Getting started in the creative industries- 4 tips to help you succeed

photo (c) John Cairns

Date of Publication: 28 January 2019

Want to be a published author, a successful director, or a world-renowned painter? Those who made it big in the creative industries worked hard to get where they are today, but if you want to reach for the top, you can follow these steps to get you started on a pathway to success.

Our Creative Industries course this summer will be focusing on the academic disciplines that underpin professional practice in creative industries. This means that students on our course will analyse how creative industries may contribute to urban regeneration, community development, representation and individual self-expression. The course will also explore the origins and development of the creative industries, and the relationship between creativity and commerce.

But before you delve into the ways in which the creative industries can tackle social issues, and network with industry experts on our course, follow these four tips to help you get started with a creative portfolio of your own.

1. Showcase your portfolio and knowledge

Chances are, if you are considering a career in the creative industries, you already have a pile of work at home (or a bunch of files saved on your computer). But showcasing this word, and posting about it on the right forums (or getting it displayed at the right venues) can make all the difference to your success in the creative industries. Now, there is no hard and fast rule about where is the best place to display your work- because this will vary greatly between mediums and modes of expression.

But here are a few ways to display your work online:

-Behance- Behance is a brilliant online portfolio tool, showcasing work from artists around the world, from illustrators to packaging designers. Other users can give you feedback, and you can discuss techniques/ skills there too. It is a great place to find inspiration for your next project as well.

-Adobe Portfolio– if you are already using the Creative Cloud programs offered by Adobe, you might want to consider building your online portfolio with them too. This gives you a website address, where you can showcase your work online and get people to contact you

-Etsy (is your work something you would be willing to sell? Etsy is highly popular for picking up one-off handmade pieces)

-Instagram– although instagram may not be your first thought, setting up a ‘creative’ instagram account which is separate from your personal account gives you a lot of options. You can build your brand/ creative image on this account, follow people who inspire you, and direct potential employers/ customers to that account as well.

Beyond these tools you can use to showcase your work, feel free to get creative and do what works for you. Perhaps you want to blog about the skills you are learning, or new techniques you are trying. You might even do some videos, demonstrating how you create your pieces, or what inspires you. It is these small personal touches which give certain artists an edge online, and help them to build a strong following.

Once you have set up your online portfolio (if you choose to) you might also want to consider working with other creatives.

 

2. Work with other creatives

Chances are, you are not the only creatively inclined student at your school. Maybe your friends or classmates have a skills, idea, or interest which could form a unique project for you both.

It is a well known fact that creatives across all industries work best by bouncing ideas off one another, which is why on our Creative Industries courses in London, we aim to bring together students and tutors from a wide range of creative backgrounds, to ensure a variety of perspectives and skills in each class.  The course will also take analyse a real London example of an event where the creative industries play a big role, and study the connections which link content, planning, logistics and policies involved in such an event.

Students will also delve deep into how original artistic material is created and developed. The course will cover practical strategies that encompass the various approaches to the creative industries- from interventionist to discursive- which enables students to explore and develop their creativity, and deliver their proposed project with success.

 

3. Engage with professionals and influencers

The age old questions returns- how can you get people to care about your content? Once you’ve been proactive by setting up your online portfolio, the next stage is to share your content- across social media, blogs, and even Linkedin if you so choose.

But sometimes not directly sharing your work through these posts can be more powerful. Instead, find the hashtags which are popular in your industry, follow industry influencers and local businesses, and actively engage in trending conversations. You can then interact with industry leaders and get them interested in you because of your skills/ ideas.

Of course, a big part of our London based courses is the chance they offer to network with industry experts. These industry visits give our students the opportunity to get an insider view of the creative landscape in London, and ask questions from thought leaders across various creative industries.

 

4. Gain some skills

Key skills which are needed for your particular creative industry will vary, but we have formed our Creative Industries course around the following key skills which all creatives will benefit from:

-presentation skills

-creative thinking and processing

-enhancing and encouraging audience engagement with content

-an understanding of various resources, platforms and technologies which can provide opportunities in the creative industries

-qualitative and quantitative methods of capturing and evaluating the impact that creative outcomes can have on audiences

Learn more on our Creative Industries subject page and good luck with your work!

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