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George Taylor - How To Break Through In The Creative Industries

George Taylor - How To Break Through In The Creative Industries

Presented at Hey! #22 on 29th March, 2016.

Hey! Presents

March 29, 2016

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  1. About Me: George Taylor • Studied 'Popular Music Performance' at

    Southampton Solent University from 2008-2011. • Wasn't made aware of the available career options (wasn't given an accurate view). • Struggled to find/secure relevant industry work. 'Not enough experience,' etc... • Was forced to consider alternative work routes and volunteer to gain experience. • Set up 'Strictly Go Networking' in 2013. • Music first, then Fashion, Film/TV and Art.
  2. About Me: George Taylor • After speaking to 100's of

    graduates, professionals and experts at our events, I learned that all creative industries are similar. • There is a lack of support for creative industry professionals (Music, Fashion, Film and Art) • University doesn't always inform creative professionals of what options they have, or teach them the right skills to 'break through.' • All creative industries share the same problem! Highly competitive, 'closed' industries, etc.
  3. About Creative Industry Hub • My first business didn't work

    out, but I wanted to give it another go, so I set up 'Creative Industry Hub' in March 2015. • Creative Industry Hub intends to break down barriers for the 'creatives' by teaching them all the skills they need to succeed in life. • We want to help 'creatives' learn from the biggest experts in the industry, and get to meet them. • We want to provide a networking and education platform.
  4. Fashion Industry: Interesting Facts After doing some research, I discovered

    that: 1. Every year, 4000 fashion designers graduate from University, yet there are only 500 new jobs created for this discipline in the UK. 2. 3500 either have to change career (which they don't want to do because they spent £9000 a year studying fashion design), or 3. Set up their own label, which is highly competitive.
  5. The Options 'University doesn't always inform creative professionals of what

    options they have...' • Work for a 'creative' company (record label, fashion house, film studio, etc). • Go self-employed (session player, make up artist, camera op, etc) • Become a 'creator' (a musician, fashion designer, artist, actor, etc) • Start a company in the creative industries (Spotify, Live Nation, StarNow, etc)
  6. 'Stack the cards in your favour. It's not illegal to

    gain an unfair advantage.' Theo Paphitis 'Observe the masses and do the opposite.' James Caan
  7. Work For A 'Creative' Company • Creative companies operate the

    same way as any company, but there are less of them. • Specify which sector you want to go into (marketing, artist management, production, etc) • If you can't get your foot in the door, gain experience by volunteering, working for a smaller/unrelated company or start a venture. • Establish and demonstrate authority and PASSION in that area. • Network!
  8. Case Study: Me • Initially, I was unable to secure

    an industry role because I 'had no experience...' • But since then, I've gained a lot of experience in event management, sales and marketing, as well as celebrity management. • Developed a huge database of music industry contacts in some of the biggest organisations. • Built a good reputation amongst those contacts. • Developed a popular news channel and demonstrated my expertise and knowledge. • Regularly get music industry job offers, and would be put first in line for an interview at some companies.
  9. 'Stack the cards in your favour. It's not illegal to

    gain an unfair advantage.' Theo Paphitis
  10. Case Study: Xsara Helmi - Xsara got her first placement

    in the music industry with Cooking Vinyl Records as a New Media Assistant in the Marketing department. - She managed to get this placement in a pub whilst studying at BIMM London, by starting a conversation with two employees that she overheard. - Next, she decided to call other music companies in the area, and came across MI7Records. - She called them, explained that she studied locally and asked them if they needed an extra pair of hands to help in the studio for free. In the end, she became a PA to two Directors there. - For all of these positions, she got a written reference. - Xsara landed her most recent job as a Community Manager through networking at an event with Katie Melua. She chased it up and had two interviews. Her referees at her prior jobs were really important in securing her this job. Her personality stood out and she got it through passion, persistence and research. - As well as this, she has also been a solo artist. She has played on BBC Introducing 7 times, and she self-funds all of her music projects and her passion, contacts and music expertise has contributed to her above success.
  11. Go Self-Employed • Going self-employed often requires the opposite route

    to employment, but not always... • For example, being a freelance artist manager without experience will make it harder to win work. • In this case, I suggest gaining experience in an artist management firm first, and building up a reputation first. • So the route is: volunteer, work for a small company, or start a venture, then secure employment, then go freelance.
  12. Go Self-Employed • Certain job types tend to be mostly

