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How to Navigate the Creative Field as a Woman

How to Navigate the Creative Field as a Woman

by Wishu
2 March 2021

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” Madonna

Navigating the creative field as a womxn means encountering a broad set of challenges, from representation to an ever-shifting career landscape and everything in between. Regardless of gender, you should never have to apologise for working hard, being firm and setting out your boundaries. Here are a few reminders – and feminist quotes – about your self worth as a womxn in industry that will boost your confidence and help you navigate the industry. 

International Women's Day - Creative Freelancers
Happy Women's Day! MUTI

You don’t need permission – hard work is enough

 

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ” Roseanne Barr 

When you have a creative idea, the best thing you can do is an experiment – try it out, that’s what the art world is all about (no rhyme intended!) If you ask permission to do something, oftentimes people will doubt you (as we have learnt!) and thus the answer will be no. Trust your gut and go for it!

 

Be flexible

While it’s great to have clear-set goals in mind, we can’t always assure that everything works out. “Be as creative in forging your career path as you are in your actual creative work, and you should go far”. 

 

Be empathetic – but equally don’t give too much of yourself
Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.” Gloria Steinham

This is where a balance must be struck. On one hand, it is essential to be a good listener to show clients and other members of your team that you’re empathetic and understand your point of view. On the other hand, being constantly apologetic and trying to please everyone often ends in pleasing no one.   

 

Learn how to manage anxiety (specifically if fueled by imposter syndrome…) 

It’s great that we are becoming more and more open about mental health but oftentimes we focus on the negative elements of stress. Naturally in any successful and/or creative career, there will be many overwhelming moments. In these cases, stress can actually be beneficial, it reminds us of our priorities and how much we care for a project. Learn when to identify when you’re stressed and pushing through work and when you’re experiencing unpleasant symptoms that are a sign you need to take a break. 

Put in the hours
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” Rebecca West 

 

Creative freelancing as a woman isn’t all about glamour – and I’m sure you don’t need reminding! Unfortunately, the exciting bits make up about 20% of creative roles – if you’re lucky! However, that’s why we are all here because the 80-90% of the time spent sweating, grafting and doing all-nighters on espresso and red bull are worth the little magic moments. Repetition builds reputation and this allows for more magic – so get grafting girl! At the same time, never overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion, particularly if it’s ungratified. You know your limits and never compromise them. Your health comes first. 



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