Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M. |week two|
I remember when my year group graduated. Having completed year twelve, I decided that I didn’t want to do the courses I had applied for, nor did I want to go to the universities that had accepted me. I took a gap year, and eventually decided on applying to SAE. My friends were talking about doing the obvious degrees, like engineering at UWA, or psychology at ECU. Philosophy at Notre Dame might not be the most obvious degrees, but thats just what a buddy of mine is doing. Few of them went on a gap with me, fewer of them were doing creative courses, and near none of them were looking at a career in creative industries. A mate of mine chose to do a BA in film and video at ECU, he also talks at length about his future in film; unemployment. He’s joking of course, sort of, but it gets you thinking.
As Kara Atwell-Bennett points out, we’re in creative courses because we enjoy our fields and we’re passionate about them (D&AD, 2015). As far as careers go, creative industries are not the obvious choice for most, they are for those truly passionate individual creatives though. Passion for what you do is fantastic, but there is a limit to where passion can go; you can’t cash in your passion to pay for your rent. This being the case, learning how you’re going to make your passion into a living is worth the thought.
An alternative to cashing in your passion would be freelancing.
Merriam-Webster defines freelance as “a mercenary soldier especially of the Middle Ages.” (Merriam-Webster, 2015). We can take from this that a passionate creative can be similar to a mercenary; the client may temporarily employ you to fight as part of their army. In other words, a freelance worker doesn’t serve one company permanently, they work for a client on a contract, paid irregularly from job to job. This is a form of self employment, as a freelancer gets to choose their work and their clients, whether they want that work is their freedom. To get good work though, you need a good looking portfolio, and you can’t build one if you aren’t taking on work, so starting out being fussy with jobs might not help. This type of work isn’t particularly steady though; armies don’t always need more hired soldiers.
My father was a cobbler. He died when I was young and I took over his shop. He was a simple man and he made simple shoes, but, I found that the more work I put into my shoes, the more people wanted them. — the High Sparrow, Season 6, Episode 4 of Game of Thrones.
In freelance work though, a high level of self discipline is required to do the best job possible, not only for the client, but your reputation. The more time and effort you put into your work, the more likely your client is to recommend you to others. Your reputation as a freelancer is as important as anything else.
If you’re looking for more steady work and more attractive benefits, you’ll want to find work as an employee in a company, paid on a salary. You don’t have the same freedom of choice as a freelancer, and you do the jobs or the parts of the jobs you’re given. It’s more systematic and steadier than freelance work. As with most business, there are workers benefits like sick leave, annual leave, and penalty rates. Employment with a company may allow you to build a nice portfolio as well, and it doesn’t need to be the goal you hope to achieve as a creative. This allows you to gain experience and build your portfolio which can further your reputation if you were to become a mercenary. I mean a freelance.
These courses of action are only two in a variety of ways to earn money, especially in todays climate, where many types of work can operate over the internet, so regardless of the path, it isn’t a stretch to imagine doing either type of work to earn money from other sources, like YouTube or sales on platforms like iTunes.
Learning creative industries for me is mostly about my passion for music, though my goals don’t include unemployment. It’s tough to say which work I’d prefer. The security of employment and benefits that come with it are really appealing, along with an assurance that comes from working to benefit yourself in the long run by building a portfolio. Employment sounds nice, but I really like the idea of working for yourself. The freedom that comes with it and free time that you have control over leaves time for your own work, which is something that is important to me, but measuring it up to job security is difficult. My main goal would be to operate some type of business where I can have the freedom of choice, whether thats freelance work, just owning a business, or working and living from creating my own art, is unclear.
D&AD (2015) Creativity pays — getting a job in the creative industries. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArnhItrVuFM (Accessed: 12 June 2016).
Merriam-Webster (2015) Definition of FREELANCE. Available at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freelance (Accessed: 12 June 2016).
Wu-Tang Clan (1993) C.R.E.A.M .