Our Time is Now – What we Learnt from all the Creatives
We’ve come to the end of our first ‘Our Time is Now’ video podcast series sharing the stories of 5 different successful Belfast creatives. We have tried to showcase a diverse range of creatives from different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, ages, education, skill sets, and sectors to show that anyone with the drive and determination can be successful in starting their own creative business. There are a lot of different things to take from each individual interview, as well as some ongoing themes that feature throughout. If you dream of running your own creative business here are some things we thought were most important that came out of the series of interviews
1.You have to be brave and believe in yourself
This is probably the most important point, but there’s no getting around it. If you want to run your own creative business you have to be brave, be willing to put yourself out there and risk failure. You have to believe in and have confidence in yourself. As Macy highlighted in her interview confidence is an ongoing process, something that can be built and worked upon, but it has to start with you. From that foundation of self-belief as Tony shares in his interview you can then take risks and follow different opportunities to increase your confidence. At the end of the day people can only buy your work whether it’s a product or a service if they see it. Putting yourself out there is the only option.
2. Follow your passion
Following your passion helps you stay focused and inspired when starting and running a creative business. Throughout all the interviews you can hear the passion all the interviewees have for their subject matter. Photography for Macy, supporting NI creatives and makers for LInzi, art, design and illustration for Mel, fashion and style for Tanice and helping people to learn for Tony. This passion shines through and helps them achieve success.
3. Be authentic and consistent
Be authentic and consistent – authenticity is important when starting and running a creative business. As Tanice highlights in her interview, if you want to be successful and you want people to connect with you and your brand you have to be authentic and you have to stay authentic. Linzi highlights the importance of consistency, both within social media and within running a creative business. To achieve success it’s important to be yourself, remember what is important to you, communicate that to your customers and above all to keep going and not give up.
4. You can be successful no matter what age you start and no matter what your educational background
Don’t let feeling like you are too young or too old or not having a creative degree, or not having a degree at all put you off following your creative dreams. Creative business owners are all different and all have different paths to success. Macy showed us in her interview that you don’t need to go to University or get a job first to get experience to achieve success. Tanice completed a law degree and worked in the corporate world for 10 years before embarking on her creative career. Linzi went to art college, but realised it was working for herself and having her own autonomy that mattered to her. After a challenging start to university Mel really valued the opportunity to learn and build his craft. Tony travelled around the world and had a varied career working in education, non profit organisations and corporate tech before starting his own business. There is no set path to success, everyone is different and everyone’s journey is different.
5. There are many ways to express your creativity and many ways to be successful
There are many ways to express your creativity. You don’t have to be limited to traditional methods such as drawing and painting. Creativity can also be expressed through growing and running a creative business like Linzi or Tony, or through fashion, makeup and style like Tanice so be flexible and open minded in your ideas. As Tony says in his interview, there are also many ways to be successful, many paths in life to take and sometimes it helps to be flexible and less rigid in our ideas about what is the right path for us.
6. The road to success is not linear
It’s easy to look at people who are successful at what they do and assume their journey has been straightforward. The truth is everyone suffers failures and encounters both personal and professional problems and challenges, it’s an inevitable part of life. Our interviewees illustrated that it’s not what happens to you but how you respond that matters, for example Macy, Tanice and Mel all talked about their experiences with grief and how their creativity actually helped them to process their grief. Mel shared his experience of his creativity and his sexuality and identity and having a mental breakdown during university and Tanice shared her experience of finding herself pregnant at 17 and how determined she was to prove people wrong and make a go of things for her and her son.
7. You create your own luck
Saying yes to opportunities and taking risks brings rewards, as our interviewees highlighted throughout the series. Macy and Mel both sought professional experience to develop their skills and build their networks. Tony shared his experiences of living abroad and taking risks and saying yes to different opportunities, which led in turn to further opportunities and success. Tanice highlighted in her interview that despite at first being embarrassed to post her pictures online she had courage, believed in herself and took the plunge, which led to her successful career as a content creator.
8. You have to be versatile and adaptable
To be a successful creative business owner it pays to be versatile and adaptable. As Linzi highlighted during her interview for most creative business these days talent isn’t enough, you need to have a broad range of different skills and be willing to get involved with all aspects of your business. As Mel mentions in his interview particularly when starting out you have to wear many hats and cover many services yourself, including marketing, sales, administration and managing your finances as well as your creative work.
9. Financial uncertainty can be the push you need to become successful
To run a successful creative business you have to find a way to monetise your creative work, otherwise it remains a hobby. It can be scary, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge and go for it. As Tanice highlighted during her interview it can be the push you need to make your creative business a success. It can be daunting, but it can also help you to focus and force you to commit and be consistent and put yourself out there, take risks and make it a success
10. Running a creative business is hard but it can offer you the opportunity to live life on your own terms
Starting out is scary, you risk rejection and failure and as Tanice shared the financial uncertainty and having no stable income is hard. Building something can be overwhelming as Macy highlighted with her experience of burnout and as Linzi shared once you have achieved a degree of success there can be huge pressures to maintain that success such as with social media. But it can also offer a certain level of freedom and allow you to do something you are passionate about , within an industry where you feel you belong, where you can be yourself and express yourself and ultimately it can allow you to live life on your own terms, which is what most people desire.
We hope that you have enjoyed this video podcast series and feel inspired to follow your dreams. Thank you for following us on this journey over the last 6 weeks and listening to these incredible people.
You can find all their interviews on our website: https://www.blickstudios.org/our-time-is-now/