Let's face it, no-one works in the creative industry unless they really want to. The bar is set far too high for the casual creative. It has to be a labour of love, fuelled by passion and desire to create. So when we get to be creative for a living, there are certain qualities we must learn if we want to stand a chance of staying at our post. There are many others who are just as eager as you are to have the job that you do, so when it comes to keeping it, we have to demonstrate that we're worth-while. Here are some things we can do to ensure that the boss, or your client base, knows that you mean business and are worth keeping around.
Be Prepared To Change Everything
The data never lies when it's gathered properly so listen to it. The client or the manager is your guiding light, so listen to them. When we're faced with the fact that what we've worked on for a long time has to change in order to improve the data or to please the person paying you, it's not easy. Letting go of something we've invested time and energy in means dropping all attachment to it. Some creative people think they know best and do what their intuition tells them without listening to the guidance first. We need to not do this if we want to remain a member of the professional creative industry.
Enrich Other People's Creativity
It's not all about you and your genius. We're all good at what we do, that's why we're here. So if someone else has a great idea, don't be jealous or competitive, just offer new dimensions, ask questions, be supportive and add your unique perspective. It's fine to let someone else be the one who had the idea, that's the seed planted, yet it takes an entire team to turn that seed into a crop we can harvest. It's difficult to put our light to one side and allow it to empower someone else's lantern. We have to be able to do it if we want to add the most value to our team. If you work for yourself, then it's your clients and your fan-base who make up the team. Without them, you'd not be where you are now.
Be Ready To Learn
No-one likes a know-it-all. If in doubt, say so, and if you don't know then go and find out. Simply ask, or if you're not keen on revealing ignorance in an infinite universe then google it when no-one's looking. Of course there's something you don't know, of course you need to learn new skills. We're not superhuman or paranormal, we're all just people who work hard. This means being hungry for knowledge, being ready to invest time and money in quality learning that provides you with more ability at work. Learn to earn. Take free courses from world class universities here.
It's Not About Money
We all need it, no-one is immune to the ravages of hunger or the bite of winter wind. It costs us money to exist in the world and there's no shame in wanting to make some. You can make a contribution towards our upkeep here. But there's also another reason you work in the creative industry. If it was only money then there would have been enough opportunities for better and less stressful work along the way. No, when we are in the creative industry it's because we have a passion for bringing new things into the world. We know that the world is not perfect and there are plenty of things that need to change. So we set about bringing that change, either through art where we encourage people to think and feel more, or through invention where we improve processes and devices in order to make people's lives better. We care about the world and its inhabitants, and that's why we want to give back.
Do you think you have what it takes? Comment with your thoughts. What other skills do we need?
Good ideas are everywhere, we all have them. What makes a good idea into a working tool depends on if it's seen through to its end. Often though, the good idea we had doesn't turn out to work in the way we thought it would. Sometimes, it seems like we've wasted time. This doesn't have to be the case though, there's always room for improvement and adaptations. A human being is adapted over years of evolution from really simple life-forms. So the same can be said for your idea, the basic ingredients to the working cell hasn't changed since the beginning. Once you get that right, it's away you go. Often it's not the idea that's at fault but it's how well it's being used, how 'in focus' the concept is, and how well it's being delivered. Effectiveness can be improved with all manner of things, testing and research will show areas for improvement for any project. There are some basic factors that we can apply to all of our innovative and creative agendas.
Efficient Time Management
Being in charge of a project means you have to do a lot of work. Some of this will be in depth and other bits will be basic yet essential actions. Managing time so that you're never too tired when you need to be awake, however, you get as much done as you can in the time given to yourself - is a matter of balance. It's not about cramming everything in, there is never any rush. We all make careless mistakes when rushing through our work. A relaxed attitude with a realistic routine makes sure that everything grows at a natural rate.
