WEEK 3: INVEST IN YOURSELF
Given the title of our ‘Back To School’ programme, it seems only fitting to dedicate at least one entry specifically to learning new things. I’m a big believer that investing in your knowledge and skills, no matter what stage of your career you’re at – is vitally important. When it comes to creating work and generating new opportunities, you are the most essential tool at your disposal – and one that need regular fine-tuning.
For creative types, autodidactism (that’s the fancy word for self-taught learning) is a habit worth mastering particularly if you’re self-employed and are therefore solely responsible for your own learning and development. Being a successful creative worker involves staying up to date with current trends and cultural happenings, as well as the ability to readily acquire new skills when needed. In my opinion, there are two ways of going about this:
1. ENGAGING WITH CULTURE
I’ve written a lot about the fact that taking in new creative or cultural work is a brilliant way of getting your creative juices flowing, but it’s also just as vital as a tool for education. I’ve always found engaging with arts and culture to be a powerful (and fun!) way of learning new things about people, perspectives, and cultures outside of my usual points of reference, and I think it’s vital in order to be a well-rounded creative.
2. STRUCTURED LEARNING
For when you need a more specific skills upgrade, educational classes are the equivalent of an iOS update for your professional skills – sure you can survive without them, but you’re probably missing out on some pretty cool stuff. September is a great time of year to explore this option, as many adult education facilities tend to work in line with the academic year, with new courses starting in Sept/Oct.
I’m a big fan of both methods – I try to visit new exhibitions as frequently as possible, and earlier this year I completed a beginner’s InDesign course to try and get my technical design skills up to scratch (still working on that though…). To help you out with the cultural side of things I've put together a cultural calendar of the most interesting things happening over the next month or so.
- The Gentlewoman Issue 16: featuring four-time Olympic gold-medal winner Simone Biles on the cover, I'm looking forward to digging into the latest issue one of the smartest women's publications out there (which hit newsstands last week).
- I'm also a big fan of Leith Clark's intelligent fashion magazine Violet Book, the latest issue of which has also recently hit newsstands.
- Fashion Together, Lou Stoppard's gorgeously curated new book on the iconic creative collaborators of modern fashion looks like it might be the coffee table read of the season. Out Oct 24th.
- ...Or perhaps that's an honour best reserved for Ian Schrager's eponymously named Studio 54 book, which promises an insider's account of the legendary nightclub.
- Basquiat: Boom For Real at The Barbican (opening tomorrow).
- California: Designing Freedom at the Design Museum (open until the 17th October).
- Anything at the London Design Festival, which kicks off this week.
SEE: NEW YORK
- Trigger: Gender As a Tool and a Weapon at The New Museum (opens on the 27th September).
- The Kara Walker exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins & Co (open until 14th October).
- British artist Phoebe Collings-James Expensive Shit exhibition at 315 Gallery (open until 8th October).
- Unseen Amsterdam (one of Europe's leading photography exhibitions) is open from 22nd - 24th September.
SEE: LOS ANGELES
- Found in Translation at the LACMA, an exploration of the shared design approaches between California and Mexico. Open now.
See you next week for the fourth (and final!) part of the programme.
If you found this article useful, there’s plenty more where that came from in The Dream CV Planner, a resource I’ve developed to help you identify what a successful and fulfilling career looks like for you.