3D World

Oped: Sony Tal­ent League

Why you should take the plunge and sub­mit to this art chal­lenge

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You saw an ad, a post, a men­tion in a thread about Sony’s Tal­ent League by THU. You got ex­cited. It piqued your in­ter­est. You book­marked the page. And then you pro­ceeded to for­get it ex­isted.

“Who am I kid­ding, my stuff’s not good enough to sub­mit…”, “Why bother, I never win any­thing,” “All of my ideas have been done be­fore, I can’t think of any­thing good.” And so you con­vinced your­self it was bet­ter to let the dead­line lapse than to make the ef­fort to do some­thing you want. Here are five great rea­sons to shake things up and shift that per­spec­tive.

YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU DON’T TAKE

Let’s be hon­est, most of us don’t think our work is good enough. Self-crit­i­cism, im­poster syn­drome, the com­pe­ti­tion, fear of fail­ure, anx­i­ety, per­fec­tion­ism, the list of rea­sons hold­ing us back can eas­ily fill a tome. Those clos­est to us may fuel our con­fi­dence, but our in­ner critic is ruth­less in tear­ing us down. The truth of our tal­ent ac­tu­ally lies some­where be­tween those ex­tremes. But until we put our work out there to be seen, we’re the only ones hold­ing our­selves back. You’ll never know un­less you try, so give it a shot.

IN DIS­COM­FORT THERE IS GROWTH

It’s scary, I get it. What will they think of my work, does this piece ad­e­quately rep­re­sent me/my tal­ent, how do I com­pare with oth­ers, am I ready to be judged, can I han­dle the feed­back? An inspiring teacher once told me, “Run boldly to­wards the things that scare you.” Why? Be­cause if you’re not feel­ing at least a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive, scared, un­com­fort­able, you’re just main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo; you’re not chal­leng­ing your­self, you’re not liv­ing up to your growth po­ten­tial. What­ever hap­pens from sub­mit­ting your work, you’ll learn some­thing. Per­haps you’ll emerge more con­fi­dent, real­is­ing you can in­deed do any­thing you put your mind to. Maybe you’ll try out a new tech­nique in or­der to meet sub­mis­sion con­straints. Or per­haps your imag­i­na­tion will take flight, see­ing how oth­ers in­ter­preted the same cre­ative prompt. There’s magic in the process, not just the end re­sult. Go forth and seek out ‘un­com­fort­able’.

NO-ONE NEEDS TO KNOW

You’re think­ing about sub­mit­ting, but you’re wor­ried about the gos­sip. What will your peer group say, how about that uber­com­pet­i­tive user in the fo­rums, or Un­cle Bob, who can’t re­sist the chance to share his thoughts on your ca­reer path? Just think­ing about them gives you a mi­graine. Well, great news, they don’t need to know. You’re do­ing this for your­self, re­mem­ber that.

IT GETS EAS­IER

Don’t make the age-old mis­take of ty­ing your self-worth to how things turn out. In­stead, shift your per­spec­tive and you’ll re­alise that these are a great means of prac­tic­ing your craft and show­cas­ing your work. Each new op­por­tu­nity is a chance to try some­thing dif­fer­ent, chal­lenge your­self, see what you’re ca­pa­ble of, and com­plete a project. Along the way you’ll gain in­valu­able knowl­edge and con­fi­dence. In­evitably, look­ing back, you’ll see your evo­lu­tion and how your work has pro­gressed in leaps and bounds – each new ex­pe­ri­ence push­ing you in ways you likely wouldn’t have on your own. And ‘re­jec­tion’ will slowly lose its power over you. No longer a thorn in your side, it will sim­ply be added fuel pro­pelling you for­ward on your jour­ney. The more you put your­self out there, the eas­ier it gets.

THINK ABOUT THE PRIZE

When we think ‘prize’, money may come to mind. But there’s so much more to be gained from en­ter­ing a chal­lenge. Whether you win or not, your work is be­ing seen by oth­ers in your field, may be judged by in­flu­en­tial lead­ers in your craft, per­haps show­cased to a wider au­di­ence. And if you ap­proach the ex­pe­ri­ence with an open mind, you may well make new friends along the way, or find like­minded cre­atives to col­lab­o­rate with. Plus, over­rul­ing your in­ner critic and ac­tu­ally sub­mit­ting is a win in and of it­self!

Still un­sure if you should take the plunge? List out the pros and cons and make a de­ci­sion. Just re­mem­ber to let your cu­rios­ity, not your fear, drive the con­ver­sa­tion. Af­ter all, find­ing your magic is an in­side job. Sony Tal­ent League by THU sub­mis­sions are open until 19 Oc­to­ber.

Find out more and join the chal­lenge at FYI bit.ly/sony­tal­entleaguet­hu

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