ASTONish EMERGE - The Journey Has Begun

Last Wednesday, the EMERGE cohort had their first sessions - "Getting Started".  

The first EMERGE session

The first EMERGE session

The session is all about new starts: it's the beginning of the training (formal) element of the programme, the first time the group have met as an EMERGE cohort and the content of the day focuses on where to start in building your creative business.

Where we start is vision.  Business vision, creative vision and artistic vision. When you go on a journey, you pick a destination, a place to aim for. If you just leave with no destination you're simply wandering like a nomad, you're not on a journey.

EMERGE Cohort Allison and Dean

Image credit Inès Elsa Dalal


Another feature of EMERGE sessions is that each week we hear from people in the creative and cultural industries. They share their insights on the theme of the day: it's probably one of the most valuable parts of the day.

In this session we heard from Allison Sadler for the People Shop and visual artist Dean Melbourne (who is co-facilitator on EMERGE). Here's some key points from their talks.

Allison Sadler -

Allison Sadler

Image credit Inès Elsa Dalal


  • She started to use social media to share some of the great work she was up to and give her more of a profile.
  • She shares in an authentic, genuine way and people respond to that - as her profile grew she got more offers - projects, commissions and magazine work.
  • Social media has its downsides too - don't let it consume or take over your life - take time away from it and find a balance that works for you and your business.


Dean Melbourne -

Dean Melbourne

Image credit Inès Elsa Dalal


  • When Dean went on a course in 2008 (that was the equivalent to EMERGE) he was related to as someone who had talent and was capable of success.  This was new.  It's much more empowering than being related to as someone who might (or would) fail.
  • His definition of success is "being in the right race" - that is to say if you have created a life that means you are participating in the thing that makes your heart sing, you are a success.
  • One of the best things that you can do for your community is to exceed expectations.  Being successful inspires young people and gives everyone something to be proud of.


The next session is about "Planning for Business" - from planning your time and projects to considerations of the bigger forces at play that may shape your future.