How to Start a Career in the Creative Industry

Want to make a career out of the stuff you make? The creative industries describe business and organization that focus on creativity: music, design, art, publishing, literature, architecture, film, visual arts, fashion, and drama, to name a few.

Within those industries are needs for high-level design, marketing, and advertising professionals.

Why are creative careers so important? They’re creating jobs in the digital sector and the economy at large. “Creatives,” as employees in the creative industry are called, are in high demand.

What’s great about the creative industry? It’s constantly changing, and you get to work with people who are just as passionate as you are.

Let’s take a closer look at how to start your career in the creative industry—and Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) where creatives succeed.

1. Get exposure and make your art

How? Network, network, network, and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. The more contacts you have in the field you want, the more likely it is that you’ll find work.

Make a few phone calls to companies that interest you, and see what they offer.  Not quite there? Check out their websites, and prepare a few pitches for projects that you’re interested in doing.

If that’s getting you nowhere, find someplace you might want to work and volunteer, apprentice, or intern. Cast your net wide, make the connections, get out there, and do it.

Lorenzo Longo, a designer in Milan since 2006 and graduate of IED, tells about his first experience working for Pirelli tires. He said, “In that occasion Pirelli choose me to be part of their engineers’ team and I developed the design of new tire patterns for them. I worked for Pirelli tires for about one year, in the same period I opened my studio.”

De-Signum, the studio he opened, is a multitasking design enterprise that works across architecture, interior design, and product design.

2. Work hard

This shouldn’t come as a shock: you have to work hard. Positions in the creative industry are competitive, especially if you’re just out of school. The key? Experience and attitude. Get as much experience as you can, and as many key connections as you can while you’re in school. It will pay off.

Longo says, “Creativity is an attitude, it’s very difficult to learn to be creative if you are not curious and interested in everything that surrounds you. You should be as a “parfumeur,” you should learn how to develop your own smell, develop your own spirit of observation, work hard, not be boring, learn how funny it is to be working in team, have patience.”

3. Follow your passion

Do what you love. Don’t worry about what other people think. As long as you care about what you do, respect others, and work hard to make a positive impact, you can make it in the creative industry.

Anna Rogg, coordinator of the Career Services Offices at IED Italy and responsible for the official IED Alumni platform says, “My advice, for young creatives, is to try to share ideas with colleagues, your boss without being jealous, never criticize other people, but try to find always positive sides. Always attending specific courses during weekends, evenings… be up-to-date!”

4. Get the right master’s degree: IED

Ready to launch your career in the creative industry? Already have your bachelor’s degree?

Get the right master’s degree at IED in Italy. With specialized and technical training, real projects with partner companies, and a wide alumni network, IED offers students masters courses in contemporary art, design, fashion, and communication.

Long says he’s still in touch with IED. He says, “It still happens that IED calls me for special projects. I worked for the Campari Group about a year ago.”

Rogg echoes the sentiment. She says, “We help students for twelve months after their graduation. This year we are going to launch our first IED Alumni platform with special deals, partnerships and job postings dedicated to our IED Community. Last year, IED Milan found internships for 92 percent of our former students who recently graduated.”

If you’re looking for a step up in that creative field that you’ve dreamed about forever, now’s your chance. Check out IED and give your creative career the boost it deserves.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
[“Source-masterstudies”]

How free porn enriched the tech industry — and ruined the lives of actors

Journalist Jon Ronson describes his new podcast series, The Butterfly Effect, this way: “It’s about what constitutes a reputable person and what constitutes a disreputable person.”

More specifically, The Butterfly Effect is a four-hour, seven-part exploration of the impact of the tech industry on the porn industry. It’s about the way free porn sites, notably PornHub, have made it very hard for porn workers to make a living.

The music industry has gone through similar upheaval, but musicians get more sympathy than porn actors (and can make money doing live gigs), Ronson says.

In the podcast, Ronson interviews Fabian Thylmann, PornHub’s millionaire founder, along with a spectrum of sex industry performers and creators struggling to make ends meet. For instance, Ronson profiles Mike Quasar, a porn cameraman and director, who tells Ronson he’s powerless to stop his films from being instantly pirated online. (The volume of streaming sites and sharing methods makes it hard for porn companies, often strapped for resources, to fight piracy.) Some porn stars make niche custom videos — performing content in ways requested by specific fans, for a fee — in order to survive financially.

For two decades since Them, a best-seller on extremists, Ronson has been creating engaging, funny accounts of people on society’s margins. The Welshman turned New Yorker’s last book was So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, about the internet pile-ons against the likes of inappropriate tweeter Justine Sacco.

