In a 3-part series, our guest writer Eric Lowe shares his personal experience in turning his creative dreams into a reality.
If you asked people on the streets if their job is their passion, many would answer no and many would see work as a means to a paycheck. We were taught by our parents that fun things that are creative do not merit pursuit because it doesn’t pay well. Only a special group of talented people are lucky enough to merge their hobbies into a job or career that reap great rewards. But living an ordinary life does not mean you have to forgo your passion. What the internet technology of today has given a lot of people a window, if combined with savvy networking skills to make their creative projects an opportunity for success. With only few steps, you can be on your way to see your work appreciated by an audience. I know since I have done it. My dream was to write and publish a photo book on European Royalty. It was through these specific steps that I was able to make my dream come true within one year.
For example if you want to be an author and publish your own book (which is what I did). Do research on the genre (Fiction or Non-Fiction) and see how it would stand up against the competition. What makes it special? Be objective. If you have a chance to meet up with professional people already in the industry, go for advice. Don’t be shy. It might be the best thing you do in your planning stage.
Second, created a budget and see how much is required to manufacture your creative product and do provide for hidden costs (like taxi fares and postage). If you have limited money, crowd funding today is an option or locate a co-investor (usually friend or parent) is the most common ways to finance such a pet project. Platforms like Kickstarter have helped numerous creative writers, artists and even film makers to fulfill their creative dreams.
“Royal Images” by Eric Carrera Lowe, published in 2006
Third, know the industry and your competition. If you are doing a book you need to know who your audience is; or if you are selling a special sauce for steaks, what is your nearest competition? Are they making a profit? Branding is important since it will directly affect your pricing. If your creative product is too broadly defined, it might get lost in the mix. Also do industry networking and research vendors who would market and distribute your product, this is true from books, steak sauce to porcelain dolls. These contacts are vital for you to get your product out there. Through industry networking, I was able to secure 3 vendors to sell my book even before my book is completed.
Once you have your finalized budget and production plan. The planning stage is now done and it goes directly to the second stage -creating your product.
[To be continued…]
Eric Carrera Lowe is currently the Managing Editor at Fair Observer and also the Social Editor at HK Tatler. He is also a photographer and filmmaker.