Help Centre

IdeasTap is a big site with a lot of options - we know it can be a little overwhelming at first. We have a lot to offer, which means there’s a lot to squeeze in. This is intended as a simple guide to some of the key features of the site. If you click on any of the topics below you’ll be taken to the relevant part of the page for the details.

If you feel there’s anything we haven’t answered here, just drop us an email: info@ideastap.com.

Click any of the topics below for more info:


What is IdeasTap   Your Profile   Your Portfolio   Networking and finding people   Messaging and notifications

What is IdeasTap?


Your Profile


Your Portfolio


Networking and
finding people


Messaging and

Privacy and safety   Blogging   Briefs and funding   Jobs   Events

Privacy and safety




Briefs and funding





Groups   IdeasMag   Partners   The Spa   Education












IdeasTap is a charity that supports creative people through opportunitiesfundingarts jobs and career development.

We're also a thriving community with more than 150,000 members. It’s free to join and only takes about two minutes to sign up.

You can find out more about us – including our history, meet the team behind the site and check out some of the IdeasTap alumni we’ve supported with our funds and briefs in the past – in the About us section.


Who is it for?

IdeasTap was set up to help young people starting out in their creative careers. As a result, some of our funding and opportunities are age-restricted but increasingly, many have no age restrictions at all.

IdeasTap is aimed at creative people aged 16 and over. We do not pre-moderate content uploaded by our members, and as a website that promotes and supports innovative, risk-taking art, some of the content in member portfolios will inevitably explore adult themes. Provided that we believe the work is artistically justifiable, we do not censor or delete such work. However, any work we come across that cannot be artistically justified – at the sole discretion of IdeasTap management – will be removed.

If you discover content that you find objectionable, please use the report buttons that exist on every piece of member content to tell us about it, or email info@ideastap.com, and we will decide whether to remove it or not.


Am I too old for IdeasTap?

People often contact us to point out that just because they hit 31, it doesn’t mean they suddenly stop needing help – many people come to the arts later in life. We’re very aware of this, but as a charity we were specifically set up to help young people, which is why some of our opportunities focus on specific age groups – although, increasingly, many do not. 

IdeasTap has much to offer older users. For a start, we’re a network of more than 150,000 creative people, the vast majority based in the UK. You can use IdeasTap to find talented people of all ages to work with by browsing through portfolios and using our Search and Collaborators tools.

Whatever your age, IdeasTap is a great place to build up a profile and portfolio so potential employers can find out more about you. Use the personal URL function if you want to add your IdeasTap profile to your CV. 

There are also huge numbers of opportunities that aren’t age-limited, from The IdeasTap Photographic Award with Magnum Photos to The Columnist, The Editor's Brief to Mastering Shakespeare with the RSC. We also hope the articles and videos we publish in IdeasMag are of interest to people of all ages. And of course our jobs section is packed with openings for people with varying levels of experience.

Finally, IdeasTap is a community of thousands of very knowledgeable, talented people. We hope that some of our more experienced users will want to share what they’ve learned with the less experienced. That’s what our Forums are for.

Find out more about us.


Your IdeasTap profile is where you promote yourself – it’s where you show off your work, explain who you are and what you do. IdeasTap is a professional network, so it’s not about your personal life – you’re representing yourself as a creative professional, so your profile is like an online CV but with a lot more personality.

Think carefully about what you want potential employers and collaborators to see – check out the Privacy section for how to control who can see what. You decide what’s public and what’s private. 

You can include as much or as little information as you like, but we’d suggest at least having a profile picture, setting your disciplines, including a link to any external websites you might have (personal website, blog, Twitter, Spotlight profile etc) and include a few sentences outlining who you are and some of your professional experience. That should be enough to give people an idea of what you’re capable of. Avoid displaying personal details like address, phone number and email address.


How do I create a short URL for my profile?

If you want a nice, short URL for your IdeasTap profile to include on your CV, business card or in marketing materials, just go to Settings and select the Personal URL tab. Choose a name that hasn’t already been selected and you’ll have a personal URL that looks something like this: www.ideastap.com/people/james (that’s our Editor, so unfortunately “James” is already taken). 

