'It’s time for the rules of the arts world to change' - Maisie Williams on her new artist networking app, Daisie

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By Yasmin Inkersole, second year English

Last week, Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams came to home-town Bristol to speak to students about a career in acting. She discussed her new app - Daisie - which aims to connect creatives and encourage collaboration. Is it a good idea? Yasmin Inkersole discusses.

Maisie Williams has taken on many significant roles in her career, from the fearless (and faceless) Arya Stark of HBO’s record-breaking series Game of Thrones to the brave and sensitive Casey Jacobs in her docu-drama ‘Cyberbully’. But now the young actress has turned her hand to the creation of an app, Daisie.

In front of a packed hall of Bristol students last week, Maisie delivered a passionate and excited presentation on how Daisie came to be, and its potential to help artists network easier than ever. Peppered with jokes, Game of Thrones references and details of her journey from a young girl growing up on a council estate in Bristol with a dream of becoming a dancer, to a very recognisable face from the most Primetime Emmy-winning TV series ever, Maisie’s talk was both captivating and down-to-earth, speaking as one young artist to a room full of others.

So what is Daisie? Well, as Maisie explained, Daisie is a ‘social media which is for artists to create with each other and make projects.' Daisie aims to connect artists within their realms of interest in order to collaborate with one another. For example, through Daisie a screenwriter could contact a budding director and together they might produce a short film.

"Daisie is an extremely promising venture"

Maisie explained that Daisie was inspired by her perception of the ‘huge problem with the creative industry. There are so many talented people and none of them have the connections they need.’ The app is intended to help artists make these connections, and surpass the ‘gatekeepers holding all of the power and selecting who they deem talented enough to advance to the next level.’

So is Maisie really the answer to overcoming the who-knows-who minority that rules the world of the arts? Well, yes and no. Maisie is an extremely promising venture, and with a focus on the industries of art, fashion, acting and writing is able to give a much louder voice to a strong body of talented people.

However, the app is still in its beta stage and has a few hurdles yet to overcome. Such issues were raised in the Q and A portion of the talk, in which Maisie was asked how the app would gather enough people already in the arts industries to connect with the multitude of young people clamouring for a paid career in the industry. While Maisie described that the app implemented a system for ranking users based on their career level, this issue is still a serious one in terms of outreach and networking for artists who don’t have familial or other connections to key people in their competitive field of work, and one which Daisie will need to consider as it undergoes further testing and development.

But it must be said that Maisie’s talk and the awareness she has raised about the very prevalent issues of elitism, nepotism and biased selectivism within the arts has undoubtedly shone light on the barriers that exist for those pursuing careers in this industry.

As Arya Stark once said, ‘The rules were wrong. I was doing what I was meant to be doing’. It’s time for the rules of the arts world to change, for talent to come before favouritism, and equality before elitism.

(Featured image credits: Facebook / University of Bristol)


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