Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Set your Creative Journey!
We were taught to compete with others. We were taught to compare ourselves with others ahead of us and often feel miserable about it. Parents told. Teachers told. Business school mandated competition. Capitalistic economy gave premium to competition while not giving a fair chance to all to excel. Society asked to perform or perish, be in front or get lost.
We turned logical, very rational, evolved structured thinking, and became 'reasonable'. But we ceased to laugh in abundance, or dance with the wind, or sing when heart wanted, or act funny every now and then.
We even thought that anything which is creative, which is right-brain, which is aesthetic or artistic, is for appreciation, admiration, a tool to break ice with others for social charm, and only that much. They are not to make money, create careers, and be valued in the economy.
There were exceptions though. Someone's piece of art sold at thirty lacs you hear. Someone sang for almost half a crore one night. Someone wrote a story whose film rights went for twenty lacs you got to know. And many more! But these were not enough for your 'security' seeking parents and would be parents-in-law to consider you having a recipe of 'success' ahead.
It is time to declare a beautiful, colourful and bold war against all of these which went against your grain if you are a creative soul from inside. It is time to declare, “Ladies and gentlemen, here I arrive, a unique creative soul, with no competition with anyone except myself, dedicated to my creative work, aware of the technologies I need to make this work a great one, and conscious of the ways and means to take my work to millions and earn my livelihood with joy and abundance, and for years and years ahead.”
Security? Sustainability? Career? Money? Fame? Name? Network? Recognition? You name it and it is there for the taking. But only for those who would go the full hog to turn their die-hard dogged passion into a marketable sustainable admired profession. Dog is my favourite animal indeed.
So, all the artists on canvas or stone or wood or glass, stand up and create a brand of your own through social media, place yourself in the market-place through corporate art, media cartoons, restaurant art, art curating, art gallery, art foundations, or art and literary festivals.
The story-tellers around, stand up and choose your medium and audience to tell your story. Tell it in audio through podcasts and radio. Tell it in pictures through photo features and creative photography. Tell it visually through your computer generated graphical or animated visuals. Tell it audio-visually through short stories, feature films, web series. Tell it for-profit and not-for-profit organizations through branded content. Tell it on streets, tell it on stage. Tell it in whispers, tell it in small groups, tell it to many, tell it to all, tell it loud and clear. Tell it in silence, tell it with sound. Tell it in tears, tell with laughter. But tell it with all charm and boldness. And make good money in the process. No one thought that a 400 crores investment in story-telling on celluloid over five years can bring in 3500 crores. Bahubali did. Or that a 90 crores investment can bring in 2200 crores back. Dangal did.
But know the right techniques to tell it effectively, know your right audiences to tell it with the best desired impact, know how to be resourceful in your work without chasing just the mundane.
For the dancers, the singers, the composers, the writers among us, we have a world of opportunities knocking on our doors. There are some sixteen types of professional writing, for example, that can make money: fiction, non-fiction, journalistic, web-writing, branded content, screenplay, dialogues, playwriting, copy writing, jingle writing, technical writing, and a lot more. You want to tell what you see, or what you imagine, or what you believe in, or what you observe: you have takers for all. Music has a robust career in bands, concerts, music management, online music, playback singing, music direction, fusion creation, and many more. So do the dancers dancing in troupes and films, for functions and weddings, running schools and events, managing operas and dance directing.
Then there are weaving stories on fabrics, blending nature and culture with apparel, and creating styles and fashion simple or stunning. There are all other forms of creative and communicative careers now: creating those creative geeks with penchant for technology more than others: you have a longer path of fun and success. Fantasy visualized into animated images, characters and stories. The stories you cooked up all your life, with some observation of your sample audiences, can be evolved into video games that engage them. Today, virtual reality (creating the make-belief world which is not in front physically) or augmented reality (extending the physical reality to a larger canvas) are storming the creative space. They are breaking all frontiers of imaginative story-telling.
Then there are weaving stories on fabrics, blending nature and culture with apparel, and creating styles and fashion simple or stunning. There are all other forms of creative and communicative careers now: creating all. It has to be the best foot forward or show no limb. It has to be ideas, concepts, practices, technologies and business sense all rolled into one.
And to get this knowledge right, with a portfolio that can command a price, and acquiring technical skills that will hold you for long in the market-place of talent, choose an institute which is hands-on, which is intricately industry-connected, and which is strong in technical infra-structure and intellectual capital. Bon Voyage in your creative journey!
Prof. Ujjwal Kumar Chowdhury
The author is currently the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Adamas University, Kolkata and earlier has been the School Head, School of Media, Pearl Academy, Mumbai and Delhi; Dean of Symbiosis, Amity University and Whistling Woods International.