I know some amazingly smart, talented, creative individuals both personally and professionally. I believe we all have some sort of creative talent, and it isn’t necessarily in the form of the “traditional” artistic sense. Software Engineers are an incredibly creative bunch of folks; taking concepts and creating usable products by understanding programming languages isn’t what some folks would define as “creative”, but I do.
But I am noticing a rather interesting trend among my truly artistic connections. The inability or refusal to grow from a business perspective; and, in some cases, being unable to let go of creative endeavors in some respect, which can be the death of an “artist”, if art is how they are trying to make a living. For example, a young 20-something media/video editor I know is unemployed, and got her BA a little over a year ago. The current market being what it is, she needs to be as marketable as possible. I helped her with her resume and tried to get her in contact with some professional contacts I have (oh, like a Recruiting Manager at LucasArts I know.) Nothing. So I asked my technical community for a site review of her professional portfolio online. Lots of very constructive and useful feedback. But she decided not to update her site. At all. Nothing I can do for someone that won’t help themselves.
Another friend of mine is a digital artist. I’ve seen a lot of referrals to folks doing her kind of work, and the term “digital painter” has come to light. But she would never “re-title” her occupation. She also has some really *adamant* ideas of what she will and won’t do to promote herself. And unfortunately, she is missing out on cutting edge marketing tools and trends because she doesn’t think it’s worth her time and energy to use them.
A very talented musician with several CD’s to his name of original music doesn’t have a MySpace page or any videos on YouTube.
I’m constantly looking at new tools and venues for promoting my work; not just my resume and recruiting professions, but also my writing. (I’m an author if you didn’t catch that…current novel manuscript is in the urban fantasy genre.) And, I must tell you, my thought processes are *constantly* turning. And it’s interesting to me that “creative” personalities that derive inspiration from the world around them seem too set in their ways when it comes to certain things. Comfort is all well and good, but learning to use new tools and methodology, and taking feedback from peers and critics is part of the *business* part of making money from your art. And when consumer spending is at the low end of the spectrum, using every promotional advantage at your disposal is vital, just like any other profession.
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