.  To my surprise and delight an old school friend found my SkillPages profile and commissioned a project from me!  That was about two years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

Doing What I Love

At the moment I have plenty work coming in with the holiday season coming up.  I really thought knitting was this thing that I was just going to do for myself and my family or perhaps for friends having babies.  Now, with SkillPages, it’s a great way for me to make a bit of money doing something I truly love.

It’s brilliant to have found this great community of talented people.  I recommend joining to anyone who has a skill that they feel confident about – there’s a place for everyone, and I’m pretty sure you can find your place here.

Amanda Needham, Knitter

A Great Boost To My Freelance Career

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Chris is a sound engineer that has developed new relationships and landed work on a feature film thanks to creating a profile on SkillPages.

Building up an On-line Presence

As a recent university graduate I’m trying to build my career as a freelance Sound Recordist and Radio Producer.  My main experience is in location recording and audio production for film, TV and radio. I joined SkillPages to help get my skills found.  Over the last few months I’ve been gradually updating my profile and have started to get opportunities emailed to me relating to my skills.  Just over a month ago I got a couple of very interesting projects proposed to me – I instantly replied.

After contacting the members directly through SkillPages I ended up collaborating with them on a few exciting projects.  The first project was as a sound technician for a community TV start-up. Then the very next week I collaborated with a team looking for a sound recordist for a 48 hour film competition.  And lastly I contacted a fledgling radio station and I’m now producing a mid-morning entertainment show for them!

Making those all Important Contacts

In fact, the meeting with the TV station has now turned into a long term relationship and has led to more recording and pre-production work.  And the director on the 48 hour film was so impressed with my work that he has now booked me for a feature length film.  This will be my first feature length film so it’s a huge opportunity to get.

Seeking out new projects and contacts is very important for freelancers in the early stages of their careers.  Taking on small collaborations is a useful step in getting yourself and your abilities in front of new producers and directors which is essential to winning those all important gigs further down the line.  These initial opportunities have led onto some great work and introduced me to new contacts and crews that can really help my career take off.

– Chris Kouzaris, Sound Engineer

Photos by Suki Mok Photography

Video Producers Of The Highest Calibre

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Rob used SkillPages to connect with music producers interested in his song.

Rob Moulder

Revival of a Song

Working as a therapist and life coach is my full time job but I also create a little dance music in my spare time.  A while back I created a song which I sent to a local radio show.  Their staff called me 2 weeks later, asking if I would like to be interviewed and have my music played, which I accepted.  However, since then the song was doing nothing but collecting dust.  I thought I’d try posting an opportunity on SkillPages to see if anyone would like to create a music video for it, thinking to myself I would rather have 50% of something than 100% of nothing.

I created the opportunity in the morning whilst eating my breakfast and then went into town and forgot about it.  5 hours later I returned home to discover I had 17 emails.  I soon realised that all of the emails were from music video producers competing to work with me.

High Calibre of Applicants

A quick overview of the choice of applicants – one had produced a recent award winning TV commercial for Mercedes Benz, several had their own music studios with years of experience and one even produced a music video for Mel C!  I’ve been spending some time viewing their work and have decided who to work with.  Now comes the exciting part of getting started.

From my personal experience, it would be difficult for me to find one reason not to recommend SkillPages!  I’m excited that I’ve discovered a site that works so well.  And the best thing is that these new contacts I gained were all for free!

Rob Moulder, Therapist & Songwriter

Unlocking The Door To Highly Talented Musicians

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Paolo is a music producer using SkillPages to find an array of talented musicians.

An Essential Resource

A composer friend of mine told me that SkillPages was an essential website for me and I have to say I agree with him.  I’ve been a member only a few weeks and I have already been contacted by a lot of people!

I’m a music producer and a professional DJ working in the music industry for over 20 years.  In that time I have created a recording studio at home where I produce my own material under the label Discomilk.  I now have 4 albums produced and my next project is a soulful, funk album. The project features many different instruments and production techniques, which meant I was on the look out for a variety of new people to collaborate with.

A Great Response

I was looking for specific musicians, singers and re-mixers so I posted an opportunity on SkillPages detailing the type of skills I needed.  This meant that I didn’t even have to search, they notified people with skills suitable to what I needed.  The response was great – I could hardly find the time to answer all the replies I got!  There really is a large number of highly skilled people waiting to be engaged.  I am already in the process of negotiating agreements with some great musicians that I found on SkillPages.

