Breaking Ground: 7 Tips for Newcomers in Creative Industry
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


1. Identify Your Passion

2. Build Your Portfolio

3. Network with Professionals

5. Practice Constantly

6. Embrace Failure

7. Continually Develop Your Skills

Breaking into the creative industry can feel like trying to scale a towering, daunting cliff. But fear not, you're not alone in this climb. Each successful creative professional started where you are right now – at the base, looking upwards, "breaking ground". Here are seven practical tips on how to make an impact as a newcomer in the creative industry. We're focusing on turning that steep cliff into a manageable, even enjoyable, hike.

1. Identify Your Passion

Before you set foot on the path to success, it's important to understand what drives you. Identifying your passion isn't just about choosing a favorite color or deciding which type of pasta you prefer. It’s about discovering what gets your creative juices flowing.

  • Observe: Pay attention to the work that excites you. Is it designing logos, creating social media content, or perhaps crafting storyboards for animations? Observing what you naturally gravitate towards is a good pointer to your passion.
  • Experiment: Don't box yourself in prematurely. Feel free to explore different areas of creativity. You might surprise yourself by finding pleasure in a creative task you'd never considered before.
  • Reflect: Once you've sampled different creative fields, take some time to reflect on which ones you enjoyed the most. Which tasks could you lose yourself in for hours? That's likely where your passion lies.

Remember, identifying your passion is a major step towards breaking ground and making an impact as a newcomer in the creative industry. Your passion will be the fuel that drives your creativity, so make sure it's something that sparks joy in you.

2. Build Your Portfolio

After identifying your passion, it's time to showcase your skills and talents through a well-designed portfolio. This isn't just a fancy folder to store your work — it's a powerful tool that speaks volumes about your abilities and your creative journey.

  • Start Small: Don't stress if your portfolio isn't bursting at the seams with work. Start with what you've got. Even one or two pieces that truly showcase your talent and passion can be enough to get started.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Resist the urge to include every single piece of work you've ever done. Instead, carefully select those pieces that demonstrate your range and depth of skills. It's better to have a handful of impressive pieces than a truckload of mediocre ones.
  • Showcase Growth: A portfolio should tell a story — your story. Include early work to show your progress and improvement. This can be particularly compelling to potential clients or employers who are interested in how you've evolved as a creative.

In short, building your portfolio is like constructing a visual resume. It's essential for breaking ground in the creative industry. So, take your time, be thoughtful about what you include, and remember, this is your chance to shine, so make it count!

3. Network with Professionals

Ever heard the saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know?" Well, in the creative industry, both are pretty important. But let's focus on the "who you know" part right now. Networking with professionals can open doors you didn't even know existed.

  • Join Industry Groups: There are countless groups for creatives where you can meet like-minded individuals and industry veterans. These groups often host events, webinars, and forums where you can learn, share, and connect.
  • Attend Events: Conferences, seminars, exhibitions — these are all great places to meet people in your field. Not only can you learn a lot from these events, but you can also make valuable contacts.
  • Use Social Media: Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Twitter can be powerful networking tools. Follow industry leaders, engage with their content, and don't be shy about reaching out with thoughtful, professional messages.

The key to successful networking is genuine engagement. Be interested in others, be respectful, and be helpful when you can. Remember, networking is a two-way street — it's not just about what you can gain, but also what you can give. This way, you're not just making contacts — you're building relationships. And that's how you really start breaking ground in the creative industry.

Have you ever tried to catch a wave, only to find it's already passed? It's the same with industry trends. By the time you spot a trend, it's likely the industry is already on to the next one. So, how do you stay ahead of the curve?

  • Read Industry Publications: Blogs, magazines, and journals specific to your field are often the first to report on emerging trends. Make it a habit to read these regularly.
  • Follow Industry Influencers: Leaders and influencers in the creative industry are often the ones setting the trends. Follow them on social media and pay attention to what they're talking about.
  • Participate in Forums: Platforms like Reddit and Quora can be goldmines for spotting new trends. These are places where professionals and enthusiasts gather to discuss the latest happenings in the industry.

Of course, understanding the trends is just the first step. You also need to figure out how to incorporate them into your work. That's where your unique creativity comes into play. Can you take a trend and put your own spin on it? If you can, you'll be doing more than just following trends - you'll be setting them. And that's when you're really making an impact as a newcomer in the creative industry.

5. Practice Constantly

Imagine trying to run a marathon without ever having jogged a mile. Sounds tough, right? The same principle applies when you're breaking ground in the creative industry. Constant practice is the key to honing your skills and making an impact.

Now, you might be wondering, "How much practice is enough?" There's no one-size-fits-all answer here, but here's a general guideline: practice until what was once difficult becomes easy. Then, find a new challenge and conquer it. Repeat this process, and you'll find yourself growing as a creative professional.

Remember, though, that practicing isn't just about doing the same thing over and over. It's also about experimenting and trying new things. Maybe you're a graphic designer who's only worked in Photoshop. Why not try your hand at Illustrator or Sketch? By expanding your toolkit, you're not only improving your skills, but also making yourself more versatile and marketable in the industry.

Lastly, don't forget to take breaks. Just like athletes need rest days to avoid injuries and burnout, creatives need downtime to recharge their creative batteries. So go ahead, take that walk, read that book, or binge that show. When you come back to your work, you'll be refreshed and ready to create something amazing.

6. Embrace Failure

What's the one thing that all successful creatives have in common? It's not talent or luck—it's the ability to embrace failure. When you're breaking ground in the creative industry, failures aren't just inevitable—they're necessary. So, don't fear them; learn from them.

Every misstep is a stepping stone towards success. Think of any well-known creative professional, and you'll realize that their journey was not a straight line. It was filled with twists, turns, and roadblocks. But they didn't let failure define them; instead, they used it as a springboard for growth.

So, the next time you face a setback, don't let it get you down. Instead, ask yourself two questions: "What did I learn?" and "What can I do better next time?" By turning failure into a learning opportunity, you can keep moving forward and steadily make your mark in the creative industry.

Remember, in the creative world, the most original ideas often come from the most unexpected places. So, don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. If you stumble along the way, that's okay. It's all part of the journey towards breaking ground and making an impact as a newcomer in the creative industry.

7. Continually Develop Your Skills

Breaking ground in a creative industry is a marathon, not a sprint. To continue making an impact, you need to keep your skills sharp and up-to-date. And that means you always have to keep learning.

It could be learning a new software that's making waves in your field, or brushing up on the basics of design principles. Maybe it's a new technique in photography, or a novel approach to storytelling. Whatever it is, embrace the opportunity to learn and grow.

But how do you go about this? Here's a quick tip: dedicate a portion of your time each week to learning something new. This could be anything from attending a webinar, reading a book, or even practicing a new technique.

And don't forget about the power of online resources. There are tons of free tutorials, articles, and courses out there that can help you stay on top of industry trends and improve your skills. So, take full advantage of them.

Remember, the creative industry is constantly evolving. To stay relevant and keep breaking ground as a newcomer, you need to evolve with it. So, keep learning, keep growing, and keep pushing your boundaries. Because in the creative world, the sky's the limit.

If you're a newcomer in the creative industry and looking for guidance on breaking ground, don't miss the workshop 'Getting Started and Taking Off as a Creative' by Adrian Valencia. This workshop will provide you with essential tips and strategies to help you navigate and thrive in the creative world. Get ready to take your first steps towards success!