Work and Money
5 Ways To Make a Career Out of Creativity
Art director and set decorator Sarah Bick uses her creativity to bring new worlds to life on stage every day. She’s worked on films and television programs such as The Favourite and A Very English Scandal, and she even created a hypnotherapy business called Inna. Inna combines creative work with helping others achieve success in personal ways. “I was always making models as a child,” Bick tells CircleAround. “As an only child without siblings, my dream worlds were rich and extensive. I turned this hobby into a career as a set decorator, for all sorts of feature films.”
Based on her experience, we asked Bick to share some strategies on how others can develop a creative pursuit into a career. Here’s what she said.
1Live Your Passion First
Working in the film industry, or any industry where design and performance are part of the job, requires a certain level of personal initiative, according to Bick. She emphasizes the importance of creating your own work to break into the creative field of your choice instead of waiting for opportunities to come to you.
“Start your own projects, find others starting out and collaborate, get painting, writing, whatever you do, in your free time,” she explains. “Those projects will land you your first job. Don’t wait for the job first, live your passion first.”
2No BFA? No Problem
Some folks never pursue their dreams because their background doesn’t match the kind of work they want to create. According to Bick, formal university education certainly helps mold your craft, but not having a BFA or MFA shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing these fields.
“Getting a degree is great mainly for the time you can spend focusing on your art, but I don’t believe it’s always necessary for most creative subjects,” she tells CircleAround. “For me, I used the time to get work experience which led to work on films. I studied theater design, but when I learnt that designing for films was an actual thing, I made my own curriculum to learn about that.”
3Persevere Even When Feeling Discouraged
Working in the arts can mean long hours, low pay, and intimidating attitudes from superior colleagues. It takes a toll, but there are ways to keep yourself from getting discouraged and burning out.
Bick suggests recognizing patterns and personal attributes to work on to help persevere through these moments. “Are you a perfectionist? Do you people please? Do you have other things outside your creative job?” she asks.
“Understanding ourselves and getting balance even when our passion is our work, is so important for our well-being,” Bick advises. Of course working with decent people is high up the list and managing the expectations of others … But we can learn healthy boundaries.”
4Look for Inspiration Everywhere
Feeling inspired and invigorated will get you through the tough times. Sometimes, it’s about keeping your eyes, ears, and other senses open to help you see things in a different way.
“Inspiration comes from everywhere and having a personal creativity which is all yours keeps the creative juices flowing,” Bick tells CircleAround. “I’m a big fan of the book, The Artist’s Way. I do morning pages and an Artist Date with myself every week, where I do a task or visit to nurture my inner artist.”
5Combine Your Passions in New Ways
Working on a TV set, or for a music production company, might seem glamorous, but not all creative environments will be for you. Bick knows from experience that there are many ways to combine passions and interests, and inject your creativity into almost any field out there.
“After 10 years working in the film industry, I started to burn out and this turned my attention to therapy,” she shares. “Now I have an online practice helping hundreds of people, and am still able to intersect between both fields by providing hypnotherapy for creative block, to artists and creatives. I also apply this work as a well-being facilitator on film sets.”
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re just starting out in a creative field, looking for a career change, or want to integrate art into your current work, there are steps you can take toward the creative career you want. Bick is proof there are no limits when it comes to your personal artistic journey, and if you keep yourself open to it, inspiration really is everywhere.