August 2, 2022

How can you find your creative focus?

Finding your creative focus is about narrowing down what you’re good at in order to position yourself as an expert in your creative field.

Finding your creative focus is about narrowing down what you’re good at in order to position yourself as an expert in your creative field. This entails finding an industry you’re excited to work in, maximizing your potential in one skill, and focusing on a scalable market. In short, identify your industry focus, skill focus, and market focus.

Getting your creative focus can be hard when you have so many options to sift through. You have the freedom to choose anything, but the more choices you can make, the more confused you may get. It's easy to feel that you're being pulled in too many directions and end up frustrated and unhappy with yourself. While there's no magic bullet for finding your focus, there are definitely a few tried-and-true methods that can help you get in the right mindset.

Huge websites like Pinterest and Etsy are stuffed with ideas and inspiration, but when it comes to the actual work, selling what you make, or putting it all out there in a way that people can see how talented you are, it's hard to find your niche. Everyone wants to be unique yet also relatable—and it's a lot of pressure. With so many conflicting ideas about how to position yourself as an artist, how can you possibly narrow down what you want to do?

Industry Focus

Find an industry or a field that excites you and allows you to have a positive impact on the world around you. It's okay if it's not one you've been thinking about before—it doesn't have to be your dream job, but there should be something about it that makes your heart skip a beat. Something about it that makes all of your frustrations melt away and makes you feel like anything is possible. If you really try hard and are able to push yourself out of your comfort zone, this could be the path toward discovering your passion and finding your own creative focus.

You can try to immerse yourself in this industry that you're passionate about, absorb all the information you can from watching, reading, and listening to experts within the field, and then see if there's something inside of you that lights up with inspiration. Once you find that interest within yourself, hold onto it and take steps forward every day toward making it a reality.

Skill Focus

Finding your skill focus is an important part of being a successful, productive freelancer. If you don't know what you're good at and what you want to be known for, how can you build your business around it? But, as with any kind of focus, it takes time and effort.

To begin with, think about what you're already the best at. Think about what you do that garners positive feedback from others. Now focus on that skill and try to improve it as much as possible. This takes a lot of time and dedication, but the reward you get from becoming an expert gives you that creative focus you're looking for.

If you only let yourself work on one project, you will learn more and make faster progress than if you try to juggle several at once. If you're going to spend the time to develop a skill, why not go all in and dedicate yourself to becoming great at that one thing? Being a master of one thing isn't selfish or crazy; this kind of focus can make your work feel meaningful and your life less scattered.

Market Focus

When you break it down into what's important to people who are looking for work in your field, things get a lot easier. That's because people who want to hire creatives are looking for something specific: projects that solve a problem and show off the extent of your skills. The people are the market. And it doesn't matter if those passion projects are directly related to what you did before—it really only matters that they demonstrate your ability and enthusiasm for the kind of work you're hoping to score. By creating a portfolio of work that you are passionate about, you can demonstrate how you bring your personality into your work and connect with the people in your target audience.

Now, this isn't just about what you want—it's also about knowing what people are most likely to want from you! The best way to do this is by thinking hard about what they need, and understanding why they need it.

It's hard to find your own creative focus. It can be a struggle to find something that you're passionate about and that allows you to objectively do good work. If you want to discover your own creative focus, it's important to find something that is both personally meaningful and professional, and you need to identify what it is that truly motivates you.

This time, try to grab your pen, paper, and some mindful minutes for reflection. Divide your paper into three columns and write down the three types of focus mentioned above as the headings—industry, skill, and market. Then, begin writing down whatever comes to mind. Start with industry, followed by the skills you’re already good at or you’re interested in, and then the type of people you want to work with.

Remember that you do not have to decide just yet. Let your thoughts run freely. After this, you now have a starting point to further find your creative focus.