Oscar Wilde once said that while the imagination imitates, it is the critical spirit that creates. His words allude to the fact that creativity is not a choice, butrather an inherent predisposition. Even so, there is a maddening volatility to the business of being creative, and a precariousness that can threaten to leave ones true vision compromised. So, at a time when everybody is free to create his or her own entrepreneurial empire, how do we navigate through all the white noise of the creative industries? It was this question that was discussed at VAMFF’s Fashion Industry Forum 2, hosted by Glynis Traill-Nash and featuring guest speakers Jemma Dyas (Être Cécile), CatherineBaba (Stylist), Pip Edwards (Stylist, Designer and Creative Consultant) and Matt Jensen (MJ Bale). Essentially, how does one avoid selling out?
Though each speaker came at the question from a different angle, a few recurring themes inevitably arose between the four creatives. While each argued that creativity was vital, equal importance was placed upon business savvy—the commercial reality of today’s cost sensitive marketplace. Given the cluttered creative arena—one where everyone wants to play—it’s never been more important to build a personality that is distinct; a unique “flavour” that is yours. To do so, Baba says you have to be a sponge to everything, to be in constant conversation with yourself; it’s a twenty-four hour a day job.
Despite this perpetual whirring of the creative mind, each panellist appeared equally joyed by what they had achieved, a life not only of commercial success, but also of rich creativity. Most important of all? Speak louder than those who question your dreams, and do it your own way. If you trust your own instinct, Jensen says, often you find it turns out just fine. And when it does, it’s worth it. So stay true to your creative vision because, just like Catherine Baba says, bravo to all of us who want to share anything.