Drumroll please.... breaking Noise news... Ladies, gentlemen, students, skivers, it gives me great pleasure to announce an exciting new addition to the line up of Your Creative Future at the Waterside Arts Centre on March 14.

Hannah here, guest blogging for NOISE again in the run up to this amazing event. Some of our brightest and best Noise alumni will be returning for our Success Story Panel. They’ll talk us through how Noise has aided and developed their careers, from just showing the world your work with a Noise portfolio, through to amazing Dream Jobs and chance of a lifetime exhibition opportunities at the NoiseLab. Making their way back into the fold  will be Ciara Clark, Matt ‘Stickypop’ Daniels ,  Mark O’Brien and JJ Rosa. 

Independent jewellery designer Ciara has been involved with Noise since 2009, where she joined us for our Kiosk project with Wayne Hemingway, then became store manager of the NoiseLab.  Selling her own designs in the store as well, she garnered fantastic publicity from press coverage in Look magazine and M.E.N,  all of which has helped her progress into opening a city centre store of her very own. She continues working with Noise as an advisor for the ‘Noise Collection’ and our online shop, which you can swing by here.  

Woman wearing large necklace

Stickypop, the doodling alter-ego of Dunkinfield’s Matt Daniels, creates cute-as-an-edgy-button illustrations influenced by cartoons, music, Japanese toys, games and film. He was invited by Noise to let loose on the NoiseLab window on Market Street, and he responded to the challenge by creating the bedroom you wanted but never had, plastered with quirky doodles and monsters (nice ones). When you think of how many people trawl down Market Street very day, this is money-can’t buy exposure. Matt’s clients now include the BBC and Smart Car, and he’ll be discussing how he hopes to expand his career even further and how what Noise does actually, you know, works.  

Grid of graphic design and illustration work

Cardboard wizard Mark O’Brien started creating sculptures whilst studying at Leeds Met University, and after seeing his degree show, the Noise team knew he was headed for big things. He too had a NoiseLab window, and his lifesize cardboard amps and drumkit were so impressive we’ve kept them to show off in the office. The response from the public was so strong, (we’re talking Harrods tourist-style photo taking), that Noise got him a commission from the Greater Manchester Police’s domestic abuse campaign. He’s now gone on to work on setmaking, props and art installations such as a replica Mini Cooper in a Japanese shopping centre.

Man making a design with cardboard

Way back in 2008, when the world celebrated the election of an actually hot President, and I first enjoyed stumbling down the streets of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, JJ Rosa was sending in her Stockport band’s tunes to Noise. Their unique mix of singer-songwriter simplicity with not-so-simple guitar riffs was the favourite of both our Music Curators that year, Bless Beats and expert beanie-wearer Badly Drawn Boy. JJ Rosa then performed with the Manc Hatter himself, and her talent was spotlighted in the Noise Raw creatives documentary and The Guardian online. Since then, S-Curve Records (Universal) have signed her to a 3 album deal, and that Noise noise is about to go global.

Band performing on stage live

These three are still very much on their journey into taking their careers stratospheric and sort of bridge the gap between our Noise experts and some of the Noise novices who’ll be coming with their schools or colleges to try and find out if they really can make an actual career out of their fun doodles or designs, or just that creative thing you can do that no-one else can. In this rubbish economy, when the first cuts are to the arts, it’s vital that organisations like Noise give every opportunity they can and that you take that opportunity to get involved and get your amazing talent out there!  Snap up your ticket to Your Creative Futures here, work out how you’re going to get there here (it’s not hard, honest), and keep in contact with us on Twitter and Facebook. More news and exciting events to come!