The Curse of the Creative

It’s a sad fact of life that we are all born with unique skills and yet we only get to spend a relatively scant portion of our time exercising them.

The modern economy is built around the idea that individuals should specialize around their talents. We let accountants file our taxes because they’re better at numbers than us. We get bread from a bakery because we don’t have the time or ability to mix bread dough, proof it, bake it, and let it cool in time for us to make a dang sandwich.

So talented creatives such as designers, illustrators, writers, photographers, and video producers tend to want to spend their productive hours of the day on those exact tasks. But in order to be successful in those fields, they also need to spend a lot of time not doing those things. Writing query and cover letters, polishing portfolios and resumes, connecting with others on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are usually not opportunities to flex one’s creative muscle.

This is something we think about a lot at The Digital Shortlist. It is part of the reason we created this advertising and marketing competition. There are plenty of awards for agencies to submit to, and it is easy for them because they have people who are devoted to developing the reputation of the agency in order to earn new business. For an individual, managing one’s personal brand is a similar process to what a company would have to go through, but in that case it is a DIY proposition.

So we created a marketing and advertising competition that awards individuals in various creative fields, giving them a platform for promoting their work and earning recognition for it. We made it easy for anyone with a portfolio to submit their work under a range of categories.

But even so, there are far too many talented students and professionals who are not inclined to promote themselves, even when it is easy to do so. Which is why we turn to the friends, families, lovers, acquaintances, and colleagues of these reserved geniuses-in-waiting. You can help design students, advertising majors, and would-be professional artist and illustrators get the boost they need to make their career match their talents.

Get them to submit their work and let the world confirm what you already know: that their talent is worthy of greatness.

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