Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Advice for Creatives

I'm a writer, consultant and sometimes entrepreneur who knows a little something about something... This isn't everything I know [you'd have to pay me to get access to that], but it's certainly enough. Advice for creatives of most types! Here you go:

  • Write all the time - little by little or in big chunks. Be consistent.
  • When that light bulb idea or a wave of inspiration hits you - stop whatever you're doing and jot it down [or at least jot down the gist], or else you'll lose it. Trust me.
  • Give a rough draft a day to breathe - then edit.
  • Start little by little - flesh out one scene or concept at a time.
  • You don't need everything perfectly outlined, figured out or researched before you start. Just begin, and fill in all the gaps later.
  • Your hair, skin, nails and teeth should always be on point. If you're broke, there's ways around expensive spa treatments. A once-a-week deep conditioning treatment for your hair, a face mask for your skin type, a nail strengthening polish and whitening strips can all be found at the drugstore.
  • Have a portfolio with a variety of looks and concepts shot. You need photos that at least display: your face, your torso and your full body.
  • Show up on time. You are a hanger not the star of the show, and you will lose jobs if you are consistently tardy.
  • Not tall or thin enough? See if you'd be a candidate for niche modeling: hands, feet and petites are some alternative types of modeling work.

  • Master breath control. And don't yell.
  • Develop your own flow - practice until you find a groove that feels right.
  • Find a good engineer - you don't want your tracks to sound like they were mastered by someone hard of hearing.
  • Choose your beats wisely.
  • And if you wanna be taken seriously, be even more stringent with your lyrics/hooks etc.
  • Singers? Follow all of the above plus see a vocal coach. I don't care who you are, this is a must.
  • Designers: Make sure your clothes fit well.
  • Attend trade shows!
  • Hire an accountant! Clothing lines require quite the bit of cash and an accountant will help you figure out exactly what costs and potential profits and losses will be.
  • Network network network. Clothing lines may have to send out free swag to get their brands known, and getting a celeb or well-known name to endorse your clothing couldn't hurt!
  • Make things that people actually want to wear.
  • Stylists: When putting together a shoot, try to tell a story with the items at hand.
  • Research your client!!! And this goes for both stylists and designers. It's important to cater to them and what they would wear or would like to wear.

Tips for all: 
  • Choose your agents/managers wisely. Familiarity does not equal qualified for the job. Leave your homeboys and homegirls out of your business dealings unless they are actually qualified!
  • Sometimes you don't get a second chance, so seize opportunities when they are presented.
  • Be on your A-Game as often as you can be or at the very minimum, remain professional around the people who matter.
  • Remember: Deals and collaborations are not official until the ink is dry on the paperwork.
  • Speaking of paperwork, get everything in writing, even if money hasn't changed hands yet.
  • Always read the fine print.
  • Find someone with excellent taste to review and critique your work [for example, me].
  • Curate your crew. You don't want snakes in the room when opportunity knocks.
  • Use your network, trade favors, learn from others who have already done the work.
  • If you can't figure out where to start, start anywhere! You will figure it out as you go. Google and getting in touch with industry veterans may be a huge help to you.

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Be succinct and keep it classy :)