TGW Q+A: Patrick Price, Head of Content Creation, Collarts

Collarts recently announced their acquisition of the Mercer School of Interior Design and the addition of two new higher ed courses in Content Creation and Music Production.

Expanding further into the creative industries Collarts (Australian College of the Arts) announced the acquisition of the Mercer School of Interior Design, to deliver higher education level degrees in Interior Design within the next two years, with Graphic Design and Animation courses to follow.

Creative director, designer and publisher Patrick Price  has been appointed to lead the new Content Creation Diploma of Arts degree. Australian singer/guitarist/songwriter and ARIA No 1 chart topper Tommy Rando will deliver the first of its kind Bachelor of Arts in Music Production. Our interview with the former reveals the best bits of the Diploma of Arts in Content Creation course – the pure immersion that students can look forward to, and we remember together the revelation of the digital age, or the day we learned that the internet was permanent.

TGW: Patrick, I was particularly interested in talking to you because of your incredible career pre-Collarts – you produced and curated runway shows for VAMFF and MSFW, you are the former editor-in-chief for FJORDE Fashion, Art, Music and Culture magazine, and now you’re the creative director and editor for your own publication, HEARD Magazine. I feel like you’ve sort of covered off music and fashion and all of the wonderful things that I identify with. Do you feel like you’ve reached that point in your career when it’s time to impart knowledge on to the next generation?

PP: For me, I’ve always had that in mind. I come from an education background, so I’m a trained teacher aswell. I started in Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, all levels of education, so I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. I’ve always wanted to give back throughout my entire career. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing that. This was just the next step.

TGW: This may seem superficial, but back to your experience of the fashion industry in Melbourne, what was one of the biggest lessons that you learned while producing events for VAMFF and MSFW?

“Take every opportunity and see what comes with it. You don’t know how things are going to pan out. It may not do anything for you now, but you don’t know where it’s going to take you the next day, in five years, ten years down the track.”

PP: When I started first doing production stuff – there wasn’t a lot of real world experience – so one of the key initiatives I’ve put in place at Collarts is to have a live working studio with real clients, so from the time students start with us, to the time they leave us, they’ll work with real clients, getting that face to face time, real world projects that can actually go into their portfolios, that aren’t theoretical. Anyone who’s done a lot of design through school – you get a lot of briefs, and it looks fantastic in a portfolio, but when you leave and you present it, if you have real clients you can show and say, “This is what I’ve done”, it speaks so much more.

TGW: …as well as getting real feedback?

PP: Exactly.

Students ©letans collarts copy

TGW: How have you seen media consumption change in the past 10 years?

PP: Look, it’s taken huge turns over the last 10 years, especially when you consider the change in technology as well, things change every few months, if not, by the minute. I’ve seen it go from people reading hardbound publications to digital, to coming full circle – people wanting to come back to picking up books and magazines… wanting to hold it and feel it again.

“I think people’s consumptions have changed. They still want digital, they still want that digestible bit of information, but now they’re looking for something more… the in-depth side of it.”

TGW: Do you think long form reading is a lost art on most people? 

PP: I don’t think it’s a lost art. I think it’s just sitting in the background for the time being. Everything comes in waves. And I think now is that time when it’s still a little bit in the background. I mean nothing’s ever going to replace long form, because we can’t get our entire world to 140 characters.

TGW: Are you yourself a content skimmer?

PP: I do because I have to do it for work. So, I know how to pick up the highlights. I know where to read and how to read it quickly, but I do still love sitting down and reading the long form and holding a paper as well as an iPad, or a phone, or wherever it might be.

TGW: So you never stop reading, is what you’re telling me? How does great content work for brands and bands?

PP: That’s a really hard question to answer!

TGW: What do you think are the biggest benefits of great content?

PP: Great content, for me, has a purpose. It means doing something with an intention. So, it’s not just “hey we’re gonna put this picture up on our socials.” Why are we putting it up there? What are we going to give our audience? Do we want to give them a little snippet of the album that’s coming out? Do we really want to get them involved? Or do we just want to build some momentum for what’s happening? I think it has to have some sort of direction.

“Great content has a purpose. It means doing something with an intention… I think it has to have some sort of direction.”

TGW: Is your involvement with Collarts mainly skewed towards the music industry or is it broader than that?

PP: No. I want to have a broad spectrum approach. We’re meeting with industry to get all facets – straight corporate to fashion to food and music as well. We want to be across it all, because content isn’t only for one element.

TGW: Asides from real time client interaction during the course, what are some of the other big things that students can look forward to?

