Spotlight is a new feature which sheds light on the creatives who Activate works with and supports.
The first of these interviews is with Adam Dupree, cofounder of The Working Boys Club. The Working Boys Club was founded in 2020 by Jason and Adam Dupree, identical twins from Poole. Noticing the lack of art made by and for the working class, they formed The Working Boys Club, blending their skills from the building site with those learnt in the rehearsal room. The Working Boys Club aims to create connections through playful interactive projects which are underscored by complex social and economic issues. Since 2021, the Working Boys Club have been invited to perform at festivals across the UK.
Tell me about your relationship with Activate.
“The relationship between Activate and The Working Boys Club is many things. I consider them to be mentors, business partners, promotors, clients, and friends. Helping us navigate all aspects of this new world for us within outdoor arts.”
What were the unique challenges of setting up The Working Boys Club and how did you overcome any barriers?
“Me and my brother Jason (who has more experience within the art realm) struggled with the business side of things. Writing up contracts, working out what to charge, who to talk to, sourcing funding, and overall, the formality of how to take work to outdoor art festivals. Activate took all this off our hands and allowed us to focus on just creating the work we wanted to create. Over the past couple of years, we have learnt a shed load from Activate around the areas we lacked.”
What has been the most exciting experience for The Working Boys Club since its inception?
“There have been a handful of exciting things since we started along this road, from playing at Glastonbury Festival 2023 to road-tripping with Dom (our main contact within Activate) to Spraoi Festival in Ireland. For me, the most exciting thing has been to go self-employed and to run my own company. It’s been the autonomy I’ve been yearning for and for many years, and although very scary, I am so proud to have finally achieved this. Big thanks to Activate for helping me get there!!”
What advice would you give creatives who are just starting out?
“Not sure how to answer this one as I still feel like a newbie myself. But here’s some advice (not all very practical) I try to use in my life.
Some of this I have stolen, some of this I’ve just made up, and most of this I forget about day to day. Read books, listen to podcasts, and watch documentaries on things you like and things you dislike. Aim to become an expert within your niche, even if you never feel like you are – if you spend enough time doing it, you will be! Find other experts. Be honest and be humble, find help where you know you lack it. You haven’t got time to be good at everything. Take inspiration but find yourself, not the self you think you should be (bla bla bla, you know, you’re an artist). Art is all opinion-based, don’t listen to other people’s thoughts on your work, good or bad. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Wear sunscreen.
Find your own advice! None of us really know what we’re talking about, however some of us are just more convincing.
If anyone has advice on how to feel financially stable as an average joe artist please do get in touch (who wants a normal job anyway). Accept the uncertainty, of which I am still trying to do.”
How can creatives utilise the support of Activate?
“Activate is a great team, and I have had nothing but help and support to build confidence within my personal creative practice and within the Working Boys Club company. Being local I have had many meetings in person around all aspects of my creative field and how to pursue work in the outdoor arts sector. I am sure if you get in touch they can offer the same.”
If you would like to read more about The Working Boys Club, then click here to find out about their latest project.
Image credit: Jayne Jackson