If one of your greatest goals in life is to achieve a career in an artistic or creative field, you’ll probably have come across more than a few warnings from friends, family, teachers and even total strangers on the internet. So many people are chased away from a creative career after being told one too many times that they’ll never make much money, or that it’s far too competitive. While these are the risks that artists and creators face, there is no reason to abandon your dream as a result. In this article, we’ll look at a few ways in which you can prepare yourself as effectively as possible for a creative career.
Curiosity and an enquiring mind are two of the most valuable tools an artist can have. Not only can investigating the work of the leaders in your field help you to hone and develop your own craft, but exploring other disciplines – from architecture to fine art to theatre to dance – can provide you with a diverse range of influences and inspirations that will help your work stay fresh and exciting. Exploring is also a great way of uncovering opportunities. Various venues, galleries, initiatives and communities put on regular competitions or seek applicants for commissions throughout the year – and any one of these could be your big break. Keep actively exploring and investigating and eventually you’ll end up where you need to be – even if it isn’t the destination you originally envisaged.
While a lot of art and creativity relies on natural talent and vision, studying can open innumerable doors for a practitioner. Learning the theory of your craft can help you to develop a deeper understanding of it – and, in perhaps a more practical sense, you might just make some exciting connections. Your fellow students – and especially your tutors – will provide vital links to the industry. You may end up working in partnership with some of these people, or they may point you towards resources you didn’t even know existed. It’s always possible to invest in yourself by taking out a student loan with a private lender in order to pay for a creative college or university course.
Find Your Niche
Take the time to develop an approach that is unique to you. Think about what is important to you and consider how you wish to represent that. Don’t be afraid of asking for criticism and take on board any suggestions made by others. You can reject them if you want, but they are still a valid part of your journey. Eventually, you’ll have a clear brand that is recognizable and truly represents you.
No one will hire you, commission you or buy your stuff if they don’t know who you are. Social media is a wonderful tool for artists, as there are plenty of opportunities to share visual representations of your work, to gain followers and to invite those followers to events – such as launches, performances and exhibitions. Even better, most of the resources available are free. It’s also a great idea to go to events of this kind. The act of turning up to view the work of others in your industry offers a number of benefits: you get to scope out the competition (in the friendliest manner possible), meet the big movers and shakers in your field and gradually become recognizable to them.