Thursday, June 09, 2011

Commencement for Creatives

Author J.C. Herz gave the commencement address at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. It's specifically aimed at people doing creative work and is the commencement address that creative people everywhere need to hear.
"As a creative professional, you have to get over the idea that your employer or your client owes you a wide blue sky or a creative romper room. You are the one who’s responsible for your continued growth and development. Sometimes, you have to make your own fun, on your own time. The downside is, you don’t necessarily get paid for that. The upside is, you don’t need sponsorship or buy-in. Realize the leverage you have when no-one’s paying you to do something, and use that leverage to carve out new opportunities. Remember: you have talents and skills that are valuable, and there are a lot of ways to leverage that value. It might be the chance to contribute visually to a non-profit organization or shoe-string arts effort that appeals to you. It might give you a chance to collaborate with writers, musicians, or other artists you respect or admire. When you bring your own talent to the table, there are a lot of social and creative dividends you can earn. It’s not just about the dollars.

"But when you are talking dollars, realize one thing: Most people say that time is money. But for a creative professional, it’s exactly the opposite. Money is time. Having some extra money gives you time to say no to things that will put you in a professional holding pattern. Money gives you time to say yes to the right thing, not just to the first thing. It’s hard, but try to live in a way that leaves you with enough of a financial buffer to take enough time to make the right career choices."
Read the whole thing here.

(link via BoingBoing.)

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