There are very few things in this world that feel as gratifying as working the job you like. If you consider yourself a creative person, here’s some good news – the time for making a living by pursuing your passion has never been better. Niche markets have finally got their voice and exposure, the options for networking are virtually limitless, and online assets made shameless self-promotion considerably easier.
But, these fortunate circumstances are only that – circumstances. If you want to make a presence in your industry of choice, you need to know how to use them to channel your creativity.
Be ready to compromise
No matter whether you are an ambitious screenwriter, fashion designer or aspiring architect, you need to be aware that your ideas will not be understood by everyone. In order to get a wide commercial release, you will need to adapt your concepts for the tastes of masses. Or at least what people who make financial decisions consider the taste of masses. As soon as you build a reputation, though, you will be in a position to leverage your clout for more creative freedom.
Find your niche
Finding a specific corner of your industry where you will be able to thrive can be of great advantage at the early stages of your career. First, you will avoid direct confrontation with artists and companies who are much better equipped to deal with large-scale projects than you. Second, by focusing on the specific needs of the specific market, you will be in a position to focus your efforts and further develop your skills. This experience will prove to be of much value once you decide it’s time to branch out.
Use every opportunity for networking
In creative industries, your success often does not depend on how good you are but how many people you know. What you should do then is look at this as an opportunity and expand your professional network as wide as possible. The options are endless. For instance, if you are building a career in the fashion industry, attending a renowned school like The Master Institute of Creative Education will, among other things, help you establish early connections with future industry leaders.
Let the needs direct your career
Creative markets are in a constant state of flux. The only way to achieve a lasting presence in such a world is to accept it as a fact and do your best to ride the wave. In other words, keep track of the things that are currently in demand, and adapt your skills to the current job offer. The time will come to showcase your true strengths. Just look at all the directors that have recently started with low-budget horror flicks and quickly made the shift to mainstream blockbuster movies.
Keep the focus on the customer
This important prerequisite is important as it’s overlooked. Every product you make is, ultimately, aimed at some customer who is going to use it in one way or another. The strength of the product will largely depend on your ability to recognize those needs and channel your creativity around them. Sometimes, these requirements will be easily identified through interviews. Other times, you will need to research the pulse of the market. In either of these cases, always keep the focus on the customer.
Be prepare to work hard
Working in a creative industry doesn’t mean you will be spared of the actual labor. On the contrary, coming to the point where you will put on your first exhibition or be hired on some major project will require a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and tough times where you will earn barely enough to cover basic living expenses. All these things are perfectly fine and make an integral part of almost any career. But still, the awareness of future obstacles is the first step in overcoming them.
Accept feedback and move on
Last but not least, working as a creative artist often means working alone. This sense of isolation can make you a bit overprotective regarding your work and a very tough team player once you move on to collaborative projects. So, try to make yourself open to critique as much as possible. Once you are delivered negative feedback, don’t argue with a client or a manager – instead, try to understand the others’ perspective and use this insight as a creative engine rather than a roadblock.
We hope these few tips will help you successfully navigate your first years in the creative industry. Making money off your creativity is probably one of the best career choices you could make. But reaching the point when your work will be truly valued and sought out requires a lot of effort and a couple of smart decisions. We are here to take care of the latter. The first requirement is entirely in your hands.