#LearnuaryNI plan of an arts marketer in Northern Ireland image

Some may think I’m a bit late to the party with this one, it is 11 February after all and #LearnuaryNI officially started on 1 January but, better late than never, I’ve decided to give #LearnuaryNI a go this year after reading other participant experiences on social media.

#LearnuaryNI is a 31-day learning challenge by TrainingMatchmaker.com to encourage and support people to intentionally learn one new thing every day over the course of one month. 

On-the-go social learning is something that we all do, daily without probably even being aware of it.  I love the idea of everyday being a school day.  Especially when it’s not restricted simply within the walls of theoretical knowledge.

#LearnuaryNI, has nudged me to focus more on my intentional learning.  It’s inspired me to take concrete steps to develop my professional practice with the aim of helping me work smarter, unleash my creativity and to challenge me to re-frame how I think about myself.

To stay focused as much as possible, I am zoning in on the theme of ‘Visual Storytelling’

As a marketer in the arts, I firmly believe people buy from people and that the arts at their most fundamental, are about speaking to people’s hearts.

Visual Storytelling is key to communicate the value of the arts.  Anything that helps me brush up my content creation toolkit will be time well spent. Here’s some key sources of inspiration on my to learn list.  Please if you have any hints or tips or can point me to any more free resources, send them my way. 


Thanks to #GetBloggingNI, I recently became aware of #TodayatApple. A series of creative and educational programs designed to inspire customers to learn new skills and take their passions further.  Free to attend immersive sessions at Belfast’s Victoria Square, include exploring storytelling secrets by bringing photos and videos to life. 

Another great resource is The Content Club moderated by Excalibur Press on Facebook which, shares the concepts, tools and techniques necessary to generate great stories.

Disney Pixar’s  The Art of Storytelling’ with Khan Academy also makes the list. This free online program is for children and adults who want to wrap their head around what it takes to produce stories ready for the screen.  With a focus on relatability it will cover six lessons, each featuring Pixar story artists explaining their process:

Lesson 1: We Are All Storytellers

Lesson 2: Character

Lesson 3: Structure

Lesson 4: Visual Language

Lesson 5: Filmmaking Grammar

Lesson 6: Storyboarding

Sharing is Caring

I realise my focus has also become quite Google Centric.  I graduated from Google Squared last year …. and want to delve deeper into online SEO. Sources of inspiration will include:

A tangible goal will be to gain The Google AdWords certification; the professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords. 

To avoid going into the category of resolution quitter, I’m buddying up on this part of my #LearnuaryNI adventure with @Watsonmydear Trainer: Christine Watson, owner of Watson and Co Chartered Marketing and brainchild behind #LearnuaryNI.  For me peer-to-peer is an effective method of knowledge transfer.  I hope by being a positive force for each other, Christine and I will keep our learning momentum going and create accountability for each other. 

Learning to Take Charge of My Thoughts

When talking about #LearnuaryNI at home, my beautiful 13-year-old daughter, said I need to learn to stop being my own worst critic. 

That’s when it hit me, I need to know my impact.  I am one of my daughter’s most powerful female role models. Yet I don’t always present a healthy self-image.   

As much as writing this seems indulgent.  Part of my #Learnuary~ journey will be to commit to being more compassionate to myself.  My well-being MOT will explore topics around self-confidence, resilience and the power of a positive mindset.

I’m looking for a lot of insight in very little time.  Which makes the online masterclass in Building Resilience by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant of OptionB in partnership with LinkedIn and TedTalks my perfect go-to.

Hopefully #LearnuaryNI will give me the space to mediate between the paradox of self-improvement and self-acceptance.  In turn making me appreciate myself as a mum, partner, friend and colleague.  And perhaps learn to be a little kinder to myself?  Let’s see…..

If you are planning your own #LearnuaryNI adventure, I’d love to hear from you. 


Hi, I’m Úna, a marketer working in the Arts & Northern Ireland Member Rep for the Arts Marketing Association.  Loving life in Northern Ireland with my partner Alan and our three children.    

My secret skill is I’m the ante-Google Maps.  I’m guaranteed to get you lost, but we’ll have great fun and discover fascinating places and people as a result.  I also have a hankering to become the next Martha Stewart, to own a large kitchen ISLAND around which friends will gather and to be able to cook soup from scratch without it tasting like Pot Pourri.


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