How to succeed in the creative industry by the women who’ve done it.

Unfortunately there’s no step-by-step guide on how to succeed in the creative industry, if there was we’d all be ultra successful doing what we love. How you fare in the creative industry ultimately depends on you, how you take criticism, rejection and scepticism and turn it into motivation to continue doing what you love.  Here’s an in depth look at some hard-working women who have turned their dreams into reality, and how they did it. Hopefully they’ll give you the motivation you need to keep working towards your dreams!

How to succeed in the creative industry by the women who've done it.
Photographs Betty Magazine

#1 Charlotte Jacklin, 28. Founder of Betty Magazine.
The Betty magazine that now graces the shelves of stores from here to Japan had very humble beginnings and started as a small zine while Charlotte was studying fashion promotion at UCA in Rochester. Good things take time and the success you see now didn’t happen overnight, “It’s something that’s definitely evolved. It was started with me and a friend as our final major project at university, and that got quite a good response with sites like Style Bubble and at London Fashion Week- but then nothing happened for about a year after. So I started blogging again, and Lauren Laverne picked it up and featured us on her radio show and then in the Observer and Grazia – which is how I met Charlotte (Melling, Creative Director of Betty) She did a shoot for me for the second issue which was online, and afterwards she said ‘Let’s get this bad boy into print!’- and the rest is history,” she says. (Source)

How to succeed in the creative industry by the women who've done it.
Photograph from

#2 Emma Healey, 29. Author of Elizabeth is Missing.
Emma Healey’s first novel was met with astounding success, and for a first attempt at writing she has done extremely well, “I know people say they have another novel that’s in their bottom drawer so I feel a bit of a fraud—I don’t even have proper short stories that I’ve written—but I got completely obsessed with this story.” (Source) She started the novel when she was working in marketing for an art gallery, and gained a place on the MA Creative Writing: Prose course at UEA based on the first 50,000 words. Now she is the winner of the Costa First Novel award 2014, and although it seems like a fairytale, Emma’s success came from the perseverance of getting the voices in her head down on paper and realising her characters, “I was really worried about being twenty-three and trying to write from the point of view of someone in her eighties. I really thought that was stupid, I really thought I must be an idiot if I think I can do this…But I suppose her voice must have been quite strong in my head even that early because I couldn’t really find a voice I liked as much. And so that’s why I ended up carrying on.” (Source)

How to succeed in the creative industry by the women who've done it.
Pictures from Furry Little Peach

#3 Sha’an d’Anthes, 22. Illustrator.
Sha’an received her first commission at the age of 17, and although she describes herself as an introvert she’s making waves in the industry and is followed by thousands of people on her various social networks. She studied Art and Design and majored in Graphic Design, now she’s lucky enough to be a digital designer four days a week and work freelance while collaborating with brands and agencies. Of this success she says, “I’ve always known that I wanted to go into a creative field professionally so I always tried to take classes that nurtured that…most of the techniques I’ve picked up have been acquired through experimentation, imitation and observation. I think in some situations learning things by yourself drives you more than if you were to learn it in an institutional setting.” (Source) She’s a woman beyond her years with a great mantra and some good advice for anyone looking to break into the creative industry, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” (Source)

carrie harwood
Photo from Wishwishwish

#4 Carrie Harwood, 24. Fashion Blogger.
Carrie started Wish Wish Wish seven years ago, when she was just 17, as an outlet for her love of fashion and a way to talk about her life online. Since then, she has bagged a job at ASOS, rubbed shoulders with the fashion elite and has been interviewed by everyone from Global Blue to Teen Vogue.  “I studied Fashion Styling and Communication in London, as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, and this course sounded like it encompassed a few of my favorite things. Looking back, I wouldn’t have studied for a degree in this subject because, as with many creative courses, you learn and develop more on your own than in a classroom accruing debt!” The story so far is that success takes time, patience and hard work, so if you’re looking to break into the creative industry be sure you’re dedicating your time to something you love. Carrie’s advice is this, “Be prepared to put in some hours! And don’t expect success overnight. Do it for the love of it, and not because you’re hoping for freebies. It’s tough to maintain a blog, but very, very rewarding!” (Source)

Zoe Sugg aka Zoella 'Girl Online' book launch
Photo from The Guardian

#5 Zoe Sugg, 24. Video Blogger.
It’s hard to believe that in 2009 Zoe’s written blog had 1,000 followers and her YouTube hadn’t even come into existence yet. With 5.9 million subscribers on Youtube. She posts about two films a week on her two Youtube channels, each on average 12 minutes long, and ranging in theme from My Everyday Makeup Routine (5 million views) to Little Ways To Change Your Life (2.4 million views) (Source), she’s become a new breed of celebrity. You’ve probably read about Zoe in the news from the release of her book Girl Online, to the YouTube adverts she featured in and now her stint on the Great British Bake Off and rumours of a £1m mansion flying around. Zoe’s fame seems to have careered, but she seems to not be letting it get to her head, “I would love to say that there is a specific thing someone could do. But I think the main thing that really makes it work is that, if you’re having fun, being yourself and filming something that you would watch yourself, it becomes contagious for other people to watch too.” (Source)


By Olivia Blackmore