Finding your feet as a creative
Contributed by Neleisha Weerasinghe.
The creative industry is not an easy one to be in, with many people trying to justify the relevance of one. So, if you are embarking on a creative career or are mid-way through, here are some useful insights to keep you focused on your goals.
People will more often than not try to steer you off course, by saying things like ‘art will not pay the bills’, or ‘you are living in a dream world’. But always stay true to yourself and the vision you have for your creative endeavors, no matter how challenging it may prove to be.
Don’t think you are a failure
Often you may find creative jobs hard to come by. After completing your degree, you may find yourself at a loss to find work in the field that you have studied – art, architecture, design etc. You may have to take odd jobs to pay the bills and work in areas that are out of your career scope but bear in mind that all these curve balls at the start of your career are par for the course and build you up with a variety of skills which you can transfer to many other areas of your life and creative career later on. So don’t count those beginning years as failure or compare yourself to your peers. Remind yourself that a career in a particular field is not a one stop journey, it is a continuous learning process and the path is different for everyone. There is no real deadline, you keep growing.
Studying in a particular field can be very alienating, especially if you are following your degree or further studies abroad in a foreign country. Therefore, it is important to join legitimate groups that consist of like-minded individuals. Mentors are very important regardless of where you are in your career, they help you in many ways to stay within your creative focus and when the time is right, don’t be afraid to be a mentor yourself.
Pace it out – it’s not a race
There will be times when you feel like you are falling behind and not achieving as much as you would have liked to, keep in mind it is not a race but a marathon so pace yourself for the long haul and do set aside time for personal wellbeing.
It’s okay to have wider interests
It is perfectly legitimate to have diverse professional interests. Don’t put limits on yourself, if you studied design, it does not mean you can’t take up writing if that interests you too. Follow your heart and do what you love. Who knows, down the road you may work in design or architecture and write songs or poetry during the weekends! There are many artists who successfully straddle two professions and/or interests.
What are some of the insights you have learned on your creative journey? Do share them with us below.
“And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance.”