The ideal creative professional – Are you one?

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equationThe ideal creative professional = General Education + Professional Education
I recently had the privilege of meeting with Jim Copacino, cofounder of Copacino + Fujikado, a world-class advertising agency in Seattle, Washington.  Upon asking him what attributes he considered to be most important, he said to be equally educated both generally and professionally. Where professional education and general education meet, creatives flourish. This article will teach you what General and Professional Education are and why it is important to get a balance of both.

What is General Education?
So what does it mean to be generally educated? Copacino said it means being curious about the world around you.  Have a desire to learn about anything and everything.  Take a class on something totally unrelated to your profession, take advantage of opportunities to talk with people with diverse experiences, and find a passion for learning about unique things.

Gaining a good general education is frequently known as being “street smart”.  Developing people skills and the ability to carry on a good conversation about any given subject is vital for anyone in the creative industry. Copacino also suggested carrying a small journal to jot down thoughts or inspiration about simple things around you every day. A blog is also a wonderful way to record thoughts and learning experiences.

What is Professional Education?
In addition to “street smarts” or general education, it is obviously important to gain official training in the industry that you want to go into.  Professional education doesn’t only mean attending a university or institute of higher education. The following are just some simple things you can do to gain a professional education.

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arrowSubscribe to blogs concerning your specific areas of interest

arrowAttend a trade school or seminars

arrowNetwork with other professionals

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arrowSubscribe to magazines that deal with your interests

Whatever you do, make a conscious effort to do everything that you can to gain an official, professional education about the profession you want to go into.

Combining both = ideal creativity
A well-balanced creative is what people are looking for in todays competitive job market. Too frequently we see those who have a passion for creative work but lack the professional education and training needed to refine their skills. Often, we also run into those who have had years of professional training but understand little about people and the world around them.  If you want to have a successful career in any creative field, finding a balance between the two.

What other ways have you seen to boost effectiveness through education whether general or professional?

avatarAbout the Author: Preston Lee is an award-winning freelance graphic designer and photographer that has a passion for good design. Preston loves to share his thoughts about graphic design with others and is the principal content supplier for

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.

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  1. Nice article! Thanks


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