The only 10 advices you need to thrive as a creative freelancer

The only 10 advices you need to thrive as a creative freelancer


Don’t allow yourself to be knocked
off track, because what you’re doing is something beautiful.
Creativity is it’s a mission in life it’s not just a job don’t forget that! Pretty quickly,
I trained originally as a designer wasn’t very good at it. I’ve worked in
big agencies with all the bullshit I’m that old that I remember the 80s and the 80s and the 90s and I’m still alive so I didn’t do it that well… I should be dead in a pile
of coke by now but I’m not! I’ve moved into creative writing as my lead discipline.
I try and now exercise that in a number of different ways. I have run
my own agency, I’ve worked for Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, which all sounds a
bit name-dropping I apologize but I now since 2013 run my own consultancy of me,
which means I get to stand there in a room with a client. Let everyone else
whether you’re 21 or 51 years old “Gang I’m a creative please like me” which is what we all do! Why do we all do it? You can go why do you leave a great big agency job which meant to have a lot of
money or why do you not go and work for one of those people? It’s really fucking
simple it’s not complicated, it’s this! The girls have already turned around and
said it. It’s about being free to do what you want to do but there is a bill that
comes with that, because freedom is a beautiful thing but you got to earn it
and you got to defend it so I think the one thing to always remember whenever
you doubt and you will doubt just keep remembering you do this to be free and
that’s one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Now … What’s the one thing being an old guy that I’ve learnt: Resilience
everything is a master class in resilience. As a creative you go into a
room and you make yourself vulnerable again and again and again you put your
heart out there you present something that you think is beautiful and some
fucker looks at you and goes: nah! Now you will get pulled every which way,
you’ll get told that your ideas aren’t good enough, they’re not on brief, they’re too expensive… Sometimes you wonder whether these fuckers know why they briefed you in the first place. You’ve got to roll with it. If you’re going to have a fragile moment and feel
all upset. That’s great! Go home do it with your friends, have a meltdown, take
whatever the fuck it is you want to take drink whatever you want to drink, you
know, go into a quiet room watch boxsets doesn’t matter but the main thing is
your resilience in the room has to be rock-solid and that requires your belief
in yourself and what you do and don’t allow yourself to be knocked off track
because what you’re doing is something beautiful.
creativity is a mission in life it’s not just a job. Don’t forget that!
the other thing that you’re going to need to learn how to do is one-trick
ponies don’t work every skill set you have you need to use all the time in
every room sometimes you’re on point and you’re being super creative and you’re
talking about an idea or the purity of the concept other times you’re an
administrator you’ve got to administrate yourself
they’ve already said it: turn up, be on time, manage your shit, don’t turn around
again I’m having a Byron moment you know I’m freaking out and I’m being creative
and I’ve done this fucking amazing screen print you know Photoshop Idealab
thing no one ultimately cares. Manage your stuff be professional sometimes
it’s that that you got in the room sometimes it’s doing your own accounts.
Whatever it is, this is your world calibrating all the time to make sure
that you stay on track. Knowing who you are in the room you know it’s really
hard we get forced to define ourselves creative writer art director
photographer knowing your who is not just about your discipline it’s knowing
about which who you want to be. Now if you want to shape the world if you want
to be a disruptor you know break the walls down turn up in a room with your
hair on fire that’s all great but be clear about it and the bill and the
consequence of being that who and be and stick to it that’s the other thing
don’t keep shifting around in the room. Your who will change over time but
always be clear that you’ve got your eye on it. This other thing about generosity
full tank you know you could turn around and say everything that you do is a
creative freelancer is a pure moment you turn up and you want to put something
beautiful there and you’ve loved it you know it’s a it’s a little it’s a bit
like a bad moment in Notting Hill you know I’m just a boy asking a girl to
love him you know I’ve got my idea please and that’s all we are and if
somebody rejects it we will fall apart you have to be confident in your ability
to keep generating ideas because if you worry about that and if you feel you’re
short of ideas in a room you’re going to struggle so whatever you’ve got to do to
keep your tank full whatever it is keep doing it because you will need to keep
putting ideas in the room you don’t get to just sit there and play with one
train set it doesn’t work take it from an old man I’ve tried it a number of
times well ok sometimes it does work and they pay you a lot but not always. You
live in the now now somebody turn around to me and said
ok how long are the contracts you work on. Ok sometimes they’re 2 years I do a
