Creative Industry: Guide to Alternative Careers
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Exploring alternative careers in the creative industry
  2. How to identify your creative skills
  3. Careers in graphic design
  4. Careers in photography
  5. Careers in film and video
  6. Careers in animation
  7. Careers in writing and editing
  8. Careers in music and audio production
  9. Careers in fashion design
  10. How to transition into a creative career

Think you've hit a dead-end in the creative industry? Not so fast. If your creative juices are still flowing, but the traditional roles aren't striking a chord, it's time to consider the road less traveled: alternative career paths in the creative industry. This guide aims to shed some light on less-known but equally rewarding careers that let you flex your creative muscles.

Exploring Alternative Careers in the Creative Industry

Let's begin our journey down the road less traveled by understanding what we mean by "alternative careers". These are roles that don't always show up on the traditional job boards but require just as much creativity, passion, and skill. Let's explore:

  • Art Therapy: Ever thought about using art to heal? Art therapists employ painting, pottery, and other forms of artistic expression to help individuals communicate and cope with mental health issues.
  • Toy Design: Remember the joy of playing with your first toy? Well, imagine being the one to create that joy for others. Toy designers combine their creative skills with an understanding of child development to create toys that are fun, safe, and educational.
  • Forensic Artist: If you have a knack for drawing and an interest in law enforcement, this could be your path. These artists use composite sketching to help solve crimes.
  • Food Stylist: Ever wonder why the food in advertisements looks so mouth-watering? That's the work of a food stylist. They use their artistic skills to make food look irresistible on camera.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of creative jobs that don't often make the headlines but are integral parts of our society. So, if you're feeling stuck in your current role or considering a career change, remember: the road less traveled in the creative industry is full of untapped potential.

How to Identify Your Creative Skills

Before we continue down the road less traveled, let's pause to consider an important question: What are your creative skills? Knowing your strengths can help guide your journey to a fulfilling alternative career in the creative industry.

Identifying your creative skills can be a fun and enlightening process. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Reflect on past projects: Think about the work you've done that you're most proud of. What skills were needed to complete those projects? Was it your eye for detail, your ability to think outside the box, or perhaps your knack for storytelling?
  • Ask for feedback: Sometimes, it's hard to see our own strengths. Ask trusted friends, family members, or colleagues for their perspective. They might notice creative skills you've overlooked.
  • Try new experiences: Dabble in different creative activities. You might discover a talent for graphic design after taking a course, or realize you have a flair for color coordination when redecorating your living room.
  • Take an assessment: There are many tests available that can help you identify your creative skills. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, for example, can provide insights into how you perceive the world and make decisions, which can be a powerful tool for identifying your unique creative skills.

Remember, the road less traveled in the creative industry is all about finding your unique niche. Identifying your creative skills is the first step on this exciting journey.

Careers in Graphic Design

As you venture down the road less traveled, let's take a turn into the realm of graphic design. This creative field is not only about creating visually appealing designs, but also about communicating ideas effectively. If your creative skills lie in the combination of art and technology, then graphic design could be an exciting alternative career path for you in the creative industry.

Here are some less traditional, but equally enriching, career paths in graphic design:

  • Information Designer: This role involves creating infographics, charts, and presentations. It's a great path if you love turning complex data into easy-to-understand visuals.
  • User Interface (UI) Designer: UI designers focus on how software or websites look and function, ensuring they are user-friendly. If you've ever admired the layout of an app or a website, then you've appreciated the work of a UI designer.
  • Brand Identity Designer: This role involves creating a visual identity for a business or product, including logos, color schemes, and typography. It’s a great fit if you enjoy storytelling and creating a consistent look and feel across different platforms.
  • Publication Designer: These designers work on the layout and visuals for magazines, books, catalogs, and other print materials. It's a path for those who enjoy working with both text and images to create a cohesive design.

Remember, with graphic design, the possibilities are as vast as your imagination. So, keep exploring and you might just find your perfect fit on the road less traveled in the creative industry.

