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Liam O'Shea AKA. Hope Works

Words by Molly McGreevy

The early morning sun usually signals the end of a night at Hope Works, one very special warehouse venue on the outskirts of Sheffield city centre. But today, things are slightly different, people are arriving at 8:30am for CreativeMornings Sheffield, to listen to Liam O’Shea AKA Hope Works talk on #CMCourage.

“Not having a fallout plan is sometimes scary but sometimes a motivator. And here we are today standing in Hope Works, a gun barrel factory turned into a place of community and fun and self-exploration.”

Running a venue was never really part of the plan for Liam, who has been involved in Sheffield’s music scene under various guises since the 90s. He wanted to be a rockstar. An ambition that could transport him away from his upbringing on a Nottingham estate.

First, he picked up a guitar and played in bands, before going solo as a singer-songwriter, following that came projects in hip-hop and jazz and then Liam turned to the decks. Today, as well as running Hope Works, Liam DJs under the alias Lo Shea.

“In my life, I had done lots of things and nothing had really gone anywhere on the surface. Back then, for me ‘going somewhere’ was having money and success,” says Liam, who is honest about struggling with what he deemed as failure and though partying all the time, wrestled with depression, drugs and alcohol. He soon realised it was time to make a change.

In 2009, Liam started another new project – Mixed In Sheffield -  with the aim to explore, reveal and celebrate the diversity of electronic music in Sheffield. From an initial 98 minute mixtape featuring 41 of Sheffield’s electronic artists Mixed in Sheffield grew, became a record label and threw sell out parties at venues across the city. In 2012 Mixed In Sheffield found a permanent home.

“At a time when I had a personal battle I found this place, and I knew it was right. I saw the name Hope Works and I knew it was meant to be. I wanted to include my community in the venue.”

In five years, Hope Works became an integral part of Sheffield’s electronic music community, and in 2017, became the main venue of No Bounds festival. A three-day, city-wide festival of music, art and technology that received rave reviews in the press and put Hope Works on the map globally, linking to similar, larger festivals across Europe.

“Doing No Bounds has been such an eye-opening experience in respect of the opportunity I have here. By giving a platform to people, I see the courage that they have.”

The future is bright for Liam, Hope Works, and the next generation of musicians and artists that the venue provides a platform for. No Bounds will make a return in October 2018, and the venue has some stellar parties planned for the year ahead. But from Liam’s honest and raw account of his story so far, it’s clear it’s taken a lot of courage to be where he is today, and he couldn’t have done it without the support of his community, or learning which projects to let go, and which to pursue.

“Letting go is a scary process. Especially if you’ve defined yourself by that thing for all your life. It is incredibly scary.

“Admitting defeat in something and asking for help has given me more strength and courage than I had on my own. I thought I could do it on my own, but I couldn’t, and realising that gave me more courage than I was born with.”

‘Liam O’Shea has been running and promoting parties in Sheffield for years now and since 2012 has been bringing internationally esteemed and emerging local talent to the fore under the Hope Works banner. The club, which operates out of an old gun barrel factory in the city, has quickly become a legendary fixture with recent guests including DJ Stingray, The Black Madonna, Eris Drew, Ciel and Mumdance, to name but a few…

As far as O’Shea is concerned, Sheffield is the ideal home for these unique and experimental arts events. It becomes immediately apparent then that he is not only a determined promoter and champion of forward-thinking club music, but of ambitious creative works across the board.’ 

- Eoin Murray, DJ Mag’s digital staff writer @eoin_murraye

Liam will be getting up early and talking #Cmcourage with us at the Hope Works warehouse Friday March 23. Registration opens Monday 19th. Hope to see you there. 

Lindsey Green AKA. Frankly, Green & Webb

Words by Molly McGreevy

'There is something very meta about talking to people who get up at 8am, about curiosity.' Says Lindsey Green, co-founder of Frankly, Green + Webb.