As well as producing the album I have other ongoing productions so it’s great to have many valuable collaborators to constantly refer to for my professional requirements.  And it isn’t just good for finding musicians – the next step is to connect with a music video director, a digital animator and a graphic designer for LP and CD covers.  SkillPages is just the right place to find all the professionals I need.

Paolo Guglielmino, DJ & Music Producer

Finding Skilled People The Easy Way

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Tess is an entertainer and performer using SkillPages to help improve her show.

I have been performing in theatre and circus my whole life.  At the moment I am a freelance performer, balloon artist and teacher based in Bristol.  It keeps me very busy as I have a few shows which are collaborations with other artists.  Freelancing is great, I get to work all over the world, meet wonderful people and literally play all day every day. (Except when I have to do my taxes and other admin of course).

Recently I needed work done on a prop for one of my shows and wondered where to find the right person.  I needed it painted in a very particular way and with my busy schedule I needed a quick, easy solution.  I found SkillPages and knew straight away it was the right place to be looking.  The array of skilled people to search is fantastic.  After no time at all I had found a wonderful artist.  I checked out his work and it suited the skill level I wanted for the project.  I contacted John directly.  We met up and he showed me some sketches and then he had it ready in a few days.  He did a beautiful job on the piece and we took it on our tour to the Balkans.

I also love that I can showcase my skills for everyone to search and find on SkillPages.  So now when people are looking for entertainers they can contact me directly.  In short, I think SkillPages is a great idea!

– Tess Cartwright, Performer

Finding Essential Skills To Keep My Business Going

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Miriam is using SkillPages to source skilled workers for her hand made clothes line.

Starting A New Business

I started my own business last year selling a line of clothes and accessories for girls.  Originally I had secured a seamstress to make bags, skirts & shorts from denim, for me to sell on-line and at various events.  She was brilliant and it was all going well until the end of the year when she decided she did not want to continue with the work.

Straight away I started looking for someone new.  I went through a string of people who were just not reliable.  It was getting to the point that I may not find a suitable replacement and possibly have to give up on my new business.

Never Give Up

At this point I heard about SkillPages and decided to give it a try.  As a first time user I found it easy to compose a new opportunity, notifying seamstresses about my requirement.  I first got a response from someone living in Scotland who was interested. Whilst I was in discussions concerning postage, I received another e-mail from a lady living more local which suited a lot better for my business.  We exchanged a few e-mails and decided to meet up.  After a very successful meeting I found someone to make bags for me!

Neither of us could believe our luck at finding each other.  To think, she was so close to me all this time and all we needed was a way to connect.

I would not hesitate to use SkillPages again – it was brilliant.  If anything I wish I had joined sooner.  Anyone looking for work related to their skills, or in need of skilled people should give it a try.  It worked for me, when I had almost given up hope.

Miriam Ward, Retailer

It’s Never Too Late To Chase Your Dreams

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Valentina is following her dream of a more creative life with the help of SkillPages.

My name is Valentina Squitieri, I’m Italian but currently living in Bristol to train as an aerial circus performer.  Before this life, I came from a physics background, having done a Masters in Physics with Astrophysics.  That was a very intense, fascinating experience that I will never forget, but in truth I found myself craving a more creative and physical career.

This new life as a performer is fantastic, non-stop training in the physical, emotional, and creative spheres.  It’s helping me find the self-confidence I never had.  I believe it’s never too late to chase after long lost dreams, and this is exactly what SkillPages is allowing me to do.

Exploring Other Skills

I am predominantly using SkillPages to look for performing opportunities to further enhance my training, but have also included myself as a beginner in other skill categories – such as modelling and illustrating.  I’ve only been a member for a few weeks but I’ve found several really interesting opportunities and already been on one fashion shoot, with several more on the horizon.

My first experience was fantastic, I met some really interesting people and I can’t wait to do more.  I love that I am now exploring other hobbies I’ve always been passionate about but never had much time or courage for.

My advice: don’t get in your own way with preconceptions of what you can and can’t do – you never know until you try!  And why not use SkillPages to do it 🙂

– Valentina Squitieri, Performer/Model/Illustrator

 

Rekindling An Old Skill

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  James Creagh used SkillPages to find a new band after a 10 year break.

