For the last instalment from our Resident Creative Liam Cameron, we chat about the challenges facing young creatives, the necessity of downtime and looking to the future.
What do you think are the main challenges for young creatives?
Having the motivation to make stuff and continue making stuff is hard. That’s why it’s important to be creative for the sake of being creative i.e. enjoying the process itself, not the end result – be that the finished work or monetary payment or whatever.
However, in saying that, some people have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Monetization of your creativity and getting rewarded for your efforts is one of the biggest struggles. I guess it helps when you can supply a demand.
Go and look at your early stuff and reflect on just how shit it is. The more shit, the better; that means that you’ve improved heaps.
The fact that a million other people have the same or better technical ability than you makes it even harder. Having creativity, imagination and originality are some things that can help separate you from others. As can networking and getting your work out there, but they’re another story altogether.
Comparing yourself to other people and their work can be toxic: Those who are ‘better’ than you (can bring you down in a depressed state of mediocrity) and those who are ‘worse’ than you (can feed your ego and make you feel good). Neither really helps. Only compare yourself to yourself.
Go and look at your early stuff and reflect on just how shit it is. The more shit, the better; that means that you’ve improved heaps. Obviously, take anything anyone says with a grain of salt. As disheartening as it is, having some kind of awareness and respect and reflection on great creatives at least gets you out of coasting in the under 6s if you know what I mean.
Praise and criticism.
And I don’t mean constructive criticism. This is similar to selfcomparison, but more nuanced. Dualistically, if you consider one, you must consider the other. For example, if you take it to heart when your Mummy says that you’re the next Picasso, you also let the naysayers, who say stuff like you’re terrible and will never amount to anything, influence you.
In other words, try not to let audience response or Facebook likes, etc dictate your state or perception of your work quality. Continue regardless. There are probably lots of other challenges that I haven’t mentioned. All things considered, it’s pretty tough. Through the struggle, a lot of people will eventually give up. Don’t let failure bring you down. And just keep doing.
What do you do in your downtime?
Think about things that I should (or could) be doing. Wasting time on Facebook and getting side-tracked on the net. These things take up 90% of my time.
When I’m not being a lazy slug, I read, exercise, watch films and meditate. Obviously, doing the work is the most important, but if you’re not reading (a slab of paper written by prominent and influential mofos distilling their lives/teachings/ideas, etc so you can tap into their consciousness and learn from their lessons) or meditating (Google that shit, muggle), your world could be much better.
What can you never leave the house without?
After having a crappy old Nokia until mid-last year some time, maybe my iPhone. I used to draw maps on paper, but this beast has GPS. You can even look up the train times. The camera is nice too. I like taking snaps on it.
Having it leaves you no excuse for being lazy. To mix things up a bit, I have only included iPhone photos for this segment.
What is different in your personal work compared to your commercial work?
Not much really. I would say that they’re almost the same, except that sometimes my personal work can be more experimental.
As long as you keep doing… things will go alright. Can use that momentum whichever direction you go.
What is next for you?
Cut up some fruit and veg to make a juice. Mmm.
Having finished uni last year, there aren’t many excuses left for not becoming a functional member of society. Doing an Honours thesis has kind of pushed me away from further study in the meantime.
I sometimes think that if I fail at life, I’ll just commence a PHD. But, seriously, that’ll be a consideration if I discover something that I really, really want to research, not just an interest or curiosity. I also think that it’s beneficial to acquire some life experiences before doing that.
On the photo side of things, I’ll continue doing model portfolios. There’s some stuff on the horizon such as shooting for uni, along with some great music opportunities and event stuff.
Also thinking about getting into something that could utilise my natural strengths, like mathematics, so perhaps through economics or something. Haven’t really looked too much into it. Nevertheless, one must continue the grind. Day in day out. As long as you keep doing shit, things will go alright. Can use that momentum whichever direction you go. We’ll see.
Next Tuesday we will launch our next resident creative – stay tuned.