Image – CL-Q, Tate Switch House
Soundtrack – The Day, The Roots
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. — Robert Kennedy
This is the final exhale of #EmergingJournal, preceding the first inhale of the #CreativeEntrepreneur. How did we get here? Why are we here? And how far have we come? I explore these question not introspectively, but fully aware that there are thousands of students (yet to graduate), graduates (experiencing industry for the first time) and seasoned employees (itching to manifest their own agendas) who are simultaneously on this road of discovery and/or manifest their ideas in the most effective way possible.
The intention of Emerging Journal was to explore how to become someone of value within the creative industries. By value I mean impactful and respected, however, what was demonstrated was the criteria in which we as creatives are measured by, the as a result, finding ways to subvert those markers and take control of our own progress and develop a value system that empowers creatives rather than make them dependent. Fact, this was a tumultuous expedition, comprising of extreme highs in the form of commissions, international opportunities and the growth of my individual agendas. Un/fortunately also including the lowest of lows, which appeared as the ‘self-degradation paradox’ meaning having to be overqualified to be visible, while having to undersell my achievements in order to have a seat at the table.
The emergence of any creative within the creative industry is not rocket science, but it’s gruelling.
This series of articles was developed as a means to challenge the preconceptions of what it meant to be a creative practitioner. More importantly, jolting fellow creatives to view themselves, as ‘Creative Entrepreneurs’. As a result identifying the non-exploitive financial models within their practice. rejecting the idea that to sell is to create a product not an “Expressive or exploratory piece of work”.
Along with this emotionally corruptive journey, I had sought out how to define the term “Emerging” within creative industries, and the power structures that have created the crabs in the bucket circumstance and an unshakeable inferiority complex plaguing artists across the world. Therefore one crediting those able to survive the waves of public annihilation or worst, the deafening indifference of culture-defining publications.
At our first point of reflection, we established that to accept the title of “Emerging” is to subscribe to criteria of approval in which you did not define, in anticipation of your day in the sun (international acclaim). Undeclared, the maintenance of this form of acclaim is trend-led rather than by conviction. Switching perspective to that of a Creative Entrepreneur, the manifestation of your ideas or the dissemination of your talents is with an intent to be regarded as formidable. Principally sound and self-directed, progress is regarded as inevitable through an opportunistic eye with a desire to be in association with the agenda.
It’s important to clarify that “Emerging” whether from a practitioner or entrepreneurial perspective is not bound to international acclaim but rather garnering recognition in a specific field, followed by having an effective engagement with the key figures and/or institutions of that community. Concluding with securing your own audience through your own unique contribution or exploration of topics of interest.
If these three objectives have been achieved, not only have you emerged but you have formed a cyclical and potentially profitable business model.
Littered with business advice and strategies such as; how to build equity in your practice, how to identify a successful business and how adjusting your mindset can create opportunities that your peers will never fathom unless instructed, this journal has been far more than business advice, but an insight into the psychological status of creative entrepreneurs at an unnaturally rapid rate, transitioning from hobby to obsession then to career.
Thinking as a leader, better yet an investor changes your perspective drastically, Jay-z’s 4:44 album articulates that clearly. The remedy to an artist’s narcissism is to change their priorities and put their community first. Putting yourself will get you to pay for your own gravestone. Entrepreneurship is the most immediate route to impact a community, although the most difficult. However, employment and the evolution to larger finances delays impact but offers more conclusive result when put into action. Whichever path is chosen awareness or surveillance of the battleground remains the same; Peers, publications, Institutions, Venues, Partners, Associates, Benefactors and or Sponsors. The bottom line is to understand your environment, discovering something new is to declare war on what already exists.
These past 9-10 months have been a time to be recklessly organised, grasping at opportunities, creating opportunities and laying the foundation to create an effective and meaningful pursuit of passion, purpose and professionalism. So, after all, is said and done, I welcome the question one more time…
Anonymous: What is Emerging?
CL-Q : Emerging is the fortification and refinement of your philosophy as a creative come creative entrepreneur. Your philosophy your approach your infrastructure, your ethics. These are the foundations in which your practice come business are built on, better yet elevated by. The title was devised through the same mentality of insurance companies. Creating a state of fear and validation only achieved when you’ve bought into their service. RESIST. Validation from others is powered by the absence of you making yourself self-efficient, self-valued and self-defining. Recognition, respect and financial independence can be built for yourself. It’s not given, it’s not earned, it’s built. You can’t work for yourself if you’re not willing to work on yourself. A certain level of maturity and the ability to shift from thinking subjectively and objectively is essential. Once again, if it does not exist build it. Portfolios, digital or physical are only the beginning, you become a service as soon as you are commissioned, you become a platform as soon as soon as other voices are represented. Neither of these things detracts from you being an artist / designer / director/ writer or any other title you use. The work is not less pure because you sold it. If the integrity of the work fails to remain intact it’s because you allowed it to be compromised, that’s more of a reflection of you, rather than the client. The world is not short of customers, what we lack are the languages to dialogue with them. Don’t make your world small.
Anonymous : How do you know who your allies and your enemies?
CL-Q : If they hate me, they wish mediocrity on me.
Missed an article? You can read the entire ‘EmergingJournal’ here :