PP: I’m still in the process of finalising things, but it’s getting to work with new technologies. They come out every day. And it’s a digital course, primarily. We do look at traditional media as well but students will get to work with new stuff, get to play with it and have fun with what they’re doing. It’s not just theory and clients. It’s enjoying what you do, learning to love it. Learning a whole host of different things that’s not in a single direction.

TGW: It can actually be quite daunting to have so much information on tap. Not only can we reference physical, on hand materials, but we also have the “world wide web” at our disposal. How do you help support students in their research styles so that they don’t feel utterly overwhelmed? 

PP: Collarts has a really good approach as a whole, not just with content creation. We have critical thinking, critical survey, which immerses all our students in ways to critically analyse what’s out there, so that they’re really able to dissect the information and get down to the real meaning of what’s been put in front of them. And that goes across any degree and diploma that we offer.

“Collarts has a really good approach… We have critical thinking, critical survey, which immerses all our students in ways to critically analyse what’s out there, so that they’re really able to dissect the information, and get down to the real meaning of what’s been put in front of them. That goes across any degree and diploma that we offer.”

TGW: So I guess it would help if the applicants have a natural curiousity about them too. You can’t just hang back and expect everything to come to you.

PP: Coming from an education background, I think one of the biggest shocks for school leavers is that they are sometimes spoon fed in high school, whereas when they get to that university realm, you have to do it yourself… but we are there to nurture and support our students at the same time. We’re there to help them along as well, in any way we can.

TGW: When I worked at Shock Records many years ago, I remember that we had a single email address for the whole company. You had to put your name down on a waitlist to send a simple message. Soon after we upgraded from MS DOS to Windows. I think it was about 1998. When did you personally realise that it was in fact a digital age and that the internet was a pretty big deal?

PP: I think it was when I was about 16, when I got my first PC. I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in. This is going back to the late 1990s, so it was the emergence of the internet, things were just starting out and I never thought I would be this immersed in it, but it’s been a natural curiosity for me over the years. I love learning, I always like to learn, I never stop learning, and when I don’t know something, I’ll get lost in it – learn how it works so I can better understand and help others as well, even if it’s not my field. What I love about digital and the internet is that it’s accessible. It gives people access to information they didn’t have before. It connects people. I can connect to someone on the other side of the world and have a discussion with them about things that I’m interested in, that wouldn’t necessarily be found in a book in the library.  That’s what I love about the digital age.

Collarts studio copy
Collarts Studio

TGW: I mean you can relate it to music too. Once upon a time we had to go to Central Station Records and order an exported $80 version of some random hip hop album.

PP: Yeah like when I used to order my CDs from Sanity.

TGW: We’re no longer at the behest of that – we can stream whatever we like. But also with our news – we no longer have to be satisfied with A Current Affair or the nightly news, we have the ability to find information ourselves and make up our minds.

PP: Exactly, and in saying that as well, there’s a lot of information out there but the regulation of that information is also – you need to take it with a grain of salt – you don’t know – wherever this information is coming from – you need to look into the information yourself – and that’s where we go back to those critical ideas we talked about earlier, where we give students the ability to look at information and say, “Where does this come from?” “Is it from a viable source?”

TGW: What are you most looking forward to this year? 

PP: I’ve been looking forward to working with my students. I’ve been with Collarts for a little while now, getting things together, but I’m really ready to start getting involved and getting to know my content creation students, helping them find their own style, find their presence and their creative self, and helping them put that out there.

“I’ve been looking forward to working with my students. I’ve been with Collarts for a little while now, getting things together, but I’m really ready to start getting involved and getting to know my content creation students, helping them find their own style, find their presence and their creative self, and helping them put that out there.

TGW: And you’ve got your own publication at the same time. How are you going to juggle those?

PP: Laughs. Like any good creative, I will try my best.

TGW: Well, we have to teach ourselves to manage. I’ve got three sons and I manage to maintain this website. So, where there’s passion there’s a will.

PP: Exactly. As a fellow creative I think you completely understand that we always have multiple projects going and we can never really rest for long.

Applications open now for Bachelor of Arts in Music Production and Diploma of Arts in Content Creation. Courses commence end of May 2017. Apply now at


Now in its 8th year, with almost 500 students, Collarts’ education portfolio was extended in 2016 to include Entertainment Journalism, and will now add a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Production and Diploma in Content Creation. Collarts continues to further satisfy the need in the market for industry-focused, contemporary arts education and is a purveyor in the new and evolving creative and technological fields, making it one of the best education providers in a rapidly changing career landscape.

Collarts has quickly gained a reputation for delivering high quality, tertiary education, with a distinct commitment to always being at the forefront of contemporary culture and education, and being able to provide cutting-edge education in emerging sectors of creativity and technology. Its commitment to industry connection, agility, and cultural relevance makes it a popular choice over larger, less-agile universities.

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