More Is More: Towards a Positive-Sum Creative Community

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about success, and access, and how we talk about them.

In creative fields, we like to believe that merit is the main path to success. But I think it’s important to acknowledge that even with merit, success doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

I work hard, and I’m very good at what I do. In some ways I’m pretty self-made. But I have also been lucky enough to have more successful and experienced friends and mentors who shared their resources and platforms with me; and who taught me to do the same.

Those hands up and open doors have made a universe of difference. And the most important lesson I’ve gotten from them is that creative economy is–or should be–positive sum. The more people we make room for, the more room we make, and the stronger we become.

As an industry and community, we benefit tremendously from welcoming new generations and talents into our circles; from sharing our resources; from collaborating and allying with our peers; from supporting and mentoring youth and newcomers.

Did you work long and hard to get where you are? Be a cartographer, not a gatekeeper.What you have the power to do is a huge gift, and a critical responsibility.

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