Suggested book: How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do
It's a paradox when we want to achieve something but we doubt if we can. Sure, it might not happen the way we wanted it to and we don't know how long it will take, but we will get somewhere if we make an effort. If we take a step in a direction, we've changed our position already. The self-doubt we carry inside can manifest in the subtle language we use when communicating our ideas. We can let slip that we're not very good at such and such a thing, or we struggle with this actually quite essential life skill. Tell a life-coach and not your client.
Suggested book: Wire Your Brain for Confidence: The Science of Conquering Self-Doubt
We're not all as smart as you, and we've definitely not had as much experience of your ideas as you. We also haven't got time to read through lots of information unless it directly affects the product or service. If it's important for people to know three things in order for your project to be a success, then make it all about those three things. Write them down so that a child can understand, or someone who's not a native speaker. This way we don't leave anyone out.
Recommended read: Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority
Paint The Picture
Facts and figures work for some people, they tell a big picture story in numerical form. Other people though really need a visual aid. Use images and descriptions that describe the scene in which your innovation is functioning at optimum. Put the human experience into qualitative terms via pictures and scene setting and it'll be even easier for people to imagine for themselves how your idea will improve their lives.
Recommended read: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols
You may enjoy reading Top Tips For Creativity That Counts
Being in the creative industry has all manner of pit-falls which can reduce how creative we are.
There is a lot of pressure from all sides to do things a certain way for particular reasons. Once we begin designing according to another person's plan then part of our creativity has been sacrificed. Sometimes it's a good idea to listen to and accept what a person is saying and other times it's a good idea to leave them to their opinions without taking them on board.
What we experience in life helps us to see new patterns and ways of applying our energy that make sense to us. If you are in the creative industry then you're also thinking about business sense. Inspiring people to pay for something artistic so you can eat makes it really attractive to take a tried and tested route. So where is the creativity? Finding a happy balance between doing what needs to be done and doing what has to be done is perhaps the most creative part of all. Here are some easy to do lifestyle suggestions that will ensure your creativity isn't starved out of you.
Why did you choose to be in the creative industry? It's a really difficult job to have because although not many decide to walk the path, many wished they did. This puts up a lot of opposition from day one, people become competitors even if they aren't making a living from creativity. We meet a lot of resistance. Making a living from creativity is difficult and it can be stressful, somewhere down the line, someone has to pay for it. When we forget that we actually enjoy this and we chose to do a job we enjoy for our own peace of mind, we can quickly become disheartened. Once this happens, we will stop being creative.
Have Creative Friends
So they might be competing with you in a crowded marketplace but that doesn't make them the enemy. We work better if we are content with being around other artists. We feed each other with ideas, when we don't preach at people or shame them into certain opinions, we actually learn a lot about life choices. Inspiration can't be forced. Having friends in the industry not only gives us access to creative minds in action, it also provides us with the potential to form cooperation concepts and loosely defined unions.
So learning how to do something prevents us from being creative in the first instance, maybe. Yet, if we learn something to a functioning level, as in to a point where we can actually make use of the knowledge in society, creativity is enabled. Wisdom is a powerful tool allowing us to take effective actions. These can all be used creatively to real effect.
Forget What You're Doing
We can become so tied up in our project that we begin to see the world only in terms of the project. We begin to 'project' the project onto everything around us, and this prevents us from seeing things in new and interesting ways. Sometimes we just have to put it all away and be someone else for the day. Often we have the best ideas when we are forced to adapt, when something happens that we didn't plan for or expect. These times won't happen very often if we're too focussed on one particular line.
Indulge In Arts
Surround yourself with the arts. Alternative Fruit is here for that very reason. Helping you to be more creative means providing continual inspiration. As well as the It's Good To Know blog, you can find other journals each with their own angle on creative inspiration. By seeing art made by others and acknowledging the ideas within them, we learn how to think about art in similar ways. We combine ideas and create an alchemy of concepts from the various things we see and enjoy.
Visit our homepage to see what inspiration is waiting for you.
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