10 Shit Things People Say To Creatives

The photo above of the old Brighton pier was taken in the car on the way back from my fourth and final university interview at Brighton Film School. Yes, as you probably guessed from the title, I am a creative. I currently study Creative Media Production at college and have used my creativity to make a variety of media products; Magazines, radio shows, music videos, TV adverts and so on. Next year I obviously plan to specialise into film. I even write this blog. Creativity runs through my blood and has done for a long time.

But, as I assume happens with all creatives at least once, this decision to take the creative path has of course come with a LOT of comments from people. And most of those comments are negative. So today, being a bit salty about the whole thing, I thought I’d share this shitty comments with you guys. Some I’ve received myself, some other bloggers have received and have shared with me. You’ll find their links next to any comments they’ve shared with me so go check them out!

Before I go on, though, I just want to say that I am in so way trying attack ALL the people who have said these things (although some I am trying to be passive aggressive with). Some of the people who have said these things to me, I am actually quite close with, and I know they mean the best with what they say… but they say the worst.

Fasten you seat belts; It’s going to be a bumpy, frustrating ride.

  1. “Have you ever thought about taking a more stable career path?” Personally I think that, right now, no career path is truly stable. Most of the people I know say a career in business is stable, but I’ve seen plenty a businessman become redundant and back to square one. Just because you’re job isn’t in the creative sector, doesn’t mean you’re safe.
  2. “But it’s such a competitive industry! It’s too hard for you to get in to.” This one probably offends me way more than it should. Don’t ever tell me something’s too hard for me, because I will try my damnedest to prove you wrong. Right now, everything is competitive. Any job you apply for, you are probably going to have plenty of competition. You’ve got to put your best effort in to show that you’re better than all those applications to get the job. If you consider having to make an effort as “hard” I’m assuming you’re in your current job simply because you think it’s easy, which isn’t the best reason at all.
  3. “Have you ever thought about going into STEM? You’d never be out of work then!” Okay, so I did actually try STEM for a bit, but it wasn’t for me. It made me unhappy. I’d rather have a job I enjoy than I job I don’t, regardless of how better it pays, or how many jobs there are in the field.
  4. “How hard can that be anyway?” (Submitted by Baby HolidayI’m telling you now if I was told to draw a A3 size still life drawing, I’d be stumped. Because I actually can’t draw. I also know that if I told my friends to create a film (and I’m talking writing the script, storyboarding, doing all the pre-production paperwork, filming and then editing) then they would be stumped too. There’s people who think blogging is easy and we all know it’s not! There’s actually a lot more behind the projects creatives do than meets the eye.
  5. “We don’t have a budget to pay you for your work. But you’ll be compensated in exposure.” (Submitted by Hectic Diabetic)  The one line that sends all bloggers into a rant. But it doesn’t just happen to bloggers, oh no. It happens to every creative industry. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked as a videographer for free, but only because I was working with someone in the industry who was mentoring me and teaching me new techniques. I was getting something valuable out of it that made it worth my time, even if it wasn’t money. It’s why I begrudge certain work experience placement, especially the ones you do when you’re 15, as the person is essentially getting free labour, while the kids often don’t get anything valuable in return. Exposure is barely ever valuable at all. And it certainly doesn’t pay the bills. The creative industry would be a lot more stable, and better paying if people didn’t undervalue creative people’s work and try and get it for free.
  6. “Perhaps it’s time to go get a real job.” (Submitted by Katherine LouiseIf every single creative out there took this so called “advice” and went and got whatever this person considers to be “a real job” then we’d be in a bit of a situation, my friend. There’d be no newspapers/sites, magazines, or blogs, because nobody would be writing them. There’d be no museums for you to spend your weekends in, because no one would be making any art. Businesses would have no one to make their cute little graphics, because there’d be no one to make them. And TV and cinema would cease to exist because there’d be no one to make those shows and films that you love so much. Don’t belittle these careers when you actually frequently use the services/products they provide.
  7. “But that piece of work won’t take you long!”  I think the problem with non-creatives is they see a piece of work, be it a photo, a film, or an article and think it took no time at all to make it. I know a few people who, until I corrected them, honestly thought when films where made it just took a couple of months to shoot and then a couple of weeks to edit, if that. They didn’t take into account the YEARS of pre-production work it takes before you can even so much as pick up a camera. The time it takes to complete a piece of work also correlates to the QUALITY of the work. You want something of high quality, you’ve got to understand that that’s gonna take time, and also pay the creator for their time too!
  8. “No but really… what are you REALLY going to do?” Well the first thing I’m going to do is resist the urge to punch you in the face for that comment. But then what I’m going to do is continue perusing my career as a creative because that is what I’m REALLY going to do. — It adds more insult to injury when these people never actually even bothered trying to follow their dreams and now work at a shelf stacker or something or other. Not that I’m degrading those jobs! You’ve gotta pay the bills somehow. But don’t belittle me for trying to follow my dream when you clearly never followed yours.
  9. “Getting a degree in *insert creative subject here* is a waste of the taxpayers money.” Okay, since we have to pay it back, technically it would be a waste or our money too. But it’s not a waste of money. Like I said, if all the creatives never studied the creative subjects you wouldn’t be able to enjoy a lot of the things you currently do so get your head out of your ass. You might think STEM or whatever else is more important, but that doesn’t mean creative subjects aren’t.
  10. “All you do is press buttons!” This is probably more geared to people doing photography of film but the ignorance in this is so annoying. It’s a lot more than just “pressing buttons” you’ve got to get the right aperture, shot type, and so on and so on. Please if you think it’s just pressing a button by all means go ahead, go make a photography project or a film and we’ll see how well you manage.

And there we have it, a list of shitty things people have said to people working in the creative industry. It can be a tough world out there, especially with all the criticism, but it’s worth it for the love of making all these wonderful things!

Has anyone said anything crappy to you as a creative? Share them with us in the comments!



2 thoughts on “10 Shit Things People Say To Creatives

  1. As a journalism student specialising in newspaper and magazines I 100% agree with all of this! So many people think it is just a waste of time. When I applied to university my gran said I won’t get a job because its all going online…. It’s ridiculous. Creative work takes a lot more time and effort than an essay might.


  2. So true. I get a mixed bag of responses when I talk about my writing – some people are really supportive and excited about it, and then some people belittle it as nothing more than writing “stories”, like oh, how hard can that be? Grr!


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