Knowledge base & skillset required for Creative Artists today

The practical knowledge base and skillset required of Creative Artists entering a professional industry today is very broad. A budding Creative Artist needs to develop a very broad practical knowledge base and skillset across their chosen discipline or industry, including a number of creative processes, a working knowledge of a range of technical equipment (hardware and software), and what we refer to as the soft skills, life skills for effective interaction and engagement; in order to operate successfully within and around an industry-based environment. In my experience, the combination of these 3 elements are minimal requirements for developing a successful professional career as a Creative Artist.
Michael Carini - Acrylic on Canvas
Expressive Processes: There is an expectation for the Creative Artist to be proficient in a range of expressive and creative processes used within an industry-based environment. These processes are usually quantifiable in terms of outcomes achieved, and more than likely creative or expressive activities. For example in audio or music, this could include the creative processes of songwriting, composing, arranging, production (recording, for example) or post-production (mixing, for example).
Rode Competition prize
Equipment: There is also an expectation to understand and to be able to proficiently operate a range of technical equipment that would typically be found in an industry-based environment. This is likely to include both hardware and software, utilising a range of varied operating systems used by the significant manufacturers within the specific area of the industry. Whilst this range of equipment may take years to master, a proficient level is required for a Creative Artist to succeed in a professional position.
However, in addition to the required technical knowledge and skills noted above, there are a range of other knowledge and skills deemed necessary for a Creative Artist to succeed in a professional position.
Soft Skills
Life skills: Often referred to as the soft skills  [see pinterest.com/dpgold], the Creative Artist must also become adept in life skills, the skills for effective interaction and engagement: communication, engaging, discussion, expression, reflecting, developing their self image and voice, changing & developing their views and perceptions, goal setting, time management, negotiation, and conflict resolution, to name a few.  Whilst it is extremely important to have the industry knowledge and skills (possibly developing oneself to be considered an industry-based subject matter expert [SME]), many now consider the soft skills to be the higher priority of the required skills for success within an industry.  Leading global Creative Media Institute “SAE Institute” integrates the development of the Creative Artist’s soft skills in the many Creative Media projects students are required to undertake throughout their courses.  SAE’s stated Learning Outcomes across all course units include: “developing a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, good communication skills, time management skills, problem-solving skills, becoming an effective team player, developing self-confidence, accepting and learning from criticism, flexibility and adaptability and working well under pressure” (SAE 2014, p13). The ethos being: for any Creative Artist to work professionally, they are going to need to work with others – artists, artist aanagement or clients – on projects, to a project brief, within some form of project completion date or deadline. At some point within the project, there will more than likely be a need for discussion between the project members or the project leader and the client, and this could include negotiation of the project direction or possible content for inclusion or exclusion, or the project completion date. In this circumstance, the Creative Artist’s ability to interact effectively and efficiently during this process will more than likely govern the on-going status of the project, the satisfaction the clients has with the project progression and/or outcome, and perhaps most importantly, the potential for future ongoing projects between the various parties, or positive referrals.
Of course, whilst the level of creativity and effectiveness of the required creative process or technique may also be of significant importance, without the Creative Artist possessing the ability to interact with the client and work effectively and efficiently within the project’s parameters, then the project may not proceed; irrespective of how exemplary the Art is. In fact, I have observed on numerous occasions, a less than exemplary Artist being provided ongoing projects over another exemplary Artist, purely due to the superior ability of the former Artist to more effectively and efficiently interact and engage. In a professional industry today, the ideology of ‘my art is enough’ no longer holds true.
Therefore, in order to operate successfully within and around an industry-based environment, a budding Creative Artist needs to develop a very broad practical knowledge base and skillset across their chosen discipline or industry, including a number of creative processes, a working knowledge of a range of technical equipment (hardware and software), and perhaps most importantly, what we refer to as the ‘soft’ skills, life skills for effective interaction and engagement. In my experience, the 3rd element of soft skills in particular is essential in order for a Creative Artist to develop a successful professional career.
References
Painting image courtesy of: Michael Carini – Acrylic on Canvas (78” x 120”)” Alexander Salazar Fine Art   Accessed 24th November, 2014 
Film Equipment image courtesy of: Filmbrute  Accessed 24th November, 2014 
SAE Institute Bachelor of Audio Unit Guide (2014), ‘AUD111 Introduction to Audio Engineering Unit Guide_140922’  Accessed 23rd November, 2014 
Soft skills image courtesy of: Baker Anderson  Accessed 24th November, 2014 
– ©David L Page 25/11/2014
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.
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Media Identity & Curation Part 2

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As revealed in my blog last month, Media Identity & Curation Part 1, I hold a very broad view of creative practice. My interests, activities and roles are diverse. I love life and the aesthetic of life. Whether it is a visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, gustatory or olfactory-based creations, I embrace them all. As my personal motto describes, my life is full: “Life is about the moment……. experiencing the moment…” (Page 2014). Whilst most days I prioritise my primary interest of music practice, I take every opportunity to immerse myself proactively in as many sensory-based practices as I can on a daily basis. I seek out people to engage and learn from – practitioners who know more of a discipline area than I do – to develop my knowledge, understanding and appreciation of that particular practice.