In a wide-ranging conversation — lightly edited and condensed — Ronson discussed porn’s future, Alex Jones, and legitimized bullying.

Alexander Bisley

So these sites like PornHub, which are stealing porn and giving it away for free, have wildly depressed the money available for productions and the fees the performers are able to get, right?

Jon Ronson

Yes. So a lot of people are making a lot less money and are working much, much longer hours to make that money. That’s happening a lot. Whereas the people in charge of PornHub are making so much money they don’t know what to do with it.

These tech people who’ve never set foot on a porn set in their lives, these optimizers and algorithm people and AB testers, these “respectable people” — they’re the ones who seem to be causing the most trouble [in] the lives of porn performers.

I saw time and time again, people [in the porn industry] would have to move from pretty nice houses to much smaller houses. Porn performers have to go into escorting to pay the rent. More and more producers are going out of business. So in many ways it’s decimating the San Fernando Valley, but the tech people are doing very well.

The tech takeover of the world isn’t being criticized enough. It’s having these seismic changes, and people tend not to think about it because they’re giving the world what it wants, which is free porn.

Alexander Bisley

What do you think the future of porn will be, given this seismic shift?

Jon Ronson

I was just reading a comment on Slate that addressed this question. The commenter — Allen Garvin — wrote, “Dirty magazines are dying, porn shops are dying, mainstream porn video companies are dying (or else getting into extreme fetishes). People that go to porn conventions or show up at strip clubs to see specific porn actresses are getting older each year, with young men failing to replace them because they get their porn for free.”

I think all that’s true. So what will take its place? Amateur porn shot on cellphones. Some of those people will get deals with PornHub, and the like, where they’ll make some money from clicks, but it’ll be a fraction of what they would have made in the pre-streaming days.

And the people who built the industry? Some will move into customs and niche fetish stuff; most others will just vanish away into the ether.

Alexander Bisley

One of PornHub’s tech guys, exploiting performers’ work, boasted to you: “I’m not a piece of garbage, peddling smut.”

Jon Ronson

When I ask him about the people whose lives were being decimated as a result of the business practices, he went, “Ugh, okay. Their livelihood.” He talked like a tech utopian, somebody who thinks the tech world can do no wrong. A lot of tech people go out of their way to not think about the negative consequences. You shouldn’t not think about those insidious consequences.

Alexander Bisley

Tech guys like the one you quote above basically dehumanize the labor?

Jon Ronson

Yeah. In the same way we dehumanize people that we tear apart on social media. Or in the same way that despots from the past dehumanized their victims. We just don’t wanna think about it. And that’s one of the reasons my public shaming book got some backlash, because people didn’t want to be confronted with the truth of the psychological tricks they play on themselves to not feel bad about the bad things they do.

Alexander Bisley

Since Them: Adventures With Extremists, your book and documentary series about conspiracy theorists, the idea of humanizing the dehumanized has featured in your work. Alex Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist that has interviewed Trump on his show, was one of your early subjects, both in writing and in documentary. Did you go too far in humanizing him?

Jon Ronson

I’ve thought a lot about this, and I think Alex has changed. Alex is a different person now compared to how he was when I first knew him in the late ’90s. A lot of people who work for Alex would probably say the same thing. So the way we should regard him, the way we should write about him, should change. He’s changed partly because he’s more powerful now, and he’s richer, and he’s got an ally in the White House, and some of his conspiracy theories have got darker.

A couple of years ago, when Alex suddenly made a fortune from the Super Male Vitality supplements and so on, that’s pretty much exactly the same time that his discourse got more aggressive. As much as he denies saying that Sandy Hook didn’t happen, he did promote that conspiracy theory.

Alexander Bisley

How do you feel about the future of media?

Jon Ronson

I strongly believe the future for that industry of broadcasters is to welcome idiosyncratic voices and then just give them the freedom to do just that, which is exactly what Netflix did with Bong Joon-Ho for Okja, a film I co-wrote, and what Audible did with me and The Butterfly Effect. The days of gatekeepers making you jump through hoops is kinda over.

Alexander Bisley

The Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap, wrote a compelling essay about the Internet zeitgeist. “I have become increasingly wary of morality disguised as politics and of our reversion to a language redolent of sin and shaming, certainty and righteousness.”

Jon Ronson

Yeah. The way I would describe it is legitimized bullying. The destruction of people like Justine Sacco [who tweeted an inappropriate joke that launched a viral pile-on and that led to her being fired] — what of social justice? It was a cathartic alternative to social justice.