Crimson Clocks from left to right: Colin Cooke (bass), Jo Luckett (violin and oboe), Linzi Cooke (vocals), Steve Joliffe (drums) and James Creagh (guitar and backing vocals)

Years ago I moved from London to Birmingham, and with the move I lost the band I played with. As a computer programmer, playing guitar and finding a new band was never a necessity. Now, 10 years later, I decided it was time to get back into it, with the hopes of joining a new band.

After redundancy, job searching led me to SkillPages – a place where you can find new opportunities related to any of your skills.  Since registering I’ve received many email alerts about people looking for guitarists and musicians.  Out of those I noticed a local band looking for a guitarist that sounded like a good fit for me so I got in touch straight away.

Following some initial correspondence they invited me to audition along with 2 other guitarists. The audition went great and it was brilliant to be back playing.  I was delighted to get a call the next day asking me to join the band!

The band, Crimson Clocks, started rehearsing every weekend and after a few months we had lined up 2 gigs, one at a local festival.

We had our first gig at The Roadhouse – a local rock venue.  There were five bands in total and it was a ‘Steampunk’ evening.  After a few initial glitches it went well and we picked up some new fans.  The 2nd gig was a week later.  This time we stormed it!  The sound was nice and clear and we had quite a few compliments afterwards.

The next step in our plan for world domination is to put together a demo recording of about 5 songs to get more gigs.

It feels great to be part of a band again!

– James Creagh, Guitarist

“An Invaluable Meeting Place To Connect And Create Fantastic Projects”

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Zoe Konez is a musician from London who used SkillPages to find a video producer for her music video.


Zoe Konez is essentially a two piece band, consisting of me and my drummer Will.  After recently recording an album we wanted to make a video to showcase our first single from the album.  We liked the idea of finding an up and coming video maker to work on the video together, for potentially exciting results. I heard about SkillPages through another musician friend and posted an opportunity in search of video producers.  Pretty quickly we had a lot of responses – it was fantastic!  Out of all the applications one show-reel really stood out from the rest.

Joaquin had recently moved to London and was looking to get established here.  We met up and discussed ideas, it was a perfect fit.  Joaquin managed to enlist the help of some set and dress designers who helped in making the concept come alive.  We filmed the video over 2 days.  Joaquin was amazing, providing all the equipment and working long hours.  He even edited the video for us and we were thrilled with the end result.

Hayley Don’t Say Goodbye

Collaboration is about generating new links and avenues to get your skills out there.  After such a positive experience with Joaquin we were delighted to recommend him to some connections who ended up hiring him.  We consider ourselves lucky to have found such a talent and we’re looking forward to working with Joaquin again in future.  We’re also happy to now call Joaquin a friend.

The experience was a pleasure and I think both sides of the partnership benefited greatly. SkillPages is a great pool of talent.  For anyone in the arts it’s an invaluable meeting place to connect and create fantastic new projects.

– Zoe Konez, Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

Collaborating With New Connections

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Tabu is a fashion designer from India using SkillPages to collaborate with other designers.

I am a fashion designer and consultant working from my store, La Princesse, in Chennai.  It’s 23 years now since I stepped into the field of designing clothes, so when I came across SkillPages I was hoping for a new and interesting way of connecting with other designers. Initially I was looking for people to collaborate with as I try to change the style of my collections every few months.  I find that when there is a blend of ideas from different artists the results are outstanding.

It wasn’t long before I realised that SkillPages was offering an extremely helpful platform, not only to seek skills but also to showcase your own and in the process make many new connections.  I started writing fashion tips on SkillPages and I love how easy it is to share these to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts simultaneously.  That alone has already gained me many new followers.

Collaboration & Helping Others

Interestingly some newcomers to the fashion industry started writing to me, asking for advice and even offering to do an intern-ship with me.  As I have over 20 years experience I’m happy to share what I’ve learned and really enjoy giving advice to help them progress their skills.  It’s satisfying to pass on your knowledge and guide people in their chosen field.

SkillPages has turned out exactly as I’d hoped.  Through all my new connections, I found an amazing designer to collaborate with and brought out a new collection for my store.  I love that I get to meet people from all different backgrounds and I’m looking forward to many more collaborations in the future.

I highly recommended SkillPages as an excellent website for making connections and seeking new opportunities.

– Tabu, Fashion Designer