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You 2.0

Things to do before you turn your creative talent into a serious career

By Kathrina Paz Elefante

3,423 views

29 Jul 2013 Print This Post Print This Post

    Photo: www.PhotoXpress.com.

    To shift or not to shift careers – that is the question.

    You’ve been working for a few years and now you’re wondering if you can actually turn those scribbles, doodles and snapshots into a lucrative career. Whether you’re into writing, music, photography, illustration or graphic design, here are a few things you can do to get you started on your creative endeavor:

    1. Know yourself.

    The most fundamental thing an artist must ask himself is “Who am I?” You need to know what kind of stories you want to tell, what message you want your work to send out. You can start by looking at the things that inspire you to create – the kind of books and authors you like, photographers whose work you admire and the music you listen to. What do you find so inspiring about them? Write down key words that would describe them best. Then think of how you can inject those things into your personal style and make it your own. This is easier said than done but definitely not impossible. You have to practice consistently and commit to dedicating your time to doing so. Those hours will help you develop your taste and discover your voice.

    2. Create your brand.

    Once you’ve gotten to know yourself more, review the key words you’ve written to create your artist statement. Through this, people will know what you and your work are all about. When you have this pinned down, it will be easy to develop a look for your logo, business card, website or blog and other marketing tools later on. Your name is your company and your work is your brand – you have to make it cohesive to give it a professional look and make an impact.

    3. Sign up for a class.

    If you’re an autodidact (or a person who is self-taught), enrolling in a class will reinforce your skills and prove to be valuable as you establish your creative career. Whether it’s a one-day seminar or a series of sessions, personal insight and tips from an industry expert will fast track your development as an artist. Also, you will get to meet like-minded people whom you can tap for collaborations and referrals. They can also give you feedback about your work that will help you improve as you delve deeper into your passion.

    The only way you’ll be able to make a career out of your talent is through putting your work out there.

    4. Be in the know.

    Read up on who’s who in your line of interest and check out what’s already out there so that you know how to set yourself apart. Follow or like relevant blogs, websites and people and make your news feed a gold mine of information. Browse magazines and take note of the kind of submissions they accept and publish. Know what contests you can take part in and where you can have your work exhibited. There are even restaurants now that serve as alternative galleries for emerging artists.

    5. Put yourself out there!

    The only way you’ll be able to make a career out of your talent is through putting your work out there. Strive to finish projects you’ve set then submit them. The least that can happen is your work gets rejected but don’t take it as a sign of not being talented. Sometimes it’s just a matter of submitting to the right venue. Other times there‘s something you can still improve on. At least you’ll have the work itself that you can use for your blog or online portfolio. Give yourself time to learn, adjust things as you go along then try again.

     



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