7 Ways to Develop Skills for a Creative Career
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Practice regularly and commit to your craft
  2. Seek out opportunities to learn from others
  3. Challenge yourself with new projects
  4. Take risks and embrace failure
  5. Network with industry professionals
  6. Stay updated with latest industry trends
  7. Create a portfolio to showcase your work

Picture yourself in a creative career, where each day brings new sparks of creativity and opportunities to make your mark on the world. This isn't just a dream—it can become your reality by developing transferable skills for creative careers. From graphic designers to writers, musicians to filmmakers, all creative professionals need a robust set of transferable skills to thrive in their fields. In this blog, we'll walk through seven ways you can develop these skills and set yourself up for a rewarding creative career.

Practice regularly and commit to your craft

Ever heard the saying, "Practice makes perfect"? Well, it's true—especially when you're aiming to build transferable skills for creative careers. Practicing your craft regularly is like giving your creativity muscles a good workout. You don't become a great guitarist just by strumming a guitar once a week. Similarly, you won't develop a knack for writing if you don't commit to writing consistently. Here's how you can make practice a regular part of your routine:

  • Set aside dedicated time: Life can get busy, but setting aside a specific time each day to practice your craft can make a big difference. This could be first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or even late at night—whatever works best for you.
  • Establish realistic goals: You're not going to paint the next Mona Lisa overnight. Instead, set achievable goals that push you to improve, such as sketching a new drawing every day or writing a short story each week.
  • Keep a progress journal: Keeping a record of your journey can be a great motivator. Whether it's a notebook of sketches or a folder of drafts, seeing your progress over time can encourage you to keep going.
  • Stay patient and persistent: Developing transferable skills for creative careers isn't a sprint—it's a marathon. You might not see improvement right away, but don't let that discourage you. Keep practicing, and you'll gradually see the fruits of your labor.

Remember, the key to mastering any craft is consistency. You're not just practicing to get better—you're also building discipline, honing your focus, and nurturing your creativity. So make a commitment to your craft, stick to it, and watch as your skills and confidence grow.

Seek out opportunities to learn from others

When it comes to developing transferable skills for creative careers, you don't have to go it alone. Learning from others can provide invaluable insights and accelerate your progress. After all, why not learn from the experiences, successes, and even mistakes of those who've already walked the path you're on? Here's how you can seek out and take advantage of these learning opportunities:

  • Find a mentor: A mentor is someone who's been where you are and can guide you along your journey. They can provide feedback on your work, offer advice based on their experiences, and even introduce you to others in the industry.
  • Take classes or workshops: There are countless classes and workshops—both online and in-person—that can help you hone your craft. These can introduce you to new techniques, provide hands-on practice, and even give you the opportunity to learn from industry professionals.
  • Join a community: Whether it's a local artist's group or an online forum for writers, being part of a community can provide a wealth of resources. You can share your work, ask for feedback, and learn from the experiences of others.
  • Consume relevant content: This can range from reading books and articles, watching documentaries, attending seminars, or listening to podcasts related to your craft. The more you expose yourself to varied perspectives and ideas, the more you can expand your own thinking.

By actively seeking out opportunities to learn from others, you're not just developing your skills—you're also building connections and gaining a broader understanding of your field. So don't be afraid to reach out, ask questions, and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Remember, every person you meet and every experience you have can offer a new lesson to learn.

Challenge yourself with new projects

Developing transferable skills for creative careers often means stepping out of your comfort zone. By taking on new projects that challenge you, you can push your boundaries, discover new talents, and grow your skills more than you ever thought possible.

Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Take on a project outside your comfort zone: Whether it's a new medium you've never tried, a genre outside your norm, or a project with a tight deadline—these can all push your skills to their limits and help you grow in unexpected ways. It's natural to feel a little intimidated, but remember, it's these challenges that shape us into better creatives.
  • Participate in competitions or challenges: From local art contests to global writing challenges, these platforms can push you to produce your best work. Plus, it's a great way to get your work out there and potentially earn some recognition.
  • Collaborate on a project: Collaboration can bring fresh ideas and perspectives that challenge your own way of thinking. It can also give you a chance to learn new techniques and approaches from others.
  • Start a passion project: Passion projects allow you to explore your interests and try new things without the pressure of external expectations. Plus, they can be a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Remember, every new project—even the ones that don't go as planned—brings you one step closer to mastering your craft. So don't be afraid to challenge yourself. Who knows? You might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

Take risks and embrace failure

Developing transferable skills for creative careers often involves risk-taking. It's all about daring to try new things and not being afraid to fail. Because in reality, failure is not the end of the road—it's just another stepping stone on your journey to success.