My Media Strategy

As described last month, I use social media to support my diverse interests and practice. The sites I choose and the practice I engage through each site such as blogging and curating of text, video and audio resources relate to my broad creative practice. My media strategy is very deliberate. The media sites must connect the diversity of my interests and practice. The media sites must facilitate the expression of my self, revealing more understanding of my self in the process, and making connections with others of similar interests or practice to share experience, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a particular practice.
 In this aspect of my creative practice, new facets of myself and in turn, new distinctions regarding my practice are revealed – to my self, and to others. Through my media strategy the dynamic relationship between my self, my practice and my audience is demonstrated –  my self informing my practice, my practice informing my self and my audience, which in turn reinforces and consolidates my identity at any point in time.
Representative of my diverse interests and practice, the social media sites I use include: about.me, gravatar.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, twitter.com, linked-in.com, myspace.com, facebook.com, pinterest.com, you-tube.com, soundcloud.com, instagram.com, lastfm.com, slideshare.com, googlescholar.com, academia.com and google.com.
[Note: I also write, perform and produce under pseudonyms. I consider each pseudonym an alternative identity.  I am conscious these specific practice identities also inform my creative practice as defined in this blog, and will no doubt reveal themselves for interrogation, analysis and reflection during my  higher degree research study. But for the purpose of this blog, I will disregard the media I use to represent those identities. 
In this blog I choose one site that I proactively use to support my creative practice, and show how I have structured the curation of the content. The site is: Pinterest.com.

Pinterest [Pinterest.com/David L Page]

Pinterest Board Categories.20160306.P1b
Pinterest uses a board system for the user to categorise their interests. The boards I have created are intended to reflect the diversity of my interests, activities and roles. The following boards in some form represent my interests in visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, gustatory and olfactory-based phenomena or creations – natural or constructed. Please note that each the Boards within my Pinterest site, and each pin is linked to a relevant playlist within my You-Tube Channel [You-Tube/David L Page] .
  • *Social Media Sites: connections to David L Page’s Social Media Sites, all linked for ease of access.
  • Academic Creative Media – Texts: All ‘academic creative media texts’ related: Research Methodology, Creativity Theory, Music Theory, Genre Studies, Cultural Theory, Compositional Theory, Arrangement Theory, Songwriting Studies, Audio Theory – Digital versus Analogue, Production Theory – Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Anecdotal, etc. Intended audience are undergraduate and post-graduate Creative Media students
  • Academic Creative Media – JournalsAll ‘academic creative media journals’ related: Research Methodology, Creativity Theory, Music Theory, Genre Studies, Cultural Theory, Compositional Theory, Arrangement Theory, Songwriting Studies, Audio Theory – Digital versus Analogue, Production Theory – Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Anecdotal, etc. Intended audience are undergraduate and post-graduate Creative Media students
  • ArtAll things ‘visual art’ related: paintings, posters, drawings, lithographs, sculpture, pottery; and the people that do it……
  • Audio – EquipmentAll things ‘audio equipment’ related: any audio equipment including hardware, software, and peripheral equipment and devices……
  • Audio – RecordingAll things ‘audio recording’ related in a studio: microphones, microphone placement, microphone technique and any recording related technique or matter ……
  • Audio – TheoryAll things ‘Audio Theory’ related: sound waves, frequencies, amplitude, decibels, harmonics, acoustics, electronics……
  • Audio – Post ProductionAll things ‘Audio Post-Production’ related: ADR, Foley, Mixing, Mastering
  • Audio – Live SoundAll things ‘audio recording’ related in live sound: sound reinforcement, stage setup, front of house, monitoring side of stage, microphones, microphone placement, microphone technique and any live sound related technique or matter ……
  • Audio – TextsAll ‘audio texts’ related: Theory, Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Post-Production, Anecdotal or Process, etc. Intended audience are Audio Production practitioners & students

