The 5 Things Every Creative Should Know…
1. Know what you can do
Do you know what you’re good at? Well if you do, it’s not enough to just know - you need to know how to exploit that skill to your advantage. It’s frustrating to meet an individual who is evidently talented and intelligent but does not have the slightest clue on what to do with their talents. Are you a confident person who enjoys public speaking? Then have you ever thought about being a motivational speaker? Or do you have a unique and interesting writing style that people enjoy reading? Then why not explore journalism or screenwriting? Whatever it is, find out how you can exploit your skills because the most successful people are not always the most talented ones but the ones who knew how to use their talents.
2. Know what you don’t know
Being aware of what you don’t know is just as important as knowing your skills and strengths. It reminds you that what you know is very little compared to what is left still to learn, so know when to pipe down and keep an open mind as you never know who you can learn what from. As a creative, it is important to know how others see the world and it’s more interesting to try and understand someone else’s perspective, even if you disagree. As they say, you’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason so start listening and let your art do the talking.
3. Why you’re doing what you’re doing
If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing then why are you doing it in the first place? Whether you’re making a film or writing creative copy, it is important to know why you’re doing it, as people buy into the ‘why’ not ‘what’. Be sincere about your reasons for doing something because people can see right through it. If you had the same geeky excitement as me for creating new things, the same love for art and the same enthusiasm to make the things you want to see in the world around you, then I would be able to see that. So make sure you know ‘why’ because even in a job interview, it is clear when you meet someone who knows why they’re doing what they’re doing as it shows in their conviction and passion.
4. Gambling is good
Okay I can explain – taking a gamble on yourself is good because face it if you don’t, then don’t expect anyone else to take any chances on you. As a recent graduate it can get really tough and frustrating at times when you see your friends around you in grad schemes or in full time jobs getting a nice monthly salary and you’re still struggling to get your foot in the door. You might start doubting your ambitions, even worse - you might start doubting yourself. At times like this give yourself the benefit of the doubt – ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? It might take you longer to buy that luxury car or you might have to give up on a few holidays. Now, ask yourself what’s the best that can happen? You have a chance to write for that magazine you’ve always wanted to or you get to be a part of a creative new start up that’s the next big thing. If the best-case scenario outweighs the worst, then surely it’s a risk worth taking?
5. Wait for it…Be yourself!
Yeah you’ve heard this one before and it sounds like a cheesy line out of a Hollywood blockbuster but the reason why you hear this often is because it’s true and even more so in the creative industries. People hire you for your thoughts, your ideas and your perspective on the world. A good movie example of this is Mr Quentin Tarantino – you may have seen hundreds of war movies but when he decided to make ‘Inglorious Basterds’ there was still a great curiosity to know what a war film by Tarantino would be like. As a creative looking for employment or interested in starting a business in a competitive industry it is important to differentiate yourself, so forget about what the guy before you did and what the guy after you might do, just believe that you have something unique and worthwhile to offer this world.