Saul has begun working on the Hear Our Voice project as a part time mentor. This is what he has to say about his experience of the project.
I began the Hear Our Voice Project in April 2019. I had been a volunteer at BTM since 2015 but it was still a bit daunting to start something completely new. I took part in the taster sessions where I made a video to introduce myself before joining the project. Over the next three years the group members worked on various individual projects about issues that were important to them. I helped another participant to publish a book by illustrating it for him.
The pandemic hit in March 2020 and the group was suspended because of the lockdown. We resumed work using video conferencing and began making a film about the experience of people with disabilities during the pandemic called Our Lockdown. This involved interviewing participants by video call and editing the footage into a twenty minute film. As part of promoting Our Lockdown I gave a couple of interviews on BCB radio.
Being part of the Hear Our Voice Project has improved my skills as an illustrator and given me more confidence. I feel I can try new techniques and be more versatile while maintaining my personal style of artwork. It also means I can branch out into different areas of digital creativity such as animation. Practicing film making means I am now confident enough to film and edit my own short videos.
I feel I am more assertive and better at saying what I want and need. I also feel more self-aware because I’ve been able to challenge self-criticism and uncover skills I didn’t realise I had.
I am also more confident about posting work online and I am building up a portfolio website to look for work as a freelance illustrator. Towards the end of 2020 I wrote, illustrated and self-published a book of poems and short stories called The Land on the Other Side of the Page.
The Hear Our Voice Project is an opportunity to learn new skills, build confidence and grow as a person. The project has certainly helped me discover my talents and put them to good use and I think that it could be the same for anyone who wants to give the Hear our Voice Project a go.
Anyone wanting to join the project can find out more by joining our taster sessions on,
Tuesday 7th June at 2pm – 4pm
Wednesday 8th June at 1pm – 3pm (BSL Interpreter)