10 things creatives should do in 2012



I know a lot of creatives have made their New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t, this should be a basic guideline:

1. Finish that big project you started two years ago. We all have those passion projects which pretty much end up on the drawing board. Go Mr T on yourself and get on with it. It’s a new year, finish the old and start something new.

2. Start a big project. If you don’t fall in the abovementioned group, you should do this. As creatives, we need to challenge ourselves all the time. Do a project that is outside the office, something where you have all the say.

3. Update your portfolio. My portfolio is older than I am, I might as well have pictures of stick men standing next to a square house. I am ashamed.

4. Learn a new skill. Today, companies want graphic designers who have knowledge in HTML, photographers who have layout skills and copywriters with tea-making skills. So what are you waiting for? The ghost of Christmas skills.

5. Read more. I know there are some graphic designers who are cussing me out silly right now. Yes I said it, read more. Start with a colouring book then move on to a book with lots of pictures and work your way up. I’m not joking: Designers can’t read.

6. Showcase more of your work. There are great opportunities to get your work seen, such as COUP magazine’s Creative Space, which promotes your work to the correct people, regardless of what creative industry you are in.

7. Get digital. I met an artist who didn’t know what LinkedIn was and thought Behance was a German cocktail. I was tempted to call the cops.

8. On the topic of getting digital, make yourself an online portfolio. Going to an interview with a big portfolio bag is like going to a knife fight with the Sex in the City 2 DVD as your weapon.

9. Follow trends to make trends. This year, try not to copy what the cool cats are doing but take what they’ve done and pimp it out. To the older folks, that means ‘Make it rad, dude.’

10. Enter as many competitions as possible. Even if you never win anything, you are getting your name out there and that’s what it’s all about. Unless you really suck. In that case, ignore this statement.


So there it is. If you can’t do all of them, at least do three. If you have more points to offer, please share them in the comments section. For now, I’m going to fix up my portfolio.


Creative Director. Founder of The SA Creatives. Designer, fine artist, writer, photographer & idea hunter. Arch enemy of Powerpoint. @artwelln

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