INTERN: The Life of a Creative - Mosaic Intern Ria

Mosaic Project WA is slowly coming to a close. We had three awesome photography workshops and a Creatives Picnic over the month of September and we can’t wait until the opening of the Mosaic Exhibition on 23 October. Over the past three months, we’ve been really lucky to have Ria as our Mosaic Intern. She’s been hard at work helping Propel program, organise and deliver Mosaic 2019. We can’t thank her enough for the amount of work she’s contributed! In this blog post, Ria writes about her experience interning at Propel, what she has learned and the path of a creative.

From left to right: Yoshika, Ria and Cecile. Taken on Ria’s Polaroid at the Creatives Picnic.

From left to right: Yoshika, Ria and Cecile. Taken on Ria’s Polaroid at the Creatives Picnic.


At 23 I was still just trying to get used to following my heart. I have very supportive parents but growing up from a culture that was more about jobs that feed the family as opposed to jobs that makes you happy put extra pressure into my decision of pursuing a career in the creative industry. It was hard in the beginning but I loved writing and taking photos so much so that when I’m in the zone, it just all feels right, as if I have made all the right choices in my life. But sometimes, there are those nights when I’d stay up later than usual and wonder what will become of me. If I decided to be a doctor I can be an intern after seven years, then a resident doctor, then pursue my chosen specialty. It was as if the map was already there for me and I need only to work hard and follow it. But the path of a creative is uncertain. How do you even get your work out there? Who tells you when your work is good or not? How do you price your work? 


A little while ago I went to a workshop about living a creative life and it was as if the universe heard my call. I attended it with a friend and towards the end of it we were invited to participate in a community-driven exhibit called Mosaic, where every year people across WA take a photo on the same day and all photos submitted will be a part of a month long exhibit. That project is hosted by Propel Youth Arts WA, a non-profit organisation that aims to provide a community that inspires and supports young people in all their creative pursuits. I was at awe at the amount of support they do from workshops to mentorship programs to creative festivals and market. My inner fangirl messaged their Instagram page because we all need to shoot our shots right? 

Next thing I know I was friends with Carolyn, an intern at that time who kept on telling me that she can introduce me to the team if I want. But I was too shy and I kept postponing it until one day I got tired of making excuses for myself and I met the lovely Cecile, Propel’s Project Manager and my future boss but I didn’t know it at the time. We chatted over coffee and when I went home that day I was officially the Mosaic Project Intern. I couldn’t believe it!


As an intern, my responsibilities include setting up online registrations, social media scheduling and content creating, creating Mosaic workshop Facebook events, event listing and helping Cecile and Yosh spread the word about Mosaic in any way possible. I also assisted in organising the photography workshops, wherein I learned a lot of knowledge about film, portraiture photography and animal photography- although with that one I was honestly more distracted playing with the dogs rather than taking photos. Cecile and Yosh was also more than happy for me to take the reins for the Mosaic Creatives Picnic. Six of my own friends turned up to support me just in case no one else shows up, but lots of people did and we all became this huge group of friends taking photos and laughing under the hot sun.


As I write this my internship is nearing to an end. I have loved every single bit of it although I have to admit balancing uni and work and internship can sometimes get to you. The unlimited tea and coffee at work really did help. 


It was a lot of learning, a lot of adjusting, a lot of stepping out of your comfort zone and definitely a lot of spending if you are like me who likes to try any new thing that pops up but it definitely has changed my outlook towards Perth’s creative industry. I have met fellow photographers, hugged those that I look up to that I have only ever dreamt of meeting, got plenty of advice on how to present my work, how to get grants, how to get a film developed and learned where to get the best savoury muffin in Northbridge. I have learned that there is always help, there is so much help for us creatives, you need only ask. True friends will support you 100% of the way, and often they are the ones that make all the hard work worth it. I have learned that the creative industry is tough at times, but everyone is so welcoming and loving they make things a little bit lighter and there are organisations like Propel who will believe in you, every step of the way.