    freelance: • For example, camera ops or make up artists normally work as freelancers, because there are very few permanent opportunities. • My advice is to have a normal job on the side (ideally within the industry or sector you want to get into), and volunteer, network and a treat your 'side business' as a real business. • Gain credibility and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Build your portfolio!
  13. Case Study: Jen Armstrong - Jen started her artist and

    songwriter career as a vocal teacher. She used the money to go to America. - When she got to LA, she attended a music conference. She learnt so much from industry professionals, and met many artists, writers, and producers, which began her collaboration journey. This was ALL through networking, and jumping at any opportunity to showcase her talents. - Jen has never had a ‘normal job’ whilst being a full time professional musician, and she juggles many hats, but now she has a great portfolio. - She is an artist, a performer, a piano player, a singer, a violin player, a session vocalist, a wedding singer, a creator of artwork, a web designer, an arranger, a video editor, a music producer, a booking agent, a manager, and so on. - She only takes on jobs that aren’t well paid if there are other benefits. And she has learned to avoid jobs that pay little but take up much of her precious time. - Jen avoids non-music related jobs. She thinks the pay is never great and hours are sucked out of her life, and all she can show for it is a small handful of cash and sore feet which is why she does what she does. - Jen has gained credibility and built a strong portfolio by putting the time in. She has travelled thousands of miles and spent hours sitting in a writing room with 2, 3 or 4 other people for up to 6 hours at a time. But she's also been unsuccessful on so many occasions (For song pitches, Gigs and Festivals). But she has proved that if you 'throw your stone enough times, it will eventually hit that green bottle off the wall. And you can’t put a price on how much you will have learned and developed in the process...'
  14. Case Study: Dave Herd - After graduating from UWL, Dave

    had to find work to support himself in London, because he had very little experience as a camera op. While doing that, he discovered an agency that paid minimum wage like any other unskilled job, however, it gave him that ''foot in the door'' which was essential. - Working as a post-production runner, he would work on an ad hoc basis from company to company to build his portfolio. He would build relationships with the companies he worked for, and would often ask for advice on how to achieve his particular path in the industry. Eventually somebody gave him details of a TV broadcast cameraman. - The first time he worked with this new contact, he volunteered. - More importantly, he made sure to turn up with plenty of time as this is a crucial element of first impressions and securing paid work thereafter. Having the passion to learn and the enthusiasm to work hard and efficiently is how he has succeeded. - In turn, he then managed to get work as a runner working for a company on a 3 month contract. Since then, he has built a relationship and work for them asserting himself as a camera operator. He has used the money to buy his own gear. - This has given him the opportunity to find work and buy more equipment. By gaining more experience shooting and editing, he could then apply for camera operator jobs with the confidence that he can deliver the criteria. - He still volunteers on certain jobs as a way of networking, and work can come out of it, however not always. At ANY level it is worth doing work for free if you think it will lead to something or give you an insight to an ultimate goal.
  15. Become A Creator • Becoming a 'creator' is similar to

    being self- employed. • Treat your creations like a business. • Spin as many 'creative' plates as you can to expand your reach, build your portfolio, gain experience and find ways to make money. • Aim small first. Find ways to make small amounts of money. Keep a job too... • Accept that you may need cash to succeed. • Network, network, network!
  16. Case Study: Adam & Jason Perry • Moved from Leeds

    to London in the 90's and set up a recording studio in East London with a Prince's Trust grant and mentor. • Built a reputation amongst industry professionals by hiring out the studio and producing other artists/bands. • Eventually used their own equipment and contacts to record an album and get signed. • Have since written music for other artists, produced other artists, managed artists, etc.
  17. 'Don’t sit around for months trying to get the perfect

    product to begin with. You’ve just got to be creative. The world doesn’t need to see it until it’s ready. You’ve just got to work smart and try less. If you really give a damn, you shouldn’t give a damn. Most creative ideas can be scribbled on the back of a napkin. Get yourself back in to that state where you’re not over thinking it. It’s like mindfulness. You’re not worried about the past and the future, you’re just in the moment and then you just deliver it and then you can go and work on it and iterate it and make it better. Just capture those bits of magic that we’re all capable of, and we all talk ourselves out of all the time, because we’re worried about what other people think. And that’s what I try and do every single day.' Jason Perry