Being proud of your work: creative positivity with Brook Tate


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Being able to create work that you are proud of is a lifelong struggle for creative people. We’re constantly gripped by self doubt and worry about whether the work we do is good enough. And with the current political, environmental and social climate, it’s more important than ever that we find joy in our creative outlet.

Brook Tate is a creative who exudes joy and positive energy. He is a young writer, painter, theatre maker and musician, and we spoke to him about how to create work that excites you.

Here is his advice…



  • Make sure your space is right



Maybe it’s as simple as getting some natural light or adjusting your chair; make sure that where you’re working is a space you feel comfortable and happy in. Not everyone has a massive window to let the light in, so if you’re working in the evening or a darker space, check your lightbulb is giving you the right colour light to work from. 



  • Find little steps you enjoy



When he’s painting, Brook loves the process of mixing his paint. It gives him space before he starts to think about what he’s creating, as well as enjoying watching how the colours mix together.

In your artwork, there will always be little satisfying steps that you look forward to – be sure to single them out and relish them. 



  • Have time away from your work



You can’t just work non stop and expect to come up with art that you love and is the best it can be. It’s important to factor in time away from your work to just be. Spend time away from the studio, desk, laptop or wherever you work. 



  • Make sure you paint things you love



Brook said to me; “When I’m creating portraits, I’m lucky because I love the people I’m painting” – which is such a valuable way of working. Whatever you’re creating, whether you’re writing a song or drawing a picture, make sure the subject is something that moves you. If you care about the subject of the work, you’re going to be even more excited by the outcome.



  • If something isn’t right, stop.



For Brook, writing music is like going on a journey. Starting at an idea and following it through a forest or along a path to find something beautiful. You have to trust that it’s taking you in a direction that you want to go and let it lead the way.

However, if you end up somewhere you didn’t want to go, just leave it. If an idea doesn’t excite you anymore, put it to one side and focus on what does bring you joy. Don’t get rid of it completely, just save it for another day where you feel that curiosity returning.



  • Time + Love + Materials



Natural talent doesn’t exist. At least not according to Brook. With enough time, plenty of love, and the right materials, you can become skilled at anything. 

If you find the work you’re creating isn’t turning out how you’d planned, maybe you need to give it more time? Perhaps you need better materials, or access to a different tool? Or maybe you need to focus on doing something that you feel more passionately about?



  • Enjoy the process, not the product



So much pressure is put on the final piece being perfect that we forget to enjoy the process. Traditionally, singing was used as a way to tell stories, convey emotions and would help us to connect to one another. Today, it’s all about who has the best voice and who looks the part.

“It’s not about being the next Beyonce, it’s about singing because you love it.“


And at the heart of it, that’s the most important thing. Learn to love the process and you’ll love the outcome no matter what. What’s important is that you’re being creative.


Brook Tate is a painter, signer, theatre maker and all round creative living and working in Bristol. You can check out his work here:

PAPER Arts offers support for young creatives on how to build a creative career and navigate Bristol’s art scene. For more information about the work we do, please email [email protected]

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The future of paper arts

A Statement from the Board of Directors


Like many organisations, PAPER Arts has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, on appointment of a highly skilled CEO, we made the bold decision to review our business model and begin a process of research and development in order to shape a new service and to better support creatives in Bristol with professional development, networking and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the pandemic we have proudly supported creatives in Bristol, with a focus on young people from St Pauls, our Creative Employment programme hosted over 20 sessions and we welcomed 17 young people to feed into our research and development proposal. 

However, the last 18 months have been a huge challenge, while we’ve been able to successfully deliver a plethora of projects since our inception seven years ago, we have been unable to secure the funding necessary to realise our ambitious plans for the future and to provide our organisation with much needed financial stability.

As a result, it is with a heavy heart that the current PAPER Arts team, made up of Grace, Kate, Katy, Lau and Amie will no longer be able to continue in their roles. Our small team has delivered a substantial amount of value to the community we serve and the Board of Directors are endlessly grateful for the skills and professionalism they bring with them each and every day. We are proud to know and work alongside such talented individuals and believe that the arts sector is a better place with them in it. 

The ideas generated by this team are inspiring and hopeful and the Board of Directors wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the creative community in Bristol.

As September ends and the seasons change PAPER Arts will be going into hibernation in order to survive this adversity. Our voluntary Board of Directors will spend the coming months considering the future of PAPER Arts, the role we can play in the arts sector in Bristol and how we can sustainably move forwards. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but as soon as we are able to share more with you we will. 

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to speak to someone about the future of PAPER Arts please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – Kirsten Cree, one of the Board of Directors will be monitoring this inbox. 

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