There is something very curious about this CreativeMornings Sheffield, people have to climb a grand spiral staircase up two floors before arriving in an art studio and workshop space. Alongside the usual coffee and breakfast, there are a selection of wooden objects to explore at the back of the room. People are asked to wear white gloves, handle the objects and guess what they think these museum artefacts might be used for.

For Lindsey’s talk on curiosity, CreativeMornings Sheffield was at the home of main sponsor for 2018, the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA). Sheffield’s Old Post Office was transformed by the university in 2015, and now one of the city’s most iconic buildings acts provides a gallery, studio and event spaces, and teaching rooms for Hallam’s arts students.

The SIA is a fitting venue for Lindsey’s talk, she has been working within arts, digital and learning since 1998. Lindsey co-founded Frankly, Green + Webb, a digital agency working with cultural organisations all over the world to design products, experiences and services that integrate digital and physical elements. Part tech sceptic and user advocate, Lindsey’s focus is on creative but practical experiences that delight visitors and deliver measurable impact.

“It’s part of our evolution to keep being curious about things but it’s not always easy to be curious” says Lindsey, whose work with Frankly, Green and Webb has taken her to cultural organisations across the globe, including the Science Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, Scottish Ballet and the V&&.

Frankly, Green and Webb works to help people become open to new experiences by creating spaces where people feel confident and safe. “In museums terms that is letting people know it’s okay not to know stuff.’ For Lindsey focusing your curiosity is about the right question, not the right answer.

Throughout the talk we hear about how cultural organisations help to shape visitor experiences, including the ballet which upgrades first time visitors from the often cheap seats they have booked to one with a better view. Lindsey ends her talk with a revelation – her museum artefacts, which creatives had been guessing the use of, had actually been made by her husband, Johnny Tyson the curious force behind Fallen Giants – ‘We design and make enduring contemporary furniture from found wood. Every piece of wood has a potential use, and finding that use is our job.'

We would like to thank Lindsey Green of Frankly, Green and Webb, for speaking, and the Sheffield Institute of Arts for providing the venue and breakfast.

February speaker is Lindsey Green AKA. Frankly, Green + Webb.

Lindsey Green has been working within arts, digital and learning since 1998. Lindsey co-founded Frankly, Green + Webb a digital agency working with cultural organisations all over the world to design products, experiences and services that integrate digital and physical elements. Part tech sceptic and user advocate, Lindsey’s focus is on creative but practical experiences that delight visitors and deliver measurable impact.

‘We have offices in the UK and USA and work across we have worked with a wide range of great organisations from the Science Museum to Tate, the Van Gogh Museum to the V&A, Scottish Ballet to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many more.’

February’s theme is Curiosity Curiosity is many things—a trait, a mindset, and a skill. To wonder about the things you don’t know and to actively fill those gaps with knowledge is to consciously enrich your life.It’s also the secret sauce for creativity. Curiosity silences ego and encourages us to ask why. By constantly asking why we keep the channel open, allowing inspiration, perspectives, and ideas to mould our work and ourselves.The more you practice being curious the more opportunities abound. Sometimes all it takes is tilting your head up and just marvelling at this thing called life.This month’s global exploration of Curiosity was chosen by our Malmö chapter and illustrated by Oelwein.Big thanks to our global partners — MailChimp, Adobe, and — for their ongoing support of CreativeMornings.

Anxiety is a story that we tell ourselves; it’s a magnification of possible failures paired with self-talk that undermines our chances of success. Anxiety is created from within, not outside. Self-sabotage may always be part of the creative process and the sooner we can accept that the clearer we can be in the decision we need to make to move forward. 

This month’s global exploration of Anxiety was chosen by our Bucharest chapter and illustrated by Evelin Bundur. Thank you to our global partners — MailChimp, Adobe, and — for their generous support.

In Sheffield Nikki-lee AKA. Kojo&Lee will be in the chair to talk us calmly through #CManxiety SIgn up and come join us for a superb kick off into 2018.

photo credit: India Hobson