Beware! Once you’ve set this, it can’t be changed – so think carefully and watch out for any typos…


My profile photo looks squashed on some pages! How can I fix it?

You may have noticed that your profile photo looks fine on your IdeasTap profile page, but looks squashed in other places across the site. This is because a square version of your image is automatically created by the system. If the original isn’t already square then this effectively squashes or stretches your pic. No, those aren’t technical terms.

It’s easily fixed. Just go into Settings and select the Profile Image tab. Hit Edit thumbnail and you’ll be able to create a square version of your profile photo. Once you’ve done this and saved it, you’ll still see the full, uncropped version on your profile page, but your square version will now appear in search results – or wherever a square version is needed by the system.


What are disciplines – and how do I add them?

Disciplines are what you do – or hope to do – for a living. They’re important because they make it easy for people to find you and they ensure you won't miss relevant briefs, articles and jobs. Anyone can use our Search page or Collaborators tool and look for people by discipline – so if you’re a photographer but don’t set that as one of your disciplines, people searching for photographers won’t find you. Find out more about how to look for people on IdeasTap.

We only allow people to select up to three disciplines – this is to ensure people think hard about what their primary areas of work are so that search results are as relevant as possible. 

If your discipline isn’t one of the options, let us know. If we get enough people asking for it, we’ll add it to the list – email info@ideastap.com.


Why can’t I add more than 1,000 people to my network?

For the time being, we’ve set a network cap at 1,000, but when enough people hit this we will look at extending it. Let us know if it’s a problem for you by emailing info@ideastap.com.


How do I delete comments on my profile?

Don’t like something someone’s written on your profile (or on an item in your portfolio)? Don’t worry, you can easily get rid of it. If you’re logged in to the site, you should see a Delete option below the offending comment. There’s also a Report option – if you feel uncomfortable about the way another member is behaving or about a piece of content on the site, use this tool to let us know straight away. Find out more about Privacy and safety on IdeasTap.


What are Activity Points?

You build up Activity Points as you use the site, particularly if you use it to promote yourself and your work. We have a small number of opportunities where a minimum number of points are required to apply – our quarterly Intern brief, for example, and to join our Editorial Board. For certain opportunities this helps us to select people who understand how IdeasTap works, if we feel that’s relevant. But for all members, Activity Points push you up the search listings - the results are ordered by the most active people. 

For some members they simply introduce a gameplay element to the site – and it turns out some of our users are very competitive…

Find out more about Activity Points.

If you have an IdeasTap profile then you have an IdeasTap portfolio. This is a really important part of the site because IdeasTap is all about promoting yourself through the quality of your work. Your portfolio is where you show that work off to employers and potential collaborators

Porftolios are traditionally associated with photography and design, but we want to change that. We think actors, dancers, producers and a whole load of other creative people can benefit from gathering, organising and presenting a record of their best work together in one place online. 


How do I create a portfolio?

Easy. Just go to your profile page (log in then click Your Profile in the top navigation, or just click on your name at the very top of the page). There you’ll see a link marked Create your portfolio – just click on that and follow the instructions.


What sort of work should I upload?

You can upload images and text documents or embed videos, audio or flash files from sites like YouTube and SoundCloud. Ultimately, it’s up to you – but you should upload anything that can tell a potential employer or collaborator more about you and what you’ve done.








What is “Presentation view”?

There are two ways of viewing your IdeasTap portfolio. Profile view is when you look at it within your profile. You can see comments in this view, likes etc – plus all the other profile stuff (like navigation, your network, collaborators etc). This is how people can easily interact with your work – but it means your work is surrounded by lots of distractions.

That’s why we created Presentation View. If you click on the Presentation View icon on your profile page, it will take you to a stripped-back version of your portfolio where your work appears on a simple black background without any other profile information visible.

It’s a bit like an online gallery. We’d recommend sending this version of your portfolio out to employers.

What is a “Set”?