When you’re bullied in school, quite often, you’re bullied by everyone. You don’t have friends to turn to. Monica Lewinsky, in an interview I did with her, told me of her scandal: “I was hung out to dry by everyone; I didn’t belong to any group.” That’s the same as what happened to Justine Sacco — she was hung out to dry by everyone: Misogynists hated her, philanthropists hated her, social justice people hated her, Donald Trump tweeted about her. So that’s probably why I felt so animated about that story … because it reminded me of school. When you’re being bullied by everybody, it’s legitimized bullying.

In a way, it’s the reason I wanted to do The Butterfly Effect as well. Because it’s a story about every time somebody watches porn for free on PornHub, they are potentially exploiting the lives of the porn people they’re watching.

Alexander Bisley

David Simon, creator of the sex work–themed television show The Deuce, believes a big problem with porn and sex work is poor labor rights.

Jon Ronson

Definitely in terms of royalties, back-end and stuff like that, porn people would agree with David Simon. Where they might disagree is that there’s definitely a narrative out there about porn people being forced to do things they don’t want to do on set by exploitative directing. Maybe their boyfriends were coercing them in some cases. But I can say that the side of the San Fernando Valley industry that we were in for a year on and off [making The Butterfly Effect], I saw nothing like that. That may happen in Miami and Las Vegas.

But the [Valley] directors and the producers and the other porn actors — it’s basically a kindhearted and respectful community, certainly more than outsiders might think. It has its problems, but it’s way more collegiate than outsiders would think it.

Alexander Bisley

What might surprise listeners about The Butterfly Effect?

Jon Ronson

Probably the most surprising thing about the series is how moving and endearing it gets. How supportive the performers are to each other. And in the world of custom, in the world of bespoke porn, how there’s this really lovely bond between the cast and producers and their client, their fans. A bunch of people have said they’ve never thought that a series about the tech takeover of the porn industry would make them cry, but the end of the series will make you cry.

Alexander Bisley

And challenge them?

Jon Ronson

There’s this amazing line in episode five of The Butterfly Effect where I’m talking to this girl who was a big porn watcher, and I said to her: “Did you ever learn their names?” And she said: “No, I never learned their names. It’s like when you kill a deer; you don’t name it because then you can’t eat it.”

Alexander Bisley

In addition to the pressure for some of them to work as escorts, porn stars have to be an enthusiastic brand all over social media. Is that a challenge?

Jon Ronson

Yes! In episode two I meet this woman called Maci May who was having a terrible time, and she used to vent about it on social media but now she’s much more wary because you have to be like a brand. She can’t tweet, “I don’t have any money.” She’s discouraged from acting that way by porn producers and directors who say to her: “No, no, you’ve got to constantly be chirpy and happy.”

When she said that to me, I thought, “That’s really sad.” In a parallel universe, there’d be a Twitter where Maci May could do all of that stuff, vent about how unhappy she was. But that’s not the Twitter we created for ourselves, sadly.

Alexander Bisley

“Sex is probably the most interesting subject in the world,” Paul Auster says.

Jon Ronson

I would never disagree with anything Paul Auster says, because he’s amazing. … I never thought of sex as interesting. What I thought was interesting about The Butterfly Effect wasn’t sex, but it was about what constitutes a reputable person and what constitutes a disreputable person. The thing that really got me interested was this idea that tech people are considered reputable; sex workers, porn people are considered disreputable. But this story shows that the porn people and the sex workers are supportive, kindhearted, lovely people, whereas the tech people are amoral, ruthless people.

source;-Vox

A government that works hand in glove with the creative industry

The government in Singapore is a firm backer of creative agencies – from attractive grants to working together to setting up centres of excellence – it has not shied away from broadcasting this fact.

Agencies too are happy. For them, the experience of working with the Singapore government is devoid of the usual hang-ups associated with the civil service, such as being slow or bureaucratic.

So is Singapore creative? Industry watchers believe it is. According to an industry insider, “Singaporeans were more traditional; creativity was not a preferred choice but rather something you pursued if you ‘failed’ to make it in the mainstream. The government is doing its best to push creativity by welcoming cultural, social and political diversity.”

That said, there is work being done to develop the key industries that drive creativity as well as spur innovation, most prominently from startups. And most of it is visible.

(Find our regular selection of online content worth sharing in this section)

[“Source-afaqs”]

Stop blaming the tech industry for the world’s problems

Everything we do is terrible, says the trope. We’re oppressive. We’re exploitative. We’re sexist, racist, classist. We deify horrible frat-boy brogrammer assholes, while funding, and celebrating, morally bankrupt apps that exist to stand in for their mothers and/or servants. We destroy jobs and displace the working class. We cater to the rich and privileged urban elite, while the poor masses fall further behind. How can we possibly claim to be building a better world?

