Being a creator of new media in this day and age doesn't come without its fair share of challenges. A creative is someone who has the desire to create art, be it a piece of music, sculpture etc. They are imaginative unconstrained and less likely to fit into traditional jobs and stereotypes. Mitchell (2014) describes one example as “they love tinkering with the technology that will create solutions”. This is often referred to as having the entrepreneur DNA streak.
Many different skillsets are required for success in the industry including: having good foresight and foreknowledge of where you are heading and what you wish to achieve, solid technical skills, good communication, networking skills and good public relations. The old tale of 6 degrees of separation is certainly something to keep in mind at all times, it refers to that “there are no more than six connections between any two people on this planet” Tsvetovat & Kouznetsov (2011).
In the creative industries finding work requires non-traditional methods i.e.:the word of mouth is the most common and important way of which work is obtained. Being professional about selling yourself is vital as the competition is fierce. The need to stay current with technology and social behaviour is always ongoing which leads to a lot of D.I.Y learning. Continueing to have good foresight of what you want to achieve and which direction you are heading is a key component of cementing a place in a constantly evolving and challenging industry.
Getting established as a creative in the industry takes time and the pay is often low, hours are long and the jobs unpredictable. Clients sometimes recognise that creators are doing what they love: “They’re doing it because there’s no way they cannot. They simply cannot imagine doing anything else” (Mitchell, 2014). Therefore, clients can try and take advantage when it comes to the amount of money paid for the product.
Being a creator of new media myself, lots of these issues apply directly to me as this is the career I have chosen to embark on. Already I can see that work will be hard to find and long hours are almost a certainty. Being new and inexperienced in the industry will amount to a low salary due to the inconsistency of jobs, achieving a good standard of work will take longer and the technology used may not be as high end as desired. This means alternative means of income may be necessary via a second job, which leads to less time for networking and development of skills, which can start a vicious feedback loop which may be hard to get out of. Careful time management and motivation will be needed for further development and to stay current.
The harsh reality that I was aware of in the back of my mind is now at the forefront. It’s made me realise now that I will need more than creativity alone to build a network and career in the industry. The importance of networking, building a profile, public relations, business management and time management has been importantly highlighted, giving me insight into my own strengths and weaknesses. It's becoming clear that the reality of being a creative is hard and to succeed it's going to take a lot of work and dedication to the art.
This exercise has made me aware of challenges that I will now need to overcome (i.e.: long hours and low pay), traps to avoid if possible and some aspects that are critical to success (i.e.: networking and public relations). This all boils down to staying motivated and staying passionate about my work, if not I would most likely give up when a difficult problems arises. Luckily for me I feel like I am in the right place and will work hard to succeed.
Mitchell, R.J (2014, May 13). Just what is entrepreneurism? Retrieved from http://jerrymitchellblog.com/just-what-is-entrepreneurism/
Tsvetovat, M., & Kouznetsov, A. (2011). Social Network Analysis for Startups: Finding connections on the social web. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books?id=hVOxjkoLSiEC&pg=PA37&dq=networks+6+degrees+of+separation&hl=en&sa=X&ei=q3LkVN78HcK-mwXi04L4Cg&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=networks%206%20degrees%20of%20separation&f=false