Written by Molly Locke
Check out Bea Viña's portfolio: beavina.myportfolio.com
Cover photo: 'The Flying Bedroom' from beavina.myportfolio.com
Here at YOUTH, we had a chat with the very talented Bea Viña who is currently in her final year at RWCMD (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama) studying design for performance, which covers set, costume, technical design and so much more for film, TV, theatre etc. Studying art, history, English and Spanish at A Level, Bea wasn’t sure which specific pathway to take, although she told us "I’ve always known I like creative things but in school I liked a lot of things…and I really enjoyed all of those areas." Finding your creativity can be hard, but Bea gave us a lot of advice that really shows there's no rush to figuring things out.
Performance design has taught Bea that “you can do bits of everything; one of my friends is really interested in maths and does mechanisms with puppets so there is room for everyone." Another part of it that really attracted her was the people. "The people seemed really cool that worked in this area and just the fact that you’re always working with people. I know that I like being around people and working together." Being in the creative industry can entail working with a lot of people and being a part of a collective that bounces off each other and inspire one another. Bea showed us how much she loves that part of it, as people feed off others energy; creativity and projects can become really positive when working with a great team that all have similar passions and interests. “It’s also just really fun, it’s such a crazy place!” she giggled.
Images from a variety of projects taken from beavina.myportfolio.com
Another interesting topic we talked to Bea about was finding your creativity and figuring out what it is specifically that interests someone artistically. She always had a love for art from a young age, and at school she focused on fine art and drawing. After A Level she went on to do an Art and Design Foundation at Camberwell College in London. Like a lot of students that do the foundation year, Bea didn’t really know what was going to come after it but she definitely wanted to continue and do art. "Camberwell was really good because it's the only one (foundation year) that does specialism in theatre design... and that's where I found that and was like 'this is cool' and just got really into it... I was like this is crazy, I didn't think I would get into this". Bea also told us that ironically, drama GCSE was the worst grade she got but now she's at a drama university working very successfully - "grades aren't everything, you don't need to worry about that too much."
We also talked to Bea about her most recent project, 'The Flying Bedroom'. It's a family friendly production about a little girl who falls asleep and travels to different worlds. It started in February 2020 when an email was sent out about the project, stating they wanted people to collaborate on a musical adaptation of a children's book. Bea and her friend reached out, but due to COVID, there was some bumps along the way. However, she told us that "because of lockdown we were able to put the time into it" and "make it so much more than what we wanted it to be." For the show itself, Bea and her friend created a puppet inspired by bunraku puppetry, a Japanese creation that involves making joints out of wood and plastic tubes so it can move like a person. "We published it out on online festivals and now we're going to do some tours in September and a family festival in July." To find out more about the performance, check out their Instagram @flyingbedroom and watch the performance here.
When giving her words of wisdom Bea told us "put your process work (in applications) not just pretty final images, people are interested in how you work" and also being friendly and kind in the industry can get you far. It never hurts to spread kindness. A nice way Bea described her course and sector of the creatives industry was "there's space for everyone" as there are so many pathways and opportunities. She continued in explaining how "if you're going into anything creative, imposter syndrome is very real and it's easy to feel you're not good enough...but just trust yourself and enjoy it... don't listen to that voice".
Bea wants to continue to explore and take anything that comes her way and continue to experiment within the working world. That's one thing that Bea made me realise, at no point are you closed off from other options. Personally, I've always felt that you have to pick one creative outlet and stick to that but Bea just proves how you can still continue to figure out your passions and creativity at any point of your life, there is no rush. "I'm just trying to take each day, month, year as it comes" as we all should try and do. So we wish Bea the best of luck and can't wait to see her name at the West End one day!