Don't Get A Job... Make A Job: Sound Career Advice For Creative Graduates
Try surveying every creative graduate you know about their experience obtaining their arts degree. What do you find? That you’re only opening a can of worms?
Ask if a degree is necessary in building a sustainable career or if that paper they earned was ever directly responsible for landing any particular job. The most popular response I get is “Absolutely not! But whether or not it’s a waste of time is going to be up to you. You may be required to actively develop much of its value yourself.”
In the end, you will inevitably be faced with a minuscule job market in which you will be coerced to forge a unique path. This path may require as much inventiveness as you apply to your very craft, and with cross-fertilization across various creative disciplines.
“Being aware of the world around you, and understanding your chosen market and your position within it, is key to surviving.”
Gem is a course Leader for Interior Architecture at Brighton University in the UK and editor for EDGEcondition. She is an author, academic and futurist who writes and speaks publicly about architectural and interiors education.
Gem writes in a recent article for ITS NICE THAT:
“The markets have shifted. Because of the clever people – the ones with independent thought and ball-breaking ambition that wouldn’t let the apocalypse beat them, the ones that went out and made their own opportunities – they raised the stakes dear friends, and they raised them high, you now have some serious competition…
…they hit the streets, go guerrilla and bend the rules. They learn from their idols, they learn to specialise and to diversify; to swim against the tide and to question everything. They make tough calls; they trust their instincts, move mountains and imagine best-case scenarios. They team up, some go it alone, they exploit their interests and are true to themselves but above all they have gusto; they reinvent themselves, create positive change and learn to keep on learning.”
The point is that artists must establish their own value in the world and translate it to an audience in an effective way. In this economic climate which happens to currently value art as it does, it is up to us individually to develop our own degree of economic clout. This will require audacity and inventiveness beyond our single discipline. To remain inactive toward that while complaining about market changes — well… I mean, really?
“Don’t Get a Job… Make A Job” is a fine example of the very lessons it teaches. Gem exercises a diverse skill set in creating enterprise around her work, painting a much larger picture of herself altogether. The book is artfully designed and keeps the reader visually and intellectually engaged throughout.
The concepts in this book are applicable to all artists and translate heartily into entrepreneurship as well.