We recently spoke to Jodie Holm, Academy student and creator of Y.U.C.K, which stands for Young Upcoming Creative Kollective. Y.U.C.K recently had its first exhibition/gig/launch party so we caught up to chat about how it all went down!
ADA: How did the idea of Y.U.C.K come about? How did you make it happen?
JH: Being an Academy student has definitely helped me bring Y.U.C.K to life! The idea first came around when I wanted to make a publication or online platform to feature and interview my creative friends and just create this cool little hub where we could share our work without being big established creatives yet. The idea since evolved into having these art parties and exhibitions, I still hope to do those other elements of it in good time though.
Studying at the Academy gave me the confidence and knowledge to launch Y.U.C.K. Having to put on a show in 2nd year gave me a taste for it and made me realise it was something I could actually do! I had some 3rd year assignments this year that involved putting on events too. Looking at event venues not only taught me how to find a space and the resources to do so but really inspired me to find a cool space of my own and I was lucky enough to find the perfect one. Almost every skill I needed for organising this event I learnt through the academy.
ADA: What steps did you take to get all these amazing artists involved?
JH: When I decided to start organising YUCK SUCKS #1 I sent a big group message to all of my friends who I knew made art. Some are art students and some just do it in their free time. I told them I wanted to put together a show and everyone was really keen on it. One thing I found really important for Y.U.C.K was using all the resources I could get my hands on, from printing posters at uni to DIY screen printing tote bags, and the most valuable one was the creative talent I had access to through my social group.
ADA: Where there any tough moments? What has been the best part and the most challenging part of the journey so far?
JH: In the beginning it was really hard to find an affordable venue. Most cool warehouses in Fitzroy where out of my price range. I knew what I wanted was ambitious, especially only having about $200 to my name. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful big studio, smack bang in the heart of Fitzroy that was right in my budget! Not to mention the owner gave me free reign, he handed me the keys and told me to “go wild”. It was very hard to force myself to get the event going in the beginning between being doubtful this was something I could actually pull off, and being a little too shy for my own good. It was a little bit of a hurdle but once I cleared it, everything fell into place. I had about two weeks to organise everything but in the end I think the pressure was exactly what I needed to ensure a great outcome.
Overall, it went well and I couldn’t really have hoped for a better outcome for the first run. This one was kind of a test run for me to see if I could actually do it and to see how people responded. We had about 200 people show up and everyone I spoke to had a really good night. I had lots of people asking me when the next one will be which is very exciting. I was never in this for the money but I ended up making a better profit than I expected which is all going into making the next one bigger and better!
The best part was the response to it all. Everyone told me they were so proud seeing how much work I put into it all and that’s when I realised it had never felt like work for me once. I think I’m a believer in that saying about do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, as cliche as that is, it’s true for me at the moment!
What’s next for you? What is next for Y.U.C.K.?
JH: Next for me is probably catching up on all my assignments now that I can’t procrastinate on Y.U.C.K. Next for Y.U.C.K is lots of very big and exciting things. I’ve got a great relationship with the studio owner now and he’s keen for me to continue hiring the studio out. He’s relocating to an old church/warehouse in Brunswick and that space will be ready to hire in a month so I’m already on to organising the next show! I’m also looking at investing in things to get Y.U.C.K feeling a little more established, things like blogs, online stores and eftpos machines for everyone who didn’t have cash at the door. I also want to present some solo shows through Y.U.C.K but I probably shouldn’t be giving away all my secrets right now...
Do you have any advice for future students at the Academy?
JH: My advice for future students or people considering the Academy is nothing but positive. As a conceptual artist who’s never really been blessed in conventional traditional art techniques I was quite scared to study art and thought I might fall behind all the drawers and painters. I quickly found the academy valued conceptual work just as much as technical (like a good uni should of course). The size of the academy is definitely something that helped me too, small classes meant personal relationships with tutors, I didn’t feel like I was ever receiving a general education that would fit everyone but rather got a lot of personal guidance which gave me the confidence to do things like Y.U.C.K. The size has also meant our year group has gotten quite close and this is really valuable because we all bounce ideas off each other and support each other a lot. I’ve never been doubted in my ideas at the Academy, the tutors are probably the coolest bunch of creatives too. I’ve put on shows, done internships, and created art I never thought I could and it’s all thanks to my time here at the Academy.
Emma Michaelis graduated in 2014 with a major in Visual Arts and DUX of her class. With a few years of experience under her belt, we caught up with Emma to see what has happened since finishing at the Academy.