book thing I get in advance I write it it disappears then it reappears again.
Sometimes I have commercial jobs that go week to week to week but I would really
strongly suggest that freedom thing we spoke about the most powerful thing is
think of your life in three months okay because we’re all creative in some way
shape or form that’s why I believe but there’s a budget manager there’s a
checkbook owner and you know what they don’t give a fuck about your crayons
they are managing a spreadsheets and those budgets change the world aren’t
theirs under pressure ok we’d like to feel that somebody
should just pay us lots of money they are all under duress there re managing
budgets every day so at your best quarter to quarter they might fuck with
the budget that’s paying for the thing that you’re doing so if you contract
your world into a three month window and just go that’s my world everything could
change in three months once you wake up on that basis, do you know what? Life gets
a lot easier. Love the silence sometimes when you
are on in your heart it’s brilliant but sometimes the phone does not ring
love the silence then get freaked out by it because you know what you normally do
you suddenly get fucked fuck I’ve got no income you pull in a load of jobs you
don’t really want to do you probably resent them they resent you everybody
ends up pissed off was like a bad marriage. Don’t do it. Get used to the
silence and just go: It’s fine, don’t panic, it’s gonna be okay. Especially an agency
world how you enter a room is everything hair on fire look at my creativity how
we all get taught as creative sad Oh enter a room with a seven where the
fucking infanterie blur with all these things problem is the truth of it is as
has been spoken about before know how to leave the room of your integrity intact
and your soul still in your pocket that’s the wind knowing when to leave
and how to do it is primary because it’s back to that freedom thing it’s
everything that you need to remember: Know how to say goodbye to a job if it
ain’t right because it’s part of how you maintain your ecosystem. Super skins to
version two this: Do remember creative freelance you will be one of two things
you’re either gonna walk in and remember everyone that you’re talking to is on a
contract but a long-term one there might be PAYE they invite you in they love
you god you’re fabulous I love the work you do you’re brilliant we have great
meetings then when it all goes to shit and they ain’t gonna lose their job for
you, right? So you expect in a room you’ve done all
that work and they’re fucker turns on you and just goes not me it’s him or her
and you go where the fuck did that come from? You need to be able to ride that
stuff and just know it’s coming. Maybe not every day and maybe not every week
not every month but it will happen and you’ve got to be added just go I’m cool
with that, see you, that’s fine. That’s version one
the world will turn on you be ready for it. Have a thick-skin. Version too is sometimes to protect an idea your creative baby
you need to offer it up so you’ll have a client who you know is struggling. They
can’t work it up the pile they can’t get beyond their line manager they’re an
asshole so you go I’ll wear it I’m the hired help.
Shoot the messenger, put me in a room, I’ll present it and if they’re going to
bury anyone they’ll bury me. That’s a really big gift to give to somebody so I
think there’s two forms of super skin one of them is be ready for it because
somebody will turn on you, and the other version is offer it up your gift is
being able to turn around somebody go I’ll carry this idea in I’ll protect it
if anyone gets shot it’ll be me because I know you’re trying to save your job
and your holiday and your second lease car and whatever other shit you’re doing.
My final thing is the WHY which goes back to that first slide your sense of
purpose to why you do what you do to do that stuff for super skin the
calibration the name went to Sega but all of those things come back to one
thing know why you’re in the room in the first place.
If it is because you want to do something profound and something
different then stick to it and remember that even when you’re doing a dull job
and doing spreadsheets and doing all of that stuff. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? The minute you lose sight of that you’re going to have problems and
you lose your resilience you lose your ability to fight your corner so I would
strongly suggest that every day you wake up remind yourself of your purpose stick
to it and then get back in the ring have another fight for what it is you believe
in and what you want to defend and what you want to make in the world. That’s
kind of it words from an old man sadly I’d love to say that I’ve only got ten
years of experience I need to multiply everyone else’s experience by about
three but I promise you the red threads there I find it no different as a 55
year old man in a room with my idea, I could be 19, it ain’t any different
because when it goes to shit you feel the same stuff and you go to the same
coping mechanisms in that way we are all timeless and it’s a beautiful thing
so do what you do, protect it, defend it but be generous of spirit and remember
why you do it that’s it thank you!

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