Creative careers?
June 27, 2009 4:50 AM   Subscribe

Help me advise my sister-in-law on a creative career path!

My 21-year-old sister-in-law and has supported herself for several years cutting and styling hair. She'd like to move on to a career in something creative; she just doesn't know what. She doesn't have a college degree and realizes that she needs to/wants to pursue that path.

She loves fashion and interior design, so I've encouraged her to consider colleges and universities with those programs. I think she'd be well-suited to a career that's creative, but that would allow her to work with people (that's what she's enjoyed about hair styling).

Does anyone have experience with fashion (fashion buying or design or styling) or interior design that they'd be willing to share? Do you know anyone working in these fields and loving it?

By the way, my husband and I live in NYC, and she may come out here for college, which would open up her options for programs.

Thanks, guys!
posted by cymru_j to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does she have a portfolio or hair styling work?

Another option that might be worth considering is becoming a make up artist.
I have a few friends in creative industries (web design,visual merchandising,beauty product marketing,beauty product buying)

Please free to mail me if you have some specific questions.
posted by errspy at 6:47 AM on June 27, 2009

Model Mayhem is a good resource in building a portfolio. She can create a profile as a "Hair Stylist, Makeup Artist, and Wardrobe Stylist" and network with photographers and models. She can style a shoot in exchange for prints and put a nice portfolio together.

Here's a neat little interview from Doe Deere about her makeup line.

Here's a little article by Amelia Arsenic about learning new skills that mentions how she started her makeup line, internships, and wigmaking.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:07 AM on June 27, 2009

I don't know the right choice for her, but it might help to understand where some people go wrong.

1. They choose field x, thinking it will allow them near-total creative freedom, but realize after a few years that their independence is almost wholly compromised by client constraint (client wants, needs, demands, money, time, etc.)

2. They prefer what I call "bit creativity" (a lot of small projects like hair-styling, bread baking, pottery, painting), but choose interior design, architecture, music, etc., careers with projects that are a magnitude more involved, that require a great deal of forbearance with respect to planning, negotiation, and execution.

3. They like working with people, but choose an isolated career (painting, pottery) or like working independently, but choose a people-intensive career (fashion).

In summary, something like:

Creative Freedom Allowed: (1 [low] - 10 [high])
Project Size and Complexity: (1 [low] - 10 [high])
Social Interaction: (1 [low] - 10 [high])

Hairstyling, for example, would be: 3, 2, 10
Interior Design: 1, 7-10, 5
Fashion Design: 8, 2-5, 10
Architecture: 5, 8-10, 7
Painting: 10, 1-10, 1

I guess my advice is to use these to narrow her choices.

Note that money is a constraint that forces most artists to bend, sometimes a lot more than they want to. I make it sound easy to narrow one's choices using these criteria, but adding the monetary variable makes it a whole lot more difficult.

I hope this helps some, and sorry if it's more theory than application.
posted by foooooogasm at 8:24 AM on June 27, 2009 [10 favorites]

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