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Work in Progress: the NUA graduate podcast

MA Games graduate Jake Montanarini hosts Work in Progress, a series of interviews with NUA graduates to find out their stories since leaving university. We catch up with him to find out more about the podcast. 

What’s Work in Progress about? 

The podcast is about sharing the stories of NUA graduates; to let people know that a successful career as a creative is not as elusive as we are often told. It uses people’s real life experiences to reassure listeners and cut through some of the noise and worry.

I’m lucky to have been through the downs and ups of graduate life and I completely agree with the idea and ethos of Work in Progress- I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be involved!

Why a podcast?

I’m a fanatic about stories, particularly how we can use them, and podcasts are such a good way of sharing our own stories.

I enjoy the craft of making podcasts and interviewing people. Asking someone the right questions to tell their story in the most compelling way and finding out the real golden moments feels a little like play. So, for me as a game designer, this whole process has been about using art and a craft to promote the success of being a creative. Its great fun!

As a graduate, how do you think this podcast will help other graduates?

I hope the podcast will help graduates see that the big challenges we are told we will face when we graduate are not as impossible as we think. The testimonies and stories we got to hear are a complete celebration of all the creative ways graduates have overcome post-university challenges, however large or small.

The most wonderful thing here is that that someone is a peer, a person that has been in the position our listeners are in. It is completely real.

“As artists and designers, we face a challenge to ensure we continue to feel connected and human. “

On MA Games you produced a board game, which isn’t a typical route -why did you choose this medium?

I am a big fan of tabletop games because of the sense of intimate community you get when you play. They are becoming very popular because of this and I think more and more people are instinctually looking for an outlet in response to the illusory communities we’ve been engaging with on social media.

When we play, we get a unique opportunity to explore a whole load of things from communication to relationships and our own understanding of self. Play is super important as it gives us the permission to try new things in a safe environment.

It’s really fascinating how easy it is to escape into the many different worlds and stories in board games, especially as you get to interact with the story you’ve escaped into. Obviously you get this in video games too, but the element of touch is somewhat absent, and I think without it you lose a little bit of the magic.

What are you working on in your practice at the moment?

I am working on several projects, using the current climate and time indoors to try and see where my practice can grow. I think, as artists and designers, we face a challenge to ensure we continue to feel connected and human. It is difficult but problem solving is always more rewarding if the challenge is hard! 

In the podcast you ask your interviewees who they would like to thank for getting them to where they are today – so, we have to ask…

Haha! Ok… I would like to thank Alumni Officer Catherine Hill for asking me to be a part of this project! I think it is really important to keep our NUA community connected and this is a great way of doing that. It has also allowed me to explore more podcasting and taught me a lot about the process, which has fuelled my own podcast fires!

I must thank all those around me that have continued to support me with feedback and encouragement- so many people!

To find out more, listen to the podcast or find Jake on his Twitter

NUA Alumni