Working In The Creative Industry

Have you every thought about working in the Creative Industry? Here we’ll cover some topics on the essentials that you need to know if you want to go into this field.

Ever since I was a child, my parents invested a lot of time and finances in making sure I would have not only an academic, but also an artistic formation. According to them, I was talented, smart and creative. This is how I ended up balancing between drum lessons, school, sports, dance class, band practice and other disciplines.

Working In the Creative Industry

Of all my friends who shared a passion for the Arts, at least 70 % of them dreamed that oneday they would play a significant role in the creative industry. To be honest, we all had this type of dream at one point, that we would tour the world and be rich making music, or that we would be that ballerina standing on stage receiving the ovation of the audience. But as I got the opportunity to be involved in creative projects, I realised that working in the creative industry goes far beyond standing on a platform.

From daydreaming to getting things done

When I traveled to South America earlier this year, my sister and I had the opportunity to help with a creative opener for a Church Conference. They gave us the theme and we started brainstorming about what we could do around it. After some meetings with the senior pastors of the church, we decided to go on with a video that would portray the theme of the Conference.Throughout the whole brainstorming session, we were always encouraged to bring different options to the table, to re-think them and change concepts.

If you want to put it like this: ONE idea was NOT enough.

After the brainstorming stage was finished, it was time to get things done, time to bring our imagination to reality and see if what we planned would work or not. Since we were working on a video shooting, we worked closely with the Film crew many hours a day and several days a week, until slowly we started reaching our end product. After a whole day of shooting, I remember the words of the TV oversight for my sister and I: “ Thank you so much for staying throughout the process, because people normally throw their ideas and leave”.

In this case we were volunteering for the job, but I can certainly tell you that if this was a payed job, just giving your ideas would have never been enough.

What the creative industry is looking for is people that are capable enough of presenting ideas and most of all make them happen.

Not tomorrow. Today!

One of the things every creative area has in common (Music, Dance, Design, Art) is that just as in any other industry, results are required in a certain time frame. It is easy as an artists to simply create when you feel like it, and as slow as your inspiration allows you to. The problem comes when deadlines are given and much is required with very short notice or in a very short time. When this happens, you would have to go beyond inspiration and beyond your feelings. When this happens you need to tap into the area of DISCIPLINE.

Common stereotypes with creatives

“Creatives are always late”.

“They are irresponsible with deadlines”.

“They never pay attention”.

“Don’t give them a structure, they are meant to be free”.

These are statements that we have all heard or at least thought of creative people. The greatest revelation I got so far – I say revelation because it really took my creativity to another level – is that DISCIPLINE is the foundation for success. No matter how talented you are, without discipline to grow your craft, challenge yourself, adapt to different settings and requirements, you will never be able to grow your capacity as an artist.

Some people believe that discipline is the biggest enemy to creativity, but the truth is that without order in your life, there is little or no space at all for your mind to come up with new ideas or process new trains of thought. If you are struggling with discipline at this point , start with time management. There is no better starting point than looking at your week and seeing how you can improve the effectiveness of what you do and when you do it.

Time managing includes considering what the most productive time of the day is for you, what activities you are investing too little time in and too much, what activities you could remove or decrease in your time table ( distractions, excessive use of social media, procrastinating activities) and most important of all what how much time do you dedicate to rest.

When organising your week make sure you give yourself time to create. Also plan the areas that you would like to grow in, this may be resourcefulness, editing, writing, or whatever improvements your job requires from you. Just like a plant, if you would like to grow it, you would have to consistently water it and sometimes even at certain hours of the day. Growth doesn’t just happen, it has to be planned and intentional … same goes for creative outcomes, no matter what the timeline is, the outcomes have to be planned and intentional.


“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
Gustave Flaubert


You are, but you are not your work.

Creative people are known for putting a lot of themselves in their work.

This includes pieces of personality, experience, character, thoughts, beliefs, likes and dislikes. This is the reason why you could give two artists a concept and ask them to work at it but you will not get the same outcome, two choreographers would not make the same moves for a song, two songwriters wouldn’t write the same lyrics or melody even if they are writing about such a common theme as love is.

Because of this, you need to understand that every single artist’s work is unique and valuable. On the other hand, it is that part of the artist that remains in the work that also makes it very hard for artists to cope with rejection or what they would consider “Failure”. Let’s face it, there will be times when your work is rejected. This could be because it needs modification, because of restricted resources, misunderstanding of concept, failure to adapt to what was asked, or simply because it was not what the industry was looking for at that certain time.

A creative work is never bad, sometimes it is just not useful or appropriate for the demand or setting. When this happens, as a creative employee, you will have to remind yourself that no matter how much of you has been invested in the creation, you are not it. And therefore, when the idea doesn’t really work, this does not make YOU a failure.

Have a positive attitude when receiving feedback and make sure you take the best and leave the rest. Feedback is normally constructive, critic on the other hand discourages. Don’t place a tent on disappointment and choose to use rejection as an opportunity to improve and discover new ideas.

Like John Maxwell says:

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”


Are you in the creative industry? What are your experiences? Let us know your thoughts below 🙂


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