How to setup creative goals for 2021?, When We Met Podcast.
The worst is already behind us, some say with glitter of hope in their eyes, others are not so optimistic about the prospect of a new year unfolding before us. But the sun has finally set upon treacherous 2020 and the dawn of 2021 holds new possibilities and promises.
The creative community has grown more than ever in the last year, innovating and evolving every step of the way. It is with this new-found resilience that we embark on our journeys in 2021. Pawan Rochwani was in conversation with 4 extra-ordinary multipotentialites, Mukesh Babu, Entrepreneur and Product Builder, Srilekha Karnic, Content Creator and YouTuber, Mohammed Zubair, Illustrator, designer, podcaster and budding comedian, and Sayasha Pillai, writer, artist, and podcaster. They were in conversation about "How to setup creative goals for 2021?"
The below piece is written by Deepannita Kundu about When We Met Podcast.
As much as we would like to believe that creativity is a natural instinct and creators casually make funny or interesting content whenever they get the inspiration, it's really not the case. Creativity just like any other skill needs to be planned out and constantly honed. There is no magical rule of thumbs or proven formulas that can ensure success especially when it comes to digital content creators. The path to success lies in the smallest of things like the colour of the font or the design of a template. And this was in fact Srilekha’s biggest learning in 2020, she says, “if you stop being in denial and stop complaining about it not working and just think about why it’s not working; what can I do to fix that, it will take you so much further.” Adding on to that Sayasha says that she realised that to be a content creator is a full-bodied role. It is more than about creating content rather it’s about being an entrepreneur.
Mukesh Babu and Zubair Mohammad both struggled with procrastination in 2020. For Mukesh, the conflict lies in the fact that he is outcome-oriented and hence always thinking about optimising output but at the same time, the pressure of not being good enough makes him procrastinate. For Zubair, the problem lies in the fact that since he is his own boss, it is very easy for him to keep delaying things. At the same time he believes that “seeing yourself from an external light is very important”, and it also helps us to be more disciplined and efficient in our work. Do you face creative conflict while creating for 2 different organisations that are similar in nature?
Sayasha says, “that’s where the biggest challenge comes from as a content creator otherwise everybody could write.” To be able to interact with organisations with similar models of business and ideals and delivering them content that represents their unique identity and holds true for their vision is what makes content creation interesting.
How to balance creating content independently as well as for an organisation?
This is a question that often plagues creators, and many know that equilibrium is often hard to strike. Srilekha says that the content she creates personally is very different from the one she creates at her job, this has helped her. “There were times, when I had an idea and I wouldn’t know, can I keep this for myself? Am I supposed to give it away?” To avoid these dilemmas she made sure that there was no overlap in the types of content she created.
Are more creators now taking up a full-time creator’s job?
According to Mukesh creation consists of 2 parts - to create which depends on the actual expertise and monetisation. “There is a lot of education that needs to be done on how they can monetise.” A lot of creators are moving towards monetisation but the future would be about building the right tools to enable them. He also feels that Indian consumers are not very well accustomed to paying for pieces of content. Things like paywalls could work only if the creator is very well known and the barrier to entry is low. Moreover, creators in the Indian ecosystem are not familiar with models like Patreon or Substack which are complex to some extent, they need simpler tools.
How monetisation varies for different creators?
Zubair says, “making money off of your passion is very different for different creators. If you are a digital artist it is a lot easier for you to make money off of your skillset than if you are a musician, because a musician has no corporate value he can give.”
Do you feel the pressure of creating funny content?
“Comedy being as subjective as it is,” says Zubair “it’s an excuse for me also”. The struggle lies in the fact that you have to level up every day, “ followers are so entitled to good content these days and that follow and like button holds so much entitlement.”
Sometimes he scrolls through his social media and he finds “objectively bad” content with thousands of likes and comments. He wonders if engagement holds any actual value? “They hold no value because of how they are distributed", he concluded.
Do you feel pressure to create content constantly?
“You can either view this as a competitive battlefield where everyone is fighting or actually appreciate what a beautiful time it is to be a content creator and view this as a vast garden which has enough place for everyone to bloom and grow,” says Sayasha. She feels that taking a different point of view lets her create content in a more relaxed manner.
Srilekha too says that she is grateful for having an audience that actually cares for her and does not necessarily feel that pressure. Rather she feels as she is starting out with her creative journey it's time to focus on her skills and work on them with consistency. She believes this will make her excel at the craft in a few years.
Indeed consistency is the hallmark of a genius, and when mixed with passion it can create wonders. Einstein once said creativity is intelligence and having fun. Maybe 2021 is the year for us to let go of our inhibitions and have fun while creating without focusing too much on the outcome or the judgment. To listen to the full conversation tune into When We Met Podcast by Platform For Artists.