Week 1: Becoming a Creative Professional (and getting good at what you do)

As a creator of media, when someone asks ‘What do you do with yourself?’ It’s very easy to label yourself and say something as simple as ‘oh, i’m a film maker’ but the more I think about what I classify myself as, the more I think it’s very important.

Take me for example.

Hi. I’m Beau. I’m currently studying Film Production with the hopes of becoming a film maker, but until then I work 2 part time jobs and busk in the city doing magic tricks (not even joking).

A very dear friend of mine asked me the question ‘So how do you become a film maker, and what happens when you do?’ and it made me think. When do we officially become ‘Creative Professionals?’ A film maker is someone who makes films. I’ve made plenty of films. Very bad films. Does that classify me as a film maker? My little sister makes very stupid vlogs for her friends — does that mean she’s a film maker too?

On the same hand, when did I become a magician? When do you go from some kid who does card tricks, to an actual magician; a performer? For a long time I thought it was once I did my first proper show, but honestly my first show went quite poorly so I didn’t consider it good enough to call it my first show.

I personally think that a very important part of being recognised as a creative professional is backing yourself. if you’re willing to call yourself a creative professional in your field — if you’re proud to tell people that you’re a film maker, then you’re halfway there. Obviously the other part of that is the passion and ability to create good content, but that comes with time.

Corbett Barr wrote a really interesting article on ‘The Lost Art of Becoming Good at Things’ and essentially said that the only way to get good at something is to keep doing it, and putting effort into doing it well. He thinks that the main reason as to why we aren’t good at things we wish we were good at is literally because we haven’t put in enough time or effort into doing the thing. This brings me to my next topic..

You won’t continue to do the thing you want to get good at unless you genuinely love doing it.

And that’s the thing. The want of money or fame will only push you to a certain point and after that, you’ll need something else that makes you want to leap out of bed every morning and do your thing. If there’s one thing that all film makers will tell you about the film industry and that is that it’s not easy. If you genuinely love the work you’re doing, suddenly it doesn’t feel like work anymore and getting very good at your work becomes very easy.

This is my goal. If I met myself 10 years from now, I’d like to hope that I’m still doing what I love doing, and putting effort into doing a good job as well as putting effort into getting better at what I do. I feel like that’s the only way to live. I hope I don’t ever get to the stage where I think i’ve become the best. I don’t ever want to stop growing.