Sets enable you to organise and order the work in your portfolio. You can create as many sets as you like. Sets are a good way of making sense of your content. Some people might create one set for their video work and another for their photography. Others might use a separate set for each production they’ve been involved in. And some might break their work down by genre – poetry, journalism and short stories, for example.


How can I change the order of items in my portfolio?

You can change the order of sets within your portfolio and you can change the order of individual pieces of work within each set. Just look out for the Shift priority buttons. Please note, you can only do this in Profile view, not in Presentation view.

More than 150,000 creative people have already signed up to IdeasTap – so it’s a great place to find people to work with. To help you find them, we’ve created a few tools…

How can I find people – and how can people find me?

Your first port of call should be our Search page. Here you can filter by People from the list of options on the left, then refine your search by location (eg Greater London or North West), by discipline (eg photographer or actor) and by interests (eg performing arts or writing and publishing). It’s a pretty powerful tool.

You can chuck in a search term for good measure as well. For example, if you’re looking for a particular person and you know they’re called Tom, that they’re a photographer and they’re based in Scotland, you can combine all of these elements to find them.

In addition, we have the Your Collaborators tool within your profile. This recommends people to you based on their disciplines and availability. There are two sides to it – people you’re looking for and people who are looking for you.

To look for people, go to your profile and click on Your Collaborators from the list of options underneath your profile photo. Select Edit Criteria and choose the discipline you need to find.

Select the relevant location and if there’s a particular date you need them on, add this. Save your settings and you’ll be presented with a list of suitable people.

The other tab on this page, marked Looking for you, is where you see IdeasTap members who are looking for people with your skills, location and availability. This is based on your disciplines, so if you haven’t set these, go to your Settings and choose up to three ­– otherwise people won’t be able to find you. 

Finally, you can also look for other IdeasTap members on our People page. As well as the usual discipline/interest/region filters, you can also search alphabetically and by Activity Points. Activity points can help you to find people who are regular users of IdeasTap.


How do I add people to my network?

Just go to their profile page and click the Add to network button under their profile photo. This will send them an email to let them know you’ve asked to join their network.

You can remove people from your network by visiting their profile and clicking Remove as contact underneath their profile photo – or go to the Network page within your own profile and click on the red cross next to their name.

How do I accept invitations?

Just go to your profile page (log in and either click on Your Profile in the top navigation or click on your name right at the top of the page). You’ll find a list of all the invitations you’ve received that you haven’t responded to yet.


What’s the difference between a message and a notification?

Your inbox can be filtered by messages and notifications. Messages come from people in your IdeasTap network. Notifications come from groups you’re a member of, events you’re invited to and briefs you’re following. 

We have limited server capacity, so IdeasTap inboxes are limited to 30 messages and 30 notifications. Once you hit 30 messages your oldest messages will start disappearing from your inbox as new ones arrive and replace them – and the same is true of notifications. Notifications will only replace notifications and messages will only replace messages. 

When you sign up to IdeasTap the default setting is for you to receive copies of messages and notifications to your designated email account. That way you’ll have copies stored forever, no matter how many new messages you receive. However, if you don’t want to receive these emails, you can stop them – find out how.


How do I send messages?

You can private message other members on IdeasTap in two ways. If you’ve already added someone to your IdeasTap network then just go to your Inbox, compose a new message and start typing their username.

Alternatively you can go to that person’s IdeasTap profile and click Message this person underneath their profile photo. You can also message people who aren’t in your network this way. Find out how to block specific people from being able to message you.


How can I control what gets sent to my email account?

Easy. Just log in and go to ideastap.com/Inbox/Settings or look for the inbox con at the top of the page.

Here you can decide exactly what you’d like to be sent to your designated email address: all messages, personal messages only, notifications only or no notifications or personal messages at all. It’s up to you. 

One of the downsides to turning notifications off is that if someone leaves a comment on an item in your portfolio or on your profile, you won’t know about it.

If you want to change the email address your IdeasTap messages are sent to, just go to Settings, update your email address and hit Save at the bottom of the page. You’ll need to use the new email address to log in to the site once you’ve done this.


