You work hard at creating pieces of art, design, writing, music, song and dance. But do people truly like what you do? If you want to do well, earn and survive in this industry, it’s quite important that at least a few people do.
I first came across Philippines-based illustrator and designer Dan Matutina’s distinct work many years ago. His hard-edged, original and absorbing creations drew me in, and I featured his earlier stuff on my other site Ape on the Moon.
Good news. I finished another book! I’m pretty excited about this one, with it being my mission to get this in front of as many people as possible, with your help.
Having now worked on Red Lemon Club for close to three years, there is so much I’ve learnt and so much that I yet want to explore, learn and share.
The more time I spend researching for posts and thinking about the ideas behind the site and the people that drive it, the clearer an idea is formed in my brain as to what it is that makes up who we are. We, being those people drawn to the ideas discussed here.
As you’ve no doubt seen me write about a good deal, keeping a blog* is one of the things I most consistently recommend as a means to so many fruitful things, including self-promotion, building credibility as an expert in something, and self-teaching/learning/discovery.
As most of you will have noticed, the current economic climate isn’t particularly rosy when it comes to available work for us creatives.
Let me rephrase that. The current economic climate isn’t particularly rosy when it comes to available work for a large proportion of us creatives. There are many people out there who, for various reasons, still do earn a very good living from creative projects, and many who are doing better now than they ever have in the past.
Let’s great straight into this idea of ‘craft’. What is it, and why is it worth pursuing?
My own thought on craft is that it is more a honed skill, style or application, than a tangible object. Craft is your technique; your brain’s neural connections, sculpted over hours of practice. Your craft is the way in which you apply paint to a canvas, how you think about a new musical composition or how you structure your written sentences in a short story.
If you’re a creative professional, freelancer or business of any sort, one of the key parts of attracting regular clients, is in deciding on and determining a target market.
These are the people you are not only creating your finished product or service for, but the people you base your entire brand around. Your existence as a creative professional who earns good money from what you do depends on them.
This might seem like an odd suggestion, but having boundaries is a major secret to professionalism and coming across as such.
This means being someone who sticks to their own defined values, needs and policies and presents them to those they engage with (without coming across as aggressive).
I watched a very thought-provoking talk recently over at TED about how great leaders like Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs inspire action in people.
Although I was aware of the importance of defining purpose in what you do to keep you motivated, Simon Sinek revealed the importance of the need to define a belief or purpose as a key element of attracting a following in highly successful businesses, companies, projects and even movements.
Greetings fellow creative friends! I’m pleased to announce the launch of a new ebook:
’9 Steps to Being Your Most Powerful Creative Self’
The book has received a great deal of praise from major players in the creative industries and elsewhere.
The major element in building your personal brand and setting yourself apart, so that you attract prospects, new and old, is in establishing a Unique Selling Point (USP).
This is not something that just applies to physical products, but is essential in its application to your own business as a creative professional.
Note: This is a collaborative post with Tahir Fayyaz of Candy Pulse online merchandise.
A big and growing trend has emerged for creatives to expand their reach (and income) through product-creation in the form of placing designs on t-shirts, selling prints, making knitted products, posters, toys and other merchandise.
Much is said about the importance of being focused on one thing in your area of work that you become good at and well known for. This is contrary to the idea of being a ‘jack of all trades’ whereby you will inevitably lose some of the rigour and credibility that comes with specializing in many areas.
There is no doubt that the internet has developed into an extremely useful tool for the purpose of self-promotion. Particularly with the introduction of social networking, the potential to engage with a range of people in similar industries to yours, not to mention to connect with new clients, has improved the effectiveness of many self-marketing strategies.
Particularly with the explosion of Internet use, and massively increasing competition over most things, we live in a time where providing products and services that truly stand out is more important than it ever has been.