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pozible’s sydney edit: interview with jennifer noorbergen, ‘kaleido’

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“I am excited to launch something that makes me creatively happy. I think you need to put some of yourself into your projects, outside of your full-time job. It keeps you inspired.”

Jennifer Noorbergen’s typical week is spent designing web graphics for the University of Western Sydney. A young graphic designer, she moved in from the Blue Mountains six months ago, on the lookout for creative people and exciting opportunities. Last week, Jennifer found what she was looking for. She took the week off work, having been selected from a bundle of entrants to partake in Pozible’s Sydney Residency at the COMMUNE. The residency is part of Pozible’s Sydney Edit, which focuses on NSW crowdfunding campaigns and projects. Jennifer spent last week working on the campaign for her project, Kaleido, amid other creatives in the collaborative warehouse space that is the COMMUNE.

I meet with Jennifer on the second last morning of her residency, interrupting her morning emails with a pot of chai and a chat about Kaleido, Pozible, COMMUNE and the highlights and challenges of being a young creative.

First up, what is Kaleido?

“Having been a creative young person in an industry where you need a job to get experience and you need experience to get a job, I wanted to create something that helps bridge that gap in information and understanding,” says Jennifer. “There is a growth in co-working spaces, collaborative opportunities and participatory events, but not an affordable or accessible way for students to find this information.”

Kaleido grew out of a project Jennifer presented in her graduation exhibition at UWS. She is creating a platform for other students starting out in the creative industry as designers, photographers, musicians, artists or writers.

“The resource is firstly physical, through the print publication which will feature established creatives, submissions,   and important industry events and opportunities. . It will also be an experiential resource, as we will be running an event to launch the publication, showcasing the featured artists and provide a platform for networking across disciplines.”

Jennifer intends to run the publication and events to a quarterly cycle, supported by a constant online presence. “The publication will be distributed at the launch and online, at a price that will appeal to a student’s budget.”

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Jennifer hopes to build a network of creatives through partnerships with arts organisations and through collaborating with successful professionals. “So far, everyone I have approached has been keen to contribute to the publication and to the showcase of creative work that will go on display at our first event. They have all been really excited about the project’s goals and direction, and eager to offer their advice and skills.”

Kaleido’s crowdfunding campaign launches today on Pozible. As outlined on the campaign page, most of the funding will go towards the printing and production of Kaleido’s publication. After researching different formats and materials, Jennifer has found the A3 newsprint style to be the most cost-effective option for printing and distributing to young creatives. “But it is still so expensive to do a print run!”

The rest of the money will mostly go to Kaleido’s first event – the launch of the publication. “The venue should be dynamic and welcoming, and the tech needs to support various performances and presentations. I’m hoping for a really memorable night of talent and networking.”

Jennifer is finding her time at the COMMUNE to be both productive and inspiring.

“COMMUNE is such a great space,” she says. “Coming here, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was nervous about feeling like a student on work experience, among so many talented people. I also worried I’d be distracted by the location so close to King Street – I thought I might go out for lunch too often! But in fact I’ve felt so welcome in a space of creative people, who all have a different specialty and set of skills.”

She admits that it has been a challenge to manage a project like Kaleido that is growing larger every day. “This week has been really intense. I’m here and I’m learning new skills – especially business skills – and at times I’ve felt absolutely overwhelmed. It is tricky to balance the overload of information! It is all useful though. There has to be a balance between art and admin.”

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Jennifer chose Pozible as a launchpad for her project, for its focus on creative ideas, and its premise of ‘all-or-nothing’. “Realistically, it would be difficult for me to deliver on this promise of a sustainable, useful Kaleido without achieving my funding goal. I don’t want to take anyone’s money if I can only produce a small print run or a mediocre event. I also love the free workshops that Pozible provide for people wanting to run their own projects – this is the same idea I have for Kaleido. Pozible’s ethos resonates with me and my own goals.”

Through working on Kaleido’s Pozible campaign this week at the COMMUNE, Jennifer takes this lesson away: “Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. In retrospect, until this week I’d been working on this project alone. I’d had a list in my head of all these amazing people who had the skills I needed, but who I’d been too scared to approach. You know what? The worst thing they can do is say no. And this week, no one has said no yet. Creative people are generous, and they want to help each other.”

 

1. Check out Jennifer Noorbergen’s Pozible campaign here:  www.pozi.be/kaleido

2. Check out Kaleido’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kaleido/452818524795213

3. Check out Pozible’s Sydney Edit: http://www.pozible.com/sydney

 

(Photography by Jennifer Noorbergen and Sam Ali at COMMUNE)

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