We take the safety and privacy of our members extremely seriously, which is why we offer lots of options – and default to tighter security for our younger members.

Who can see my profile?

It’s up to you.  Go to Settings and click on the Privacy tab. Under Profile visibility you can control who can see your profile. This is a blanket setting that overrides any other selections you make within the privacy tab. The options are broken down into:

- Can be seen by anyone – this means it’s totally public. Your profile and portfolio can be seen by anyone who visits the site, whether they’re logged in or not. Employers, potential collaborators (etc) will be able to see your profile and portfolio without having to sign up to the site, so you have a much better chance of being “found”.

This is the default setting for our over-18 members because IdeasTap is about your public, professional profile. But think carefully about what information you want to share with the world – we recommend you keep your email, phone number and address private, for example.

- Can only be seen by IdeasTap-registered members – this means people will only be able to see your profile and portfolio if they’re logged in to IdeasTap. 

- Can only be seen by people in my network – this means people can only see your profile and portfolio if they’re logged-in members of IdeasTap AND you’ve accepted them into your network. If you don’t accept anyone into your network, no one will be able to see your profile. Find out how to add people to your network (and get rid of them).

- Private – this is only an option for our under-18 members, but it means that no one else can see your profile, apart from IdeasTap staff. You will not appear in search results and no one will be able to add you to their network.


How can I control what information can be seen on my profile? (email address, real name etc)?

In addition to the blanket setting above, you can also choose whether to make individual pieces of information public or private. So you’ve chosen who can see your profile – now you can select what information you want those people to be able to see. 

For example, if your overall profile visibility setting is Can be seen by anyone then anyone can visit your profile page. However, by using the individual privacy controls you can make specific pieces of information private – such as your email address, age, location, portfolio content – or anything else you don’t want in the public domain.

To do this, just go to Settings and then select the Privacy tab. Tick what you want to be visible, untick what you want to remain private.


How can I stop another user from messaging me or commenting on my profile or portfolio?

Just go to their profile and underneath their name you’ll see an option to Block this person – click this and they won’t be able to message you or comment on your profile or portfolio. If you change your mind, you can unblock them with the click of a mouse.


How can I report illegal or inappropriate content?

On all items of portfolio content, user profiles, blog posts, forum posts, comments, groups and events there’s a Report button. You don’t have to be logged in to report a piece of content. Reports are sent to IdeasTap administrators who will look at it as soon as they receive it within normal working hours (Monday to Friday, 9am-5.30pm). There is also a link to our Safety page, which outlines how you can report it to the police. 

For more information about safety and privacy on IdeasTap, and for contact details for CEOP and the police, visit our Safety page.


If you’re an IdeasTap member then you have a blog ready and waiting for you to use – if you want to. You can use it to share your thoughts and opinions with the rest of the IdeasTap community – or use it for something more specific, like offering regular updates on the progress of a creative project you’re working on.


How can I create a blog?

Go to your profile and underneath your photo click Post to your blog. Simple. You can add text or embed videos and images.


How do I embed photos and videos?

You can’t paste images directly into your blog – the image has to be hosted somewhere online and you need the URL. Wondering where you can host an image? Just upload it to your IdeasTap portfolio. Then right mouse click [command click if you’re using a Mac] on the image in your portfolio, select Copy Image URL and paste it into the Image uploader on your blog – look out for this icon.

For videos, if it’s hosted on Vimeo or YouTube you can copy the embed code, then paste it into your blog using the embed tool – look for this icon.


What are Briefs?

Briefs are where you’ll find all of our arts funding and creative opportunities. A brief can be anything from one of our Ideas Funds to Sky Arts Futures Fund, the IdeasTap Photographic Award to our quarterly Editor’s Brief.

 To find out more about some of the restrictions on our briefs, read our general brief terms and conditions.

What is the Ideas Fund?