Careers in Photography

Next, we take a snapshot of another alternative path in the creative industry: photography. This field is not just about capturing beautiful landscapes or memorable moments. It's about telling a story through a single image. If you have a keen eye for detail, a knack for visual storytelling, and a love for working with light and shadows, then photography might be your calling on the road less traveled.

Here's a quick focus on some alternative career paths in photography:

  • Photojournalist: If you have a nose for news and a passion for storytelling, photojournalism can be an exhilarating path. It involves capturing newsworthy events and telling stories through your lens.
  • Food Photographer: Have you ever drooled over a picture of a mouth-watering dish? That's the magic of food photography. This field is perfect for those who love both food and photography.
  • Wildlife Photographer: This is for those who love adventure and have a lot of patience. You'll be capturing animals in their natural habitat— a challenging but incredibly rewarding job.
  • Fashion Photographer: This field is all about capturing the latest trends and designs in the fashion industry. It’s a chance to work with models, designers, and stylists, creating images that are as much art as they are commerce.

So, whether you want to capture the hustle and bustle of the world's busiest cities or the serene beauty of untouched nature, there's a place for you in photography on the road less traveled in the creative industry.

Careers in Film and Video

Now, let's roll the cameras and explore the dynamic world of film and video. You can think beyond the realm of Hollywood and journey down the road less traveled in the creative industry. With the rise of online platforms, there are more opportunities than ever before to create, edit, and distribute content.

Here's a glimpse at some alternative career paths in film and video:

  • Documentary Filmmaker: If you have a story to tell or an issue you're passionate about, this could be your calling. As a documentary filmmaker, you can shed light on important topics and make a difference through your work.
  • Music Video Director: This is for those who want to blend their love for music with their passion for visual storytelling. A music video director creates visually stunning videos that complement the rhythm and lyrics of songs.
  • Corporate Video Producer: As a corporate video producer, you'd be designing and creating videos for businesses. These could include product demos, training videos, or promotional content. It's a way to use your creativity in a business environment.
  • Video Editor: Behind every great film or video is a talented editor. As a video editor, you'd be taking raw footage and transforming it into a polished final product.

Whether you're capturing a poignant real-life story or creating a toe-tapping music video, there's a world of opportunity for you in film and video on the less traveled path in the creative industry.

Careers in Animation

Next stop on our journey down the road less traveled in the creative industry—animation. If you've ever been mesmerized by the smooth movements of characters in your favorite cartoon or video game, you've seen the magic of animation at work. But have you considered making that magic yourself?

Let's take a peek at some alternative career paths in animation:

  • Storyboard Artist: Before any animation can come to life, it starts as a series of sketches. As a storyboard artist, you get to draft the visual journey, scene by scene. You're the first one to set the characters in motion.
  • Character Designer: Ever wonder who came up with your favorite animated character's look? That's the work of a character designer. Every quirk, every outfit, every detail—you design it all.
  • 3D Modeller: In this role, you'll create 3D characters and environments that are used in video games and animated films. It's a great way to combine a love for art and technology.
  • Animation Director: The animation director oversees the entire animation process. From the initial concept to the final product, you ensure that everything runs smoothly and the vision comes to life.

Animation offers a wide range of roles for those who love to create, tell stories, and bring characters to life. As you can see, the road less traveled in the creative industry has some pretty exciting stops!

Careers in Writing and Editing

So, we've crossed the animated world, and now we're stepping into the realm of words. Writing and editing is another interesting stop on the road less traveled: alternative career paths in the creative industry. Now, let's talk about how you can turn your way with words into a rewarding career.

