You know you want to do something creative but narrowing your focus is proving difficult. When you’re initially venturing into the creative realm, you’re confronted with questions and oftentimes lack access to the people who can really talk to you about your options in an in-depth and practical manner. Many creatives find themselves flung between to poles, hearing skepticism on one side from people eschewing work in creative industries as “pie in the sky” and those on the other side who want to serve you that pie made up of wishful thinking and stuff that sounds like fairy dust.
It really is important to approach these things with a razor sharp mind. Just accepting opportunities that come your way is a perfect way for you to end up in a dead end job. Or in a career field that you don’t want to be in.
Being a creative person who works in film, music, or the arts requires drive, skills, and connections. You’ve got to plan a way forward for yourself but oftentimes that path is one that becomes more refined over time. As you work and meet people, new opportunities and ways of moving forward present themselves.
You’ve got to have patience too. You have to be willing to go the distance, work hard, and pay your dues to some extent but you also have to have a deep belief in your own capabilities. It’s this belief that will keep you moving forward and answering to the calls of the day.
And know this, creative people with solid abilities and good people skills are in-demand. The film industry needs creative people who can do the work. Everything from screenplay writing to musical score composing to story development to line producing requires creativity and a pragmatic, can-do mentality. The music industry thrives on creatives who have taken the time to develop their natural abilities into solid, usable skills that enable them to help make the music of today and tomorrow.
The first step to defining what you want is to ask yourself questions. What makes you happy? What do you love doing? What are you interested in? What makes you want to get up in the morning? What is something that you’d be so happy doing that it wouldn’t even feel like work? What did you want to do when you were a kid? For some of us, the answers will be on the tip of our tongues. For others, the answers may be hard to admit. Perhaps we’ve grown up in such a negative environment that we’ve forgotten how to dream. Perhaps we’re just afraid of sounding naive or letting ourselves down or disappointing those who are closest to us. In any case, get honest with yourself and ask the questions.
After that, you may need to do a little research to investigate the field or fields your interested in. Go online and look for blogs written by real people who have the same careers you’re thinking of embarking on. Read several. See what appeals to you, what doesn’t. From there, you’re in position to refine your vision and once you’ve done that, it’s time to get started.
Hone your craft with as much dedication, seriousness, and love, yes love, as possible. Your learning should be an integrative experience that requires you to connect directly with the work. Passive learning experiences like the kinds we get by watching documentaries or attending lectures can be beneficial but learning by doing is the best way to utilize your innate talent and develop skills that will serve you well in your profession. There is a great disconnect in the world when it comes to how people perceive the film and music industries work and how they actually, really and truly operate. Sadly, traditional college education has done little to change this. Thousands of people have opted for very expensive educations in the attempt so understand how the industry operates and to gain access and thousands have been let down.