The Ideas Fund is our arts funding scheme for IdeasTap members. Every year we give out more than £150,000 in direct funding to support our members’ creative projects. They’re broken down into: 

  • Ideas Fund Innovators – This fund is open all year-round with quarterly deadlines. Four times a year we give £500 to 20 winning projects.
  • Ideas Fund Shorts – eight awards of £5,000 for short film projects.
  • Ideas Fund Edinburgh – funding and mentoring for companies planning to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe.
  • Top Up Fund – 20 awards of £500 for projects from any discipline. This fund is managed and judged exclusively by IdeasTap members.

Read our article outlining some of the common mistakes people make when applying to the Ideas Fund.  

How do I apply?

First of all you need to be a signed up member of IdeasTap to apply for any of our briefs. Don’t worry, it’s free to join and only takes a couple of minutes. Then, find a brief you’re interested in. On each brief there’s a How to respond tab towards the top of the page. Just follow the instructions and you’re off. 

You can apply for (and win) as many briefs as you like. A word of warning, though: boring though it may be, read all of the small print. If there’s an application form, fill it out fully. If there are Terms & Conditions, download them and read them. Applications that don’t meet the criteria for a particular brief will be ineligible. 

Finally, don’t leave your application to the last minute. If you have a technical issue with the site or don’t understand one of the questions on the application form and you tell us about it on the day the brief closes, we may not be able to help you because of the volume of emails we receive. We will not accept applications by email, post or any other method if you are unable to upload your application to the site – even if you encounter technical difficulties.


Why do I need a profile photo to be eligible?

When we promote our fund winners, we want to show them off to the world. A greyed-out silhouette doesn’t represent you – or our site – very well. However, it doesn’t have to be a photo of you – it can be any image that you feel represents you or your work. And don’t worry, you won’t be judged on the quality of your profile image. 

We also strongly encourage users to upload supporting material to their portfolios – this helps to give us an idea of your previous work. With some briefs this is compulsory.


Who judges them?

It varies. Smaller briefs are judged by the IdeasTap team, but our funds and major briefs are always judged by a panel of industry experts, IdeasTap members and IdeasTap staff. A new judging panel is created for each new fund or major brief to ensure relevant expertise. Read more about our judging process


Will I get personal feedback if I’m unsuccessful?

Unfortunately not. We receive hundreds of applications for our briefs every month, and thousands each year. As a small charity we simply don’t have the staff to be able to offer personal feedback to all applicants, much as we would like to. Wherever possible we do offer feedback to shortlisted candidates who don’t make the final cut. 


Staging a show? Putting on an exhibition? Tell the IdeasTap community about it! We have a bulging calendar of member activity in our Events section, which you can find within Networks – it’s waiting for you to add to it.

How do I create an event?

You can do this in two places – on your profile, click on Create an event underneath your profile photo, or on the Events homepage, click on (you guessed it) Create an event. Choose a name, select dates, upload an image and fill out as many of the fields as possible – hey presto, you’ve created an event that has been automatically added to our Events calendar. Now you just need to invite some people.


So how do I invite people?

On your event page, there’s an option to the left of the page underneath the image to invite people. Just click on this. You can either invite people from your IdeasTap network individually, the whole lot at once – or add email addresses separated by commas if you want to tell people about it who aren’t signed up to the site.

How do I message the people I’ve invited?

 You can do this in two places: in your Inbox, select Compose and then select Notification, and from the drop-down menu, choose the relevant event and start typing. 

However, if you go to the event page itself, you’ll get a few more options. Click on Compose a message and you’ll be able to choose whether you want to message people who’ve said they are attending, may be attending, haven’t responded – or all of the above. The only people you can’t message are people who have said no. 


What are groups for?

Groups are all about collaboration. Some people create groups for a project they’re working on, so they can draw together all the people involved to communicate and share content. Others create groups to help publicise a project and build an audience. Some groups gather like-minded people together to meet and share advice and contacts. 

One of the key advantages of groups is that while you can only message up to 20 members of your IdeasTap network at a time (to prevent spamming), with groups you can message all of your group’s members at once, no matter how many people have joined.