And the thing is, you can, in isolation, actually make a pretty good case that the tech industry is guilty of all of these things. In isolation. But pull back just a little, and it’s hard to deny that most of these things are symptoms, not problems — symptoms of the world in which we exist. Compared to the rest of that world, the tech industry is, mostly, a beacon of hope and progress.

The congenital sexism of our industry has been the subject of whole acres of pixels over the last few years; no need belaboring that point. But at the same time, InHerSight, an organization devoted to providing “a powerful and representative picture of what it’s really like for women in the workplace,” reports that tech is rated by its respondents as the bestindustry for women to work in. Yes, you read that correctly. The best of all industries. Despite its manifold, manifest flaws.

Is the upper echelon of tech executives heavily, wildly disproportionately dominated by men? It sure is. But consider the context: specifically, that we live in a world where there are more S&P 1500 CEOs named John than there are women. (This is also true of the FTSE 100.)

Do the major tech companies’ diversity reports make for fairly grim reading? Yes, they do. But they’re not outright chilling, unlike, say, reading that: “racial resentment played a larger role in the 2016 [American] election than economic concerns … Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to reshape the presidential electorate.” Meanwhile in the UK, well —

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Dorian Lynskey @Dorianlynskey

Every day I wonder what non-racist Leave voters think they were voting for. https://twitter.com/alanferrier/status/841996616798212096 

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People complain that technology’s priorities are pathologically skewed and wrong:

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Spanish California @_danilo

climate change
global unrest
wealth inequality
lack of access to medicine

and our tech resources go to food delivery robots for rich people https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/852151994420572161 

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But let me remind you that the most powerful nation in the world recently wasted literally trillions of dollars on a useless war that consumed hundreds of thousands of lives and led to massive destabilization and unrest. Fortunately, the current US administration… uh… yeah, that sentence isn’t going to go anywhere good, is it.

Let remind me you that the parasitical finance industry now consumes some 30% of all US corporate profits, and counting. Of course, because of their important work, the rest of the world gets… well… look, the important thing is that they’re making an enormous amount of money, OK? Don’t ask what the rest of us receive in exchange for that 30% tithe of all profits. No good’s going to come of that.

Almost everyone I know in the tech industry (obviously there’s selection bias there, but hear me out) genuinely wants to do more good for the world, and to help people. But we live in late capitalism1, which straitjackets our options. Even Elon Musk had to hit the jackpot with PayPal before he could build Tesla and SpaceX. Young frat boys are the entrepreneurs of choice because they’re the ones who feel like they can afford to take that risk in the world in which we live. Privileged pretty-people assholes have invaded the tech industry because it has become a locus of power and of cultural cachet. All this was inevitable, in late capitalism.

And please note: yesterday’s expensive luxuries are tomorrow’s low-cost necessities. Mobile phones were outrageously offensive symbols of investment-banker excess, once. Passenger jets used to be so expensive that you were expected to pay for your tickets in installments. The world’s first CD players cost thousands of dollars. Now CDs are obsolete in most countries, and a side-hustle for Kentucky Fried Chicken in others:

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Matthew Ogle @flaneur

We are truly in the weirdest timeline https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/arts/music/steve-lillywhite-kfc-sell-cds-indonesia.html 

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Don’t get me wrong. I understand where this rage comes from, and to some extent, that well of fury speaks well of tech. Because while some of it simply comes from the rage of the powerless against the powerful — and while it may not feel like it, my fellow nerds, we now find ourselves in the heart of perhaps the world’s primary locus of power — some of it comes from the sense, the expectation, the hope that tech should be better.

And you know what? They’re right. We should be better; much better than what we so often see around us. We’re the ones building tomorrow, and setting its standards. No one else is going to improve things for us. It is literally our job.

But it’s hard to build a better world, and it’s especially hard when you’re enmeshed in a system whose primary design goal often seems to be to perpetuate power, wealth, and privilege for those who already have it. So cut the tech industry a little slack. We can’t help but reflect the sewers that birthed us from time to time. But remember what Oscar Wilde once said: we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


1For the record, I am a capitalist, and I believe in capitalism and its power to lift the world out of poverty; but at the same time, its excesses need to be checked and corralled from time to time, and our collective failure to do so has allowed it to go all Sorcerer’s Apprentice on us over the last few decades.

[“Source-techcrunch”]