Story of Your Song

Behind every song, there is a story – and we intend to share them.

FEATURE: Is Being ‘Creative’ Just Another Word For Unemployed?


In a world where anyone and everyone can own a blog, be an artist, or simply fit under the ‘creative’ umbrella, it’s hard to sort out the professionals from the masses.

And then the question arises; what exactly does it mean to be a ‘professional creative’?

Sure, I own my own blog and have a fairly solid readership, but when do you stop being a run-of-the-mill ammeter and start making a living off your creative tendencies?

Recently, I attended a CreativeMornings talk at the Lamington Drive gallery space in Collingwood, Melbourne. One year ago, these seminar style sessions were in four cities around the world. Now these talks are featured in 34 cities that span over six continents, with more on the way. During these sessions, leading designers, artists, bloggers, entrepreneurs and creatives of all types share their stories, ideas and advice on how to harness your creativity and utilise your mind to it’s full potential.

Hosted by Jeremy Wortsman of the Jacky Winter group, the Melbourne leg of the CreativeMornings talk is a free event that also serves free baked goodies and coffee (which is great for a broke and starving creative like me). Held monthly, these seminars feature emerging creative talent, as well as established professionals who know exactly what it takes to make a living in the industry. This month, Lucy Feagins of the Design Files was the speaker.

Starting the Design Files in 2008, Feagins has been behind the helm of the operation since it’s conception, which has meant many long hours researching, shooting and writing for the site. However, the hard work has certainly paid off, with the blog being named The Times (UK) as one of the world’s Top 50 design blogs in 2009.

Affable and humorous, Feagins put it to the audience plain and simple; if you want to succeed in the world of online content production, you have to be willing to create your site form start to finish. That means being in control of any photos, words or videos that may feature on your site. Ultimately, for Feagins, approaching the production of the Design Files like this meant that all off her website was original and new, unlike anything else on the net.

And whilst Feagins did make the point that her original content has often been the victim of plagiarism, she shared the resolution that in the modern online environment, plagiarism is unavoidable. She even went as far as to say that as long as that her site is the one that gets the content out in the first place, anything that is done with her images afterwards is like ‘bonus exposure’.

The points that Feagins raised during the talk were all extremely valid and interesting, and made me start to see what kind of commitment is needed to make your creative passion into a reality. Whilst I am a far stretch off gaining a living from my creative endeavours, I hope to one day put into practice what Feagins has said and apply it to my own blog or website.

Ultimately, I don’t believe that being a ‘creative’ is another word for unemployed, Lucy Feagins has proved that. However, I can see that to really gain the recognition that warrants monetary supplementation requires the a different holistic type of approach that many bloggers, including myself, do not employ.

I guess for the meantime I’ll have to continue my broke and starving creative ways.


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