On top of our list of things to do - arguing with shipping companies, chasing suppliers (by the way, thank you all for the tips you gave us, we will treasure it 😉) etc. - this week, a very nice thing happened: Laura Spianelli interviewed us for Il caffè del fumetto (comic book coffee time) and she asked us questions that put us on the spot and made us think. So we decided to share them with you.
👉 Why did you decide to start a business instead of just working as creatives?
Well, the company is in fact a billing body: if we start selling books on the street, sooner or later someone will fine us; a company (as well as a VAT number) helps to have a system for declaring what has been invoiced. For us it was first and foremost a necessity but it also pushed us to say: "Ok, now we have to get serious" 😅
👉 How do you keep a balance between being an entrepreneur and being creative?
This is the hardest part. We didn't want to be entrepreneurs: we wanted to be creatives and we found ourselves having to be entrepreneurs in order to be creative. So when the entrepreneur side of us wants to put the Sefirot logo on a diary and start selling notebooks just to "make more money", the creative side stops us on our tracks and reminds us that we haven't started a company just for that. We try, in fact, to engage in a constant self-analysis and, as soon as we see that we are complaining too much because "this is boring, I don’t want to do that" etc., we change the program as fast as we can. We ask ourselves very often: “Why are we doing these things? What do we want to achieve?"
👉 What skills do you think independent creatives, illustrators, cartoonists, etc. should learn?
Brutally speaking: they should learn how to make money. Creatives are already creative, so what's missing very often is figuring out how to get the resources to keep doing what they love without becoming miserable. You have to ask yourself: "What is my business model?" If I draw all day with the aim of posting on Instagram and increasing my followers because I hope that at some point someone will notice me... is it really an effective strategy? Or maybe I should print a comic in limited edition and start selling it to friends? Should I do a crowdfunding campaign? Or even work part time in a supermarket while using the rest of my time on a project? In short, while I feed my creativity, how can I also feed my body?
👉 What advice would you like to give to young creatives?
Do. Without thinking about the consequences, without being petrified by fear of being judged, without trying to achieve perfection at all costs. Eventually a writer has to write, a painter has to paint, an actor has to act and so on. It is better to put out there a first experimental project that no one ends up liking, rather than no project at all. And then do it the way you like, creativity starts with you and must nourish, first of all, you; pleasing others is one of the worst and demeaning sins we can stumble upon.
🦊🦊🦊 What we pondered and what we would like to do
The interview was an opportunity to share in real time some of the things we’ve learned along the way and which we think are important. While talking, we saw that we touched many needs that we ourselves had a while back and for which we could not find a solution: how to start your own business with creative work, how to evaluate whether an idea is good or not, how to launch it, etc. How many talented people fail to be recognized because they don't know how to move in today's market? How many projects fail because a communication agency makes them invest in unnecessary brand awareness? These topics make us lose our minds 😂 therefore ...
🚀🚀🚀 We would like to work on a series of lectures
On design thinking, on validating ideas, on Kickstarter campaigns, some will be shorter and free, others will be more structured and we’ll charge a fee, ‘cause why not? (this is the entrepreneur part of us speaking 😂). The idea is making us tickle and we are already thinking about the learning units!
If you’re intrigued by the idea and you want to lend a hand, you can answer this >> survey 🙏 (it will only take a couple of minutes!)
Matteo and Andrea
*** Sefirot’s Creative Bulletin ***
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