4 Sound Pieces Of Advice From Women In The Creative World

I was recently part of a panel called “Kickass Women Slaying the Creative World,” hosted by General Assembly and Ladies, Wine & Design in Denver. The panel focused on creativity — hence the name — but with a wide lense. The conversation went beyond art and design. It dug into what being creative really means and led us to share these pieces of advice:

Photo courtesy of Madison Cleo. In the photo from left to right: Haylee Powers - CEO & Creative Director of  Bad Bitch Branding , Rachel Whaley - Event Marketing Manager at  Ticketmaster , Luz Plaza - Founder and Curator of  FRANK Newsletter , Madison Cleo - CEO of  MadCleo .

Photo courtesy of Madison Cleo. In the photo from left to right: Haylee Powers - CEO & Creative Director of Bad Bitch Branding, Rachel Whaley - Event Marketing Manager at Ticketmaster, Luz Plaza - Founder and Curator of FRANK Newsletter, Madison Cleo - CEO of MadCleo.

Being Creative Doesn’t Mean Being Artistically Inclined

In most minds, creative is synonymous with artistic. In reality, it’s more than that. Here’s what comes up when you look up “creative” in the dictionary:

1. Marked by the ability or power to create
2. Having the quality of something created rather than imitated
3. Managed so as to get around legal or conventional limits

See? No art.

Things we don’t typically associate with creativity, like science and number crunching, are actually creative acts. How do you think the Pythagorean theorem and the law of relativity came about?

Maybe you don’t see yourself as creative. But if you’re resourceful or a problem-solver, chances are you’re better versed in the creative process than you give yourself credit for. Here are some tips on how to channel your creativity and make sure others see you as a creative thinker, too.

That B*tch of a Boss You Hate Knows a Thing or Two

Sure, there are difficult people everywhere. That’s just life. The further someone gets in their career, the more they are scrutinized. With that comes opinions — which is fair. After all, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Before you start adding adjectives or calling anyone names, answer these questions to help keep any implicit bias in check:

  • Did the person in question got where they are because they are good at what they do? Take an interest in how they got there instead of a position against them for being there.

  • Are you being fair? Just like you cannot be good at EVERYTHING, neither can they. Make sure your expectations are reasonable.

  • Does it have anything to do with them being nice? People don’t have to smile and they don’t have to be nice. Remember, being nice and being kind are not the same thing.

  • Would you judge a man or someone younger (or older) the same way?

I’m not advocating for giving people a free pass for being a jerk, but you don’t have to be someone’s BFF to learn something from them.

Everyone Gets Told No, Ignored, Or Rejected

Time to work on that resilience. You’ll get plenty of NOs, but know that a NO does not define you or your work. Also take into account that no answer is not the same thing as no. People have lives and things they need to get done. Instead of getting discouraged, put on those big girl pants and check in one more time.

Not Being Organized Costs You Money (And Sanity)

Think of organization as self-care. Time is money and peace of mind is priceless. The more organized you get, the more time you save and the less stress you manifest. Here are a few tools to get you on track:

  • Eliminate the back-and-forth of scheduling meetings and calls with calendly.

  • Create and save templates for social posts on Canva so you can tweak them for multiple posts.

  • Bookmark anything on Pocket and make it accessible across all your devices to read later so that you won’t forget it or feel like you need to do it right then and there.

Want more? Check out my full list of vetted productivity tools that helped me get it together (and keep it together).

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