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    How to succeed as a multi-passionate creative

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    By Bec Mackey

    Do you find yourself pulled in different directions by your work and your creative projects? Are you easily distracted by a new idea or flash of inspiration, only to abandon it again shortly afterwards? Or maybe you’re trying to juggle working and paying the bills with a creative side project, and finding it hard to manage both at the same time. You may beat yourself up for being fickle, unable to commit, or to make a clear decision. But despite what we’re told by society, not everyone is built to have just one linear career path, and being easily distracted isn’t necessarily a bad sign. If any of the above resonates with you, it may just be that you are multi-passionate.

    Being multi-passionate is a gift, so embrace it! There are many people out there who would kill to have your energy, curiosity and ability to see inspiration everywhere. Multi-passionate people can draw connections where others see nothing, and this is a highly valuable skill, particularly if you work in a creative industry – or would like to.

    However, having so many interests and ideas can feel like a burden at times, and indecision about which path to take and what to focus on can contribute to a lack of confidence. It may seem like all external messages are telling you to commit and let go of all of your competing ideas – to settle down and choose your niche. If you don’t have just one job, title or simple elevator pitch to sum up what you do, its easy to feel isolated.

    Multi-passionate people are almost always highly sensitive and very creative. This sensitivity, although an incredibly valuable trait for artists, communicators and business owners, means you probably pick up on a lot things, both negative and positive, that others don’t. If others have judged you for being changeable, or all your friends and family have solid careers and can’t understand your various interests, you may have taken this to heart and let it stop you from embracing your multi-passionate nature. This can lead to confusion, lack of motivation, and sometimes paralysis about which path to take next.

    Here are some tips to help you move forward and thrive as a multi-passionate creative:

    • Let go of the need to define yourself by one job title or career path. It may seem that this is a cultural expectation, and that many people you know define themselves by their job title. But if you’re multi-passionate, it won’t help to try and fit yourself into just one defined category. Be true to yourself – own your diverse skill set and know that there is a place for you too.
    • Find a tribe of like-minded multi-passionates. Look out for other people who value curiosity and exploration in their career, and are interested in many different areas. It can stimulate your energy levels to be surrounded by others who get excited about new ideas and have a range of projects on the go. And when things get challenging, you’ll have friends and colleagues around that understand where you’re coming from and can support you without judging your hybrid career. You might even discover someone wonderful to partner up with – multi-passionates are great collaborators!
    • Read about the profound things multi-passionate people (sometimes referred to as polymaths) have done through the ages. Having a defined, specific ‘thing’ to do for work is a relatively modern phenomenon. Even in more recent times, the revolutionary multi-passionates are there if you look for them. Maya Angelou is a fantastic example of a polymath who defied categorisation in her work. She may be most famous for her poetry, but she was also an accomplished dancer, journalist, editor, teacher and activist (who worked for Martin Luther King, no less!).
    • Define your overall ‘why’ and then you will have a long term vision that will help with direction and focus. Watch Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk ‘Start With Why’ and complete a simple ‘why’ exercise for yourself. Focus on what motivates you in life generally, rather than worrying about defining your why for multiple projects or business ideas. Discovering what motivates you and what is important to you will provide you with a compass of sorts, and help you understand yourself better.
    • Resist the urge to do everything at once. Get good at time management or find help from a coach or course to enhance your skills in that area. You’ll feel better once you are taking small steps, even if its simultaneously in a couple of directions.
    • Don’t give in to the paralysis that can come with having too many ideas. Choose one of your most dominant ideas– one that hasn’t gone away for a long time, or one of the most viable, and run with it. The upside to this is once you start to see progress, your confidence will increase and you can get out there and impact the world as only a vibrant, multi-passionate person can!

    Bec Mackey is a writer, teacher and producer of screen-related things. She uses a decade of experience in the business sides of media and arts to help creative people fund and promote their work in ways that work for them. Bec writes about funding, promotion, creative careers and life on her website, Brightside Creatives.


    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Advice and Tips, Finding Balance, Growing a Business, Starting a Business | Comments Off on How to succeed as a multi-passionate creative
    Posted on

    Small town creative: Tara Pearce, wedding photographer

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    By Jasmine Mansbridge

    Tara Pearce is one half of Erin & Tara, a wedding photography business based in Kyneton, in the Victorian Goldfields. Erin & Tara have only been in the photo business for five years, but are in demand to capture the special days of couples all over Australia. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook.

    First up, tell me about where you live. Have you always lived 'out of town'?

    I live in Kyneton with my husband and two children. It is about a one hour drive from Melbourne. We have been here for eight years now. I spent time living in Kyneton when I was a child and my husband grew up here, so we both have a long term relationship with the place. It's been a great place to raise our two children Yorke and Mak, they are very established and happy here. It is far enough away from the city to be removed from it, but close enough to do business. My husband commutes there for work on a daily basis.

    What is your employment background Tara. Can you tell me a bit about that?

    Well I initially did a business degree and worked in the public sector. Our photography journey started 5 years ago when Erin & I thought it would be fun to photograph a wedding! This was before we owned a camera let alone knew how to use one. Let’s just say Google is our best friend!

    Seriously? How can you have only been in the photo business for five years, that is crazy. You have done so well. How did you go from a city job to self employed creative. What did the transition look like?

    Well initially I met a stylist, and I became a styling assistant. That only lasted a few gigs as the whole time I was watching the photographer and realised photography was something I would like to do. I was good friends with Erin and we started talking about it one day saying, this wedding thing, we could do it. We shot our first wedding together 3 months later and it all started from there. The biggest challenge was learning the technical side such as how to use a camera. Each year has had it’s own turning point from personal achievements such as creative growth to learning how to accept rejection gracefully. I believe the key turning point for us was when we started to trust our own judgment and abilities, which lead to more confidence giving us the freedom to express our creative vision.

    In our first year we shot 30-40 weddings, the two of us with a camera each, so we could double our chance to achieving our vision and nailing the shot.

    So five years on what has changed in how you do business?

    After the first year of shooting weddings together we where pretty confident photographers and so we decided to shoot wedding individually. It works really well as that way we can commit to other individual work and family life. For example I generally take destination weddings while Erin prefers local weddings as she has younger children. These days we also have a team of talented assistants and we are about to launch a wedding photographer agency.

    Can you tell me what has been your biggest challenge for your business?

    Finding a good work/life balance! We are slowing finding a way to switch off from all the emails, but in the first three years of our business, we felt like we had to be 'on call' and sometimes I'd find myself emailing clients back at 2am. Crazy times! Not being photographers from the start meant having to learn all the technical stuff which was very daunting but together we worked it out. To be honest we learn something new every day, it's a pretty exciting industry to be in.

    Oh and I nearly forgot…..juggling children and running a full-time business from home has it's challenges ;)

    What about Erin & Tara are you most proud of ?

    Looking back and remembering the conversation we had in a local cafe about becoming wedding photographers, that was five years ago and seeing where we are today! This is an achievement one we are very proud of.

    What do you think has contributed to your success?

    A lot of hard work, persistence and support from our amazing husbands! I'm also a massive believer in the Universe providing what you need when you need it.

    Jasmine Mansbridge is a painter and mum to five kids. She regularly blogs about the intersection of creative work and family life, as well as her recent projects and travels. You can also find her on Instagram.

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    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Interviews with Creative Women, Regional | Comments Off on Small town creative: Tara Pearce, wedding photographer