All my life I was always a very creative and artistic person but only when it came to writing and music. I realised quite early on, during art classes at school, that I was pretty rubbish when it came to drawing and art. This insight into my own artistic abilities made me never pick up drawing again.
One thing I was looking forward to when I started the publishing MSc course at Edinburgh Napier University last year, was the placement module. I already gained some work experience in publishing in Germany but was excited to learn the ins and outs of the industry in the UK. I was prepared to learn anything that had to do with editorial and maybe even marketing or sales, what I was not prepared for was the interest in design that my placement ignited in me.
After many applications and interviews throughout the first term, I secured a placement with Cymera Festival, Scotland’s only festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing. I would have been responsible for organising several events during the festival, taking care of guest speakers and making sure that everything runs smoothly as well as designing the programme for the festival with two of my fellow interns. Unfortunately, Cymera Festival will not take place this year physically due to the Covid-19 outbreak, so my placement was finished prematurely. However, before the festival had to be canceled we designed and published the Cymera Festival programme. The festival will also take place digitally: Here is the link to the virtual Cymera Festival, 5th-7th June 2020
Working on the programme in InDesign gave me so much more confidence in my own artistic abilities. Choosing a layout, fonts, colours and the right placing of pictures and text was so much fun and it is exciting to see something you imagined come to life. It made me realise that I am actually good at making design choices and make them look great. The positive feedback of our placement supervisor encouraged me even more to pursue my design ideas in other projects for my degree.
I am truly sad that Cymera Festival could not take place as planned this year, I am convinced that it would have been amazing and would have provided me with the opportunity of making new contacts and learn so much about organising and running literary festivals. However, I am glad that this placement at Cymera gave me the courage to believe in myself and discover new sides to me and my abilities. Even if it seems daunting, a placement is the perfect opportunity to develop and apply your strengths and sometimes even discover new ones. I am grateful to Ann, the mastermind behind Cymera, for giving me this opportunity and I am sure that Cymera will return even bigger and better next year.