How do I create a group?

As with Events, you can create a group on your profile page or on the Groups page. Just click on Create a group.

Give it a name, upload an image, fill in the various fields and you’re off. Now you just need to round up a few people to join.


How do I message the members of my group?

Groups work much like events – you can send a message to all the members of your group from your profile or from the group page itself. On your profile, go to your Inbox and compose a new message, then select Notification. This will bring up a drop-down menu where you can select the relevant group. 

Alternatively you can send a message from the group itself – just click on Compose a message beneath the group image.


How can I add to a group’s portfolio?

Adding content to a group portfolio works in the same way as adding to your own personal portfolio. Just click on Add to portfolio underneath the group image and you’ll be taken to the upload page where you can add images, documents, videos, audio files, Flickr and Picasa RSS feeds and Flash.


Who can add to a group portfolio?

It depends. Each group’s creator can choose whether they want other members of their group to be able to upload work or not. If they’re happy for members to add content then just join the group and click Add to portfolio underneath the group image.

If they don’t want anyone else to add to the portfolio then you simply won’t see this option. 

Of course, if you set up your own group then you’re the boss and you make the rules.


IdeasMag is our online magazine, where we write about some of the most interesting, inspiring people working in the creative industries, offer practical how-to guides and highlight what our members are up to. There are also regular columns and updates on the latest projects, productions and exhibitions from our partner organisations – you’ll hear it here first.

How can I contribute?

The articles in IdeasMag are written by IdeasTap staff and an army of freelancers. Nearly all our freelancers are IdeasTap members and we like to give lots of our members a chance to contribute. Got an idea for a piece? Pitch it to us by emailing ideasmag@ideastap.com. If we like it, we’ll commission it. We're primarily looking for interviews with major figures in the arts and creative industries. 


Our jobs section is one of the most popular areas of IdeasTap. We cherry-pick creative industry jobs from all over the internet to bring our members the best, most relevant positions. If you’ve got a job you’d like to advertise on IdeasTap, just fill out the simple form at ideastap.com/uploadjob – we don’t charge, but we do reserve the right to say no if we don’t think it’s right for our members.

You can search for jobs by interest (eg performing arts, photography, marketing etc), by salary band and by job type (full-time, freelance etc).


We’re honoured to be partnered with some fantastic arts organisations – National Theatre, Magnum Photos, Mother London, National Youth Theatre, The Lowry, mac birmingham, National Student Drama Festival and the BFI, to name just a handful. And we’re in the process of signing up more…

If you heard about us through one of our partners, when you sign up to the site make sure you select them from the "Where did you hear of us” drop-down menu. That way they can communicate with you – and it enables us to send you relevant content.

Why do you have partner organisations?

We work with our partners to bring IdeasTap members some pretty incredible exclusive opportunities – from the IdeasTap Photographic Award with Magnum Photos to Mastering Shakespeare with the RSC, opportunities to perform in Shanghai and Dubai with the National Youth Theatre to the National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough. These are all opportunities open only to IdeasTap members. We’re constantly looking for more organisations to work with so that we can create new briefs for our members. If you’d be interested in working with us, contact amanda@ideastap.com.


The Spa is our careers service, a programme of professional development events. We offer talks from industry professionals, one-to-one CV advice from experts, workshops, portfolio reviews, seminars – and more. Many of these events happen at our London HQ, the Woolyard, but we also take The Spa on the road across the country with our partners, and many Spas are held online. Nearly all of our events are free.


How can I get involved/book my place?

You don’t have to win anything to attend – places are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. If you sign up to our Spa group you’ll be the first to hear about new events as they become available. Then it’s just a case of clicking on the event you like on the Spa page and booking your slot.


We’ve created an education hub page for teachers: www.ideastap.com/education. This contains a wealth of information for educators – and students. From teaching resources to employment opportunities, funding to advice, we draw together relevant materials from IdeasTap and our partner organisations.


Ok, time for a sit down and a cup of tea after that lot. But if you feel we’ve missed anything, just drop an email to info@ideastap.com