Pinterest Board Categories.20160306.P2b.png

  • CelestialAll things celestial – space and movement in places other than on Planet Earth………
  • ComedyAll things ‘comedy’ related: people or events…
  • Community MusicCommunity MusicAll things ‘community music’ related: making music accessible to all … for all to enjoy, to learn, to develop, to become, to overcome, ‘holistic therapy’ …..To guide, to mentor, to inspire, to educe……
  • Culture: Language, Dress, Values, Beliefs, Spirituality, Rituals, Traditions, Music, Food, LifestyleAll things ‘culture’ related: Language, Dress, Values, Beliefs, Spiritual Beliefs, Rituals, Traditions … (I have chosen to exclude Music and Food & Lifestyle here, making other ‘Pinterest boards’ dedicated to those..)…
  • EnvironmentAll things ‘environment’ related: continents, nature – flora, fauna, environmental or historical monuments….
  • Fast, Fun ThingsAll things related to going fast, being physically active, using exhilarating modes of transport……
  • Great ImagesAll things ‘photography and imagery’ related …….. [ In addition to my other Pinterest boards, for more great photos/images, see http://about.me/dpgold/collections/greatpic]
  • Lifestyle, Food & WineAll things ‘living’ related: enjoying, relaxing, breathing, exercising, eating and drinking…..
  • Marketing & PromotionAll things ‘marketing’ related: branding, strategic planning, product analysis, market analysis, proactive plan development, advertising via a range of mediums, print versus social media, promotion ………
  • MoviesAll things ‘film’ related: movies, documentaries, short film, sit-com, or animation; and the people that act or direct these …….
  • PerformanceAll things ‘performance’ related: any creative expression, irrespective of the art form…. performance or performer….
  • Performance – EquipmentAll things ‘performance equipment’ related: any performance-related equipment including hardware, software, and peripheral equipment and devices. ‘Instruments’, no mater their country or nationality origin, or whether their medium is ‘organic’, ‘electronic’ or ‘virtual’…
  • Production & ProducersAll things ‘Producers’ and the ‘Production’ of recorded mediums related: including the Recording and Mixing process and the Producers & Engineers dedicated to this….
  • The ‘Soft Skills’: Communication, Education, Learning, Development & ChangeAll things ‘communication’ related: all that is associated to the act of communicating, engaging, discussion, expressing, projecting, reflecting, learning, developing self image and ‘voice’, changing & developing views and perceptions, goal setting, time management, negotiation, conflict resolution, educing, teaching, training, guiding, or scaffolding: either of yourself or others, into something more than who you were, to become who you really are …….
  • Storytelling: Poetry, Prose, Songwriting & CompositionAll things ‘contemporary storytelling’ related: poetry, prose, & poets, songwriting & songwriters, raps & rappers, composition & composers, arrangements & arrangers….. examples, methods & people who practice the many and varied mediums of ‘contemporary storytelling’…
I have also created three Boards very specific to one particular audience, that of my Trimester One and Trimester Two students within the Bachelor of Audio degree I Lecture in at SAE Institute. I have used these specific Boards to engage in , and take a proactive interest in researching within the particular unit and subject content. These are:
I also joined one Pinterest Group Board which I thought was aligned to my media strategy:
  • MUSICIANS UNITED: ALL THINGS MUSIC:  Beautiful Instruments, Recording Studios, Concerts, Musical Heroes, Quotes, Tips and Tricks, and anything that makes musicians SMILE. :
I am proactive in curating resources (pinning)  and sharing these within my immediate music practice audience, predominantly my Higher Education undergraduate creative media students.I have yet to proactively engage in the wider global market place within Pinterest due to my other commitments and priorities.  I currently have  1,569 Pinterest followers, and I am following 2, 389 Pinterest users.
As a creative practitioner I use social media to support my diverse interests and practice, and Pinterest is an example of this strategy. Within Pinterest, I curate text, video and audio resources that relate to my broad creative practice. I have very deliberately used this media site to connect the diversity of my interests and practice, in concept and functionally via direct links to my other media sites. As a result, this media site facilitates an expression of my self, revealing more understanding of my self in the process, and making connections with others of similar interests or practice to share experience, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a particular practice.
 In this aspect of my creative practice, new facets of myself and in turn, new distinctions regarding my practice are revealed – to my self, and to others. Through this particular media strategy the dynamic relationship between my self, my practice and my audience is demonstrated –  my self informing my practice, my practice informing my self and my audience, which in turn reinforces and consolidates my identity at any point in time.
References
Page, David L. 2014. Life is About the Moment 20/09/2014 Tumblr and WordPress.com blog. Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. Media  Identity & Curation Part 1  18/10/2014  WordPress.com blog. Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s Pinterest.com site  Accessed 13th November, 2014
Page, David L. 2014. David L Page’s You-Tube Channel  Accessed 13th November, 2014
– ©David L Page 14/11/2014
– updated ©David L Page 01/03/2015
– updated ©David L Page 15/15/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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