  • Copywriter: Do you have a knack for writing compelling text that persuades people to take action? As a copywriter, you can use your writing skills to create persuasive text for advertisements, product descriptions, website content, and more.
  • Technical Writer: If breaking down complex information into easy-to-understand language is your thing, you might enjoy a career in technical writing. You could be creating user manuals, how-to guides, or instructional materials.
  • Editor: Do you have an eagle eye for errors? Editors review and revise content created by others. It's your job to make sure the text is clear, engaging, and free of mistakes.
  • Screenwriter: Fancy crafting stories for the big screen? Screenwriters write scripts for films and television shows. Here, your creativity can truly shine.

Whether you're a budding Hemingway or a grammar guru, the world of writing and editing offers some unique career paths that might just be your next stop on the road less traveled in the creative industry.

Careers in Music and Audio Production

Now, let's listen to the beats of our next destination on the road less traveled: alternative career paths in the creative industry. We're tuning into the world of music and audio production. If you have an ear for sound and a passion for music, this could be your stage.

  • Music Producer: Do you enjoy shaping the sound of a song? As a music producer, you could be working with artists to record and produce tracks that resonate with listeners.
  • Sound Engineer: They are the masters of the mix, balancing the levels and tones of different audio inputs to create the perfect sound. This is a great role if you love technology and music.
  • Composer: If creating original music is your thing, consider a career as a composer. This could see you writing music for films, TV shows, video games, or even symphony orchestras.
  • Audio Book Producer: In the age of podcasts and audiobooks, there's a growing demand for professionals who can produce high-quality audio narratives. You could be working with authors and voice actors to bring books to life.

So, if you're ready to turn up the volume and strike a chord in the music and audio production industry, these alternative career paths could be music to your ears on the road less traveled in the creative industry.

Careers in Fashion Design

Next on our journey down the road less traveled: alternative career paths in the creative industry, we're stepping onto the runway of fashion design. If you have a keen eye for style and a love for creating, here are a few roles that might pique your interest:

  • Fashion Illustrator: This role blends art and fashion. As a fashion illustrator, you'll sketch designs, create mood boards and bring a designer's vision to life on paper—or digital canvas.
  • Textile Designer: Textile designers create patterns and designs for fabrics. If you have a knack for color combinations and pattern-making, this could be your perfect fit.
  • Fashion Buyer: This role is for those who have a deep understanding of what's trendy and can predict what will sell. As a fashion buyer, you'll be responsible for selecting and purchasing fashion items that will appear in stores.
  • Fashion Stylist: If you love putting together outfits and have a keen eye for style, consider a career as a fashion stylist. You could be styling models for photoshoots or celebrities for red carpet events!

So, if you're ready to stitch your unique style into the fabric of the fashion industry, these alternative career paths could be your runway on the road less traveled in the creative industry.

How to Transition into a Creative Career

Alright, you've decided to take the road less traveled: alternative career paths in the creative industry. But how do you leap from your current job into a creative career? Let's talk about some steps to help you make a smooth transition:

  1. Identify your Creative Skills: What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Write down all your skills and talents, even those you think are silly or trivial. You'd be surprised at how many skills can be applied creatively!
  2. Research and Learn: Once you've identified a potential creative career path, learn about it. Read books, listen to podcasts, or take online courses. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be.
  3. Build a Portfolio: A portfolio showcases your work and talent to potential employers. Whether it's a collection of your writings, designs, photographs or films, make sure it reflects your best work.
  4. Network: Connect with people already in the industry. Attend events, join online forums and engage in discussions. Networking can open doors to opportunities you didn't even know existed.
  5. Start Small: Don't be afraid to start small. It could be a part-time job, an internship, or freelance work. What matters is gaining experience and building your confidence.

Remember, transitioning into a creative career isn't a race. It's about discovering and doing what you love. So take your time, learn new things, and enjoy this exciting journey on the road less traveled: alternative career paths in the creative industry.

If you're interested in exploring alternative career paths in the creative industry, we highly recommend checking out Aaron J Hurley's workshop, 'Intro To The Fashion Industry: The Untraditional Route'. This insightful workshop will provide you with valuable guidance on navigating the fashion industry through unconventional means and help you find your unique path in the creative world.