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Understanding The Implications Of Pursuing A Creative Career Path

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There’s almost nothing more exciting than the idea of making money doing what you love. Of course, for some people, the money provided is more of a nice metric that keeps them going, rather than the purpose for why they work. Some people, especially those in creative industries, are in love with their craft, and are willing to eschew impressive reimbursement if it means working in the spaces that they love.

As many creatives know, sometimes the desire to be innovative and original is not always the most revenue-generating approach, and so it’s important that would-be artists, creatives, and designers know exactly what they’re getting into before they decide on a particular career path.

Of course, this isn’t to say that the effort is redundant or that you’ll be afforded worse working conditions than any other career. That is simply not true. But while creative passion can burn bright it’s important to note the realisms of exactly what to expect in this space, how you can mediate the need to learn proper career skills in order to maximize your potential creative prowess, and from there, how both of these efforts can only fuel the fire of your creative ambition.

Well, that’s a lot to chew on. Without further ado, let’s begin:

Educational Possibilities

Like with any career path, creative professionals benefit from a solid education. Taking on worthwhile multi-stage courses from the Think Tank Training Centre, for instance, can be a fantastic means of gaining a foothold in a competitive field, where access to expensive software and learning the hard lessons easily can benefit you from now into the future.

Educational possibilities also include interning for certain firms, applying for apprenticeships in certain areas, or even volunteering. For instance, those attending film schools will often volunteer to work on student projects run by students taking on advanced degrees, even if that just means driving equipment, helping to make coffees, and organizing the traffic on set. This kind of valuable experience can be second to none.

Taking accredited courses can be a major help. Some online courses can also help, as can the online tutorials provided to you by certain creative professionals looking to build their brand. If you wanted to learn how to interface with Photoshop, for instance, there are many excellent basic to advanced guides online you can watch for free. This takes initiative and self-discipline, but it can be done.

Never balk at education as a creative. As original thinkers, it’s very easy for us to think that we have all the insight and that our way of doing things is best. Yet it’s important to remember that we need to know and learn the rules, be that for filmmaking, art, or composition – before we deign to break them.

Developing & Monetizing A Craft & Skill

Pursuing a creative career path must be thought of in terms of developing a skill and a craft. This will be the marketable good that turns inspiration and creative insight into something tangible. For instance, you may be great at digital illustration. But can you work within a variety of formats, such as poster work, graphic design, and working for online mediums such as creating YouTube thumbnails for creators?

Think about the very many disciplines of your craft and skill and what permutations they may take. To use another example, it might be that you love to write. Your creative writing is regularly entered into competitions, and you really care about developing authentic character. However – are you aware of how to copyright for marketing firms? Can you do that within an SEO (search engine optimization) context? How about writing press releases, or infographics? 

Just as no craftsman will only focus on one particular form of craft, it’s important to widen your retinue to increase the likelihood of monetizing your talent – at least until your primary dreams are realized.

There’s almost nothing more exciting than the idea of making money doing what you love. Of course, for some people, the money provided is more of a nice metric that keeps them going, rather than the purpose for why they work.Click To Tweet

Figuring Out Creative Career Options

Creative careers can often seem befuddling in that it’s never really guaranteed what kind of work you may or may not fall into. For instance, an actor may find themselves working on a soap series, or they may find themselves used in advertisements, or crime recreations, or voice acting work.

Understanding the possible specialisms can help you more directly focus on a chosen field of study, raising your particular skillset while developing your craft as explored above. If you’re in love with textiles, might it be that you could run an Etsy store, or make alterations to clothes that are sent to you? 

Remember – teaching is always an option too. Guitar teachers, graphic design tutors, directing and acting coaches, all of this makes a tremendous difference in output.

Keep your options open, and never turn your nose up at an opportunity to get yourself out there and let your work speak for itself.

Dealing With Clients

One of the main skills that creative professionals need to learn is how to work with clients. For instance, it might be that you’re running a small graphic design outfit, making posters and digital material for small businesses.

You will need to work within a brief laid out by clients hiring you to do a job. In some cases, these clients may not be entirely sure about what they want or how to ask for it. Sometimes, they may need to be told in no uncertain terms that their demands are unfair, or that their communication needs to be a little more forthcoming. 

Interpersonal skills that help you deliver on projects, document your communication, log every hour you work, and update based on the progress of such projects are essential to develop. This takes a savvy professional willing to be patient and professional no matter what occurs, and ready to solve disputes should they arise.

Personal Vs. Professional Work

As a creative, it’s healthy to draw a comfortable line between your personal and professional work. Keeping a love for the craft alive is a fantastic place to start.

In some cases, your personal work may aid you in the latter specialisms, such as learning a new creative software project from Adobe. It’s not uncommon that we hear stories of gamers developing modifications for video games ultimately being hired by the company in question, as they have already shown their prowess using those digital tools and working with ambition. 

In some cases, this personal work is a labor of love, but it can make a major difference in terms of your tangential understanding of the craft, your ability to network, and how you solidify the lessons of both sides.

Gig-Based Work

Gig-based work is a worthwhile consideration to make when it comes to practicing your creative potential. For instance, taking on clients as a freelancer can help you keep your day varied, working on one at a time to make sure everything is completed as appropriate.

Alternatively, you may decide to work for an agency in order to keep things convenient. To use an example, working for an SEO firm as a copywriter can give you the chance of working with a range of client briefs. This can offer the best training wheels possible for getting your start in such a field.

Of course, depending on what your creative skills are, your work can differ dramatically. It’s not uncommon for amateur musicians to take on gigs at open mics or pubs in order to be paid for an evening and to spread their work a little more. Ultimately you get to decide the degree to which gig-based work is suitable, and how you’ll go about acquiring or accepting it. 

A Personal Brand & Portfolio

It’s a good idea to work on your personal brand and a portfolio to get started. A healthy website can be a great place to start, usually with a domain name with your brand or identifier, and the craft you have on offer. For instance, a voice actor’s website might be labelled “” and host several audio clips of professional work undertaken in the past.

Here you can also list your work stipulations, projects you’ve worked on in the past, testimonials, availabilities, and contact information. Getting into the headspace of designing such a platform will help you become more confident in “selling yourself” as it were, and in putting yourself forward for auditions or other positions that may be worthwhile.

Working Conditions

It’s important to remember to demand appropriate working conditions when it comes to pursuing a creative career path. Some industries are still rather new, such as the video game industry, and reports of crunch work and limited pay can sometimes plague even the big companies.

As such, growing unionization efforts and the need to support initiatives within the creative space ultimately ensures that salaried creative workers are given a fair shake and that they shape the future of the industry for new people coming in. Doing that which we can to aid in this way will only sustain the future of such an endeavor. 

With this advice, we hope you can more easily understand the implications of pursuing a creative career path – allowing you to get started with gusto.

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