Here's how you can embrace this mindset:

  • Step outside your comfort zone: Try something different in your work, like a new technique or a different style. It might not always work out, but that's okay. You'll learn something new, and that's what counts.
  • Accept that mistakes happen: No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. But it's how we learn from these mistakes that defines us. So the next time you make a mistake, don't beat yourself up. Instead, take it as a chance to learn and grow.
  • Don’t let fear hold you back: Fear of failure can be paralyzing. But instead of letting it stop you, use it as motivation. Remember, every great artist, writer, designer—any creative—has faced failure at some point. But they didn't let it stop them, and neither should you.
  • Learn to bounce back: Failure can be tough, but it's not the end. It's just a bump in the road. So when you face failure, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going. Remember, the road to success is paved with failures.

So go ahead, take risks. Embrace failure. Because every risk you take and every failure you face is just another step towards developing your transferable skills for a creative career.

Network with industry professionals

One of the key aspects of developing transferable skills for creative careers is networking with industry professionals. These are the people who've been where you are, faced the challenges you're facing, and have come out on top. They can provide you with valuable insights, advice, and opportunities that can help you grow in your career.

Here are a few ways you can build your professional network:

  • Attend industry events: From conventions to workshops, industry events are great places to meet like-minded individuals and professionals. These events often have panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions where you can learn new things and meet new people.
  • Engage on social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram can be great places to connect with industry professionals. Follow them, engage with their posts, and don't hesitate to reach out and start a conversation.
  • Join professional groups: There are plenty of online and offline groups for creative professionals. These can be great places to meet people, share ideas, and get feedback on your work.
  • Don't be afraid to reach out: If you admire someone's work or think you could learn from them, don't be afraid to reach out and ask for advice or feedback. Most people are happy to help.

Remember, networking is not just about taking—it's about giving as well. Be open to helping others, sharing knowledge, and providing feedback. This way, you're not just building connections—you're building meaningful relationships that can help you in developing transferable skills for your creative career.

Developing transferable skills for creative careers also involves staying in touch with the latest trends in your industry. This way, you can adapt, evolve, and keep your skills relevant in a rapidly changing world. But how do you keep up with industry trends? Here's how:

  • Read up: Subscribe to industry newsletters, magazines, or blogs. These resources often share the latest news, trends, and insights in the industry. The trick is to make reading them a part of your regular routine.
  • Follow thought leaders: Industry thought leaders often share their insights, ideas, and predictions on social media or their personal blogs. Following them can help you stay ahead of the curve.
  • Attend webinars and online courses: Many organizations and industry professionals offer webinars and online courses that can help you stay updated with the latest trends and skills.
  • Participate in online communities: Online communities and forums are great places to discuss and learn about the latest trends. You can find these communities on platforms like Reddit, LinkedIn, and even Facebook.

Staying updated with the latest trends not only helps you keep your skills relevant, but also gives you a competitive edge. It shows potential employers or clients that you're proactive, forward-thinking, and ready to take on any challenges that come your way. So, make it a habit to stay updated and continue developing transferable skills for your creative career.

Create a portfolio to showcase your work

One of the best ways to highlight your skills in a creative career is to have a portfolio. A strong portfolio showcases your work, demonstrates your style, and provides tangible proof of what you can do.

But creating a portfolio can feel like a daunting task, right? Well, it doesn't have to be. Here's a simple guide to help you get started:

  • Choose your best work: This might seem obvious, but it's important to only include your best pieces in your portfolio. These pieces should reflect your unique style and skills.
  • Organize your work: Make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate. Group similar pieces together or arrange them in a chronological order to show your progression.
  • Include project details: For each piece, include a brief description about the project. What was the goal? What role did you play? What skills did you use? This gives context to your work and shows how you apply your skills.
  • Keep it updated: As you continue developing transferable skills for creative careers, you'll create new work. Remember to add these to your portfolio. This shows that you're active and continually improving.

Remember, your portfolio is a reflection of you and your skills. Make it a point to showcase your creativity, versatility, and dedication to your craft. After all, your portfolio can be the key that opens the door to new opportunities in your creative career.

If you're eager to further develop your skills for a creative career, don't miss the workshop 'Building A Sustainable Career As A Multidisciplinary Artist' by Rosa van Iterson. This workshop offers valuable insights and practical advice on how to build a successful and sustainable career as a multidisciplinary artist, helping you reach your full creative potential.