Creative Producer

I don’t really believe in careers, so when I came across this tweet from Michael Oswell I had to do some thinking:

When people ask me what I do, I hesitate a little; I’m working two part time jobs and I was a freelance graphic designer but now I’m also a game designer, I guess? When you’re freelancing, I think personal branding is a Very Important Necessary Evil. I’m not a brand! But I do need a way of quickly communicating what it is I do and, unfortunately, there’s not really a quick way of saying graphic-designer-operations-manager-union-organiser. I also often think that if you’re trying to score creative work, you have to show yourself to be creative. There’s nothing more offputting (to me, snobbishly, personally) than a creative with a boring, characterless website/portfolio/business card. After some thought I landed on a term I have a love-hate relationship with:

✨ Creative Producer ✨

I think storying” is part of a greater Oral Tradition which shapes how people perceive you, both professionally and socially. It’s fun to arrange the disparate parts of my life into a connected whole. Creative Producer”, then, makes for a good story: a tongue-in-cheek contraction of an odd anti-career. If we’re talking books, I’ve handled writing, editing, art direction, graphic design, pre-press, and accessibility remediation. I’ve also handled the logistics of getting pallets of books across borders, of EU tax rates, and mixed VAT-rated fulfilment. Holistically, I have both created and produced. If we know each other through the TTRPG scene, you’ve most likely done the same.

I hate the label because it’s vague and betrays an inadequacy I don’t see as a problem (considering I mostly work freelance): being a jack of all trades but master of none.


February 15, 2024

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