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You Need to be Like a SPONGE in Order to Succeed as a Creative

Written by Mia Abigan

Photos by Alyssa Chen

Truth be told, the art industry is a tough one. Especially with so many creatives out there, the market is pretty saturated. But that shouldn’t ever stop you from chasing after your dreams. Instead, you should just expand your skill set so that you stand a better chance than your competitors. One helpful tip is to LIKE be a sponge! Because even with your current knowledge, it doesn’t really hurt to learn even more. Learning is a lifelong process as they say!

spongebob - You Need to be Like a SPONGE in Order to Succeed as a Creative

Okay, so you might be a little confused about that sponge reference I mentioned earlier but allow me to explain. A sponge is something we use all over the house. It’s handy, flexible, and can be used to clean practically anything. And just like a sponge, you have to be able to readily absorb ideas and information in order to succeed. Doing so, not only expands your skillset but overall, it just makes you a more fun person to work with (nobody wants to work with an egoistic, know-it-all!).

Last January 5, 2019, the batch 8 of WIMterns was lucky enough to have Jury Salaya, the current art director of the UST publication, Varsitarian, in for a talk. (FUN FACT: Jury was actually a Batch 6 WIMtern!)

Interested in applying for the future batches of the WIMternship? Click here to see the full details.

Jury 5 - You Need to be Like a SPONGE in Order to Succeed as a Creative

In his talk, Jury highlighted that as creatives, it is essential to develop the skill of taking inspiration from all around you. He says, inspiration does not necessarily have to be good, it should simply evoke an emotion or induce some sort of action within you.

Jury 3 - You Need to be Like a SPONGE in Order to Succeed as a Creative

Moreover, he also shared the many opportunities that came his way after being honed during his 4-month stay as an intern here in When in Manila. He recalls, that due to the less than favorable circumstances that had forced him to go out of his comfort zone as a graphics person, it has done wonders in accentuating his skill set. Now, he is able to take amazing shots of both food and fashion. This has helped him land an internship in One Mega Magazine as a multimedia intern where he gets to eat the coolest food and meet the most famous celebrities. All of which, he credits to his days interning in When in Manila!

He also left some helpful tips to help you stay on top of the game (as verified by his own mistakes and personal experiences):

Exaggerate reality

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If you’ve seen at least (1) editorial cartoon on your local newspapers then I’m sure you can picture exactly what I’m talking about. As seen above, we see that Leni Robredo stands between two doors. However, it shows that beyond those doors lie spikes, signifying that her decision is pointless since it was designed to be a trap from the start.

Editorial cartoons need to be exaggerated since you need to create graphics in such a way that would GRASP people’s attention and draw them to the article. This is especially helpful as editorial cartoons usually accompany pressing social concerns that need to be addressed and talked about.

Be relatable

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More than just in the aspect of comic-making, it helps to be relatable because, in the end, your goal is to be able to tell a story through pictures. Of course, it helps to have a few funny bones in your system but it’s definitely not a necessity!

Using the food map above as an example, it’s the perfect way to capture the current trend of the moment: MILK TEA. Especially for those in the UST area where there are TONS of milk tea shops, this graphic skillfully summarizes each store in a cute and clear manner. By showing each store’s best seller as well as its location on the map, it gives you all the information you’d possibly need.

( READ ALSO: This Filipino Artist Will Be Part of Marvel’s 80th Anniversary Issue )

Find a Common Ground

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Oftentimes, creatives would work with one another to produce various works of art, from the writer/photog duos, and even to the writer/graphics one. And it’s so important to hear the side of the writer because then you’d know exactly where they’re coming from and the idea they’re trying to portray. Afterwards, you too, can share your sentiments and agree on a common ground. This way, there won’t be much misunderstandings in the future since you are on the same page.

This is also applicable when you are working under a specific company and not freelancing. As much as your artistic freedom goes, you should also remember to incorporate your brand’s themes and styles. Uniformity is really important as it shows professionalism in the industry.

Think, develop, and commit

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Before anything else, you must first think of the concept you’d like to show. Think of a way that connects your goal to your audience. After you’ve got that part down, it’s time to develop and refine your idea. Attack your idea as if you were an opponent and find all the loopholes you possibly can (this will REALLY solidify your idea and help weed out the weak ones). Finally, you have to commit to your chosen idea. Fight for it until the very end, despite the countless revisions you have to do. You should stand firm and find a way for things to work out. Admittedly, commitment can be very challenging but you must (for the sake of your idea, which you’ve spent so much time and effort on!).

( LOOK: #Inktober2019: This 31-Day Art Challenge is BY-FAR the Hardest One Yet! )

Assess and Adapt

plan b - You Need to be Like a SPONGE in Order to Succeed as a Creative

I’m sure we’ve all had a fair share of that ‘million-dollar idea’, unfortunately, we either lack the skill set or the time to even accomplish it. But you shouldn’t just leave it at that. Instead, you have to find a PLAN B. Find shortcuts and simpler ways to do it, ESPECIALLY  when it’s time-sensitive because the last thing you’d want is to completely trash the whole thing simply because it is no longer relevant.

PRO TIP: For continuous or ongoing projects with a similar format, it would help to save a copy of some sort of template. This way, you can easily produce the material by editing only a few parts (titles, names, dates, etc.).

Despite how intimidating the industry may look like, it’s actually one of the most fulfilling jobs ever! Especially when your work is able to touch the hearts of people and make them feel all sorts of good things, those endless revisions become worth it in the end. It’s an amazing industry and I’m sure they can’t wait to have YOU join it very soon!

Do you have any tips for aspiring creatives? Let us know in the comments!

The post You Need to be Like a SPONGE in Order to Succeed as a Creative appeared first on When In Manila.

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