5 advice for creatives wannabies from Stefano Scozzese, webdesigner to the celebrities [GUEST POST]
Stefano Scozzese is considered by many to be the most famous (and talented) Italian webdesigner from the most important show biz and music celebrities. Alessia Marcuzzi, Renato Zero, Andrea Bocelli and Michelle Hunziker put their public image in the hands of Stafano. Aknowledged by many international awards, Stefano is the first Italian to be in the jury of the prestigious Awwwards. He’s also CEO and co-founder of “iam.dj”, a startup based in Los Angeles. When asked Stefano for some precious advice for creatives wannabes, I’ve been positively impressed by his humbleness and willingness, qualities that are unexpected in a person with a first class portfolio. For the occasion, Stefano brought back his alter-ego: Nonna Scoz (Granny Scoz), providing advice like an old friend, with honesty and a pat on the back between the lines.
Nonna Scoz’s Advice
Giving advice means, most of the times, knowing the “how-to”, but in my experience, I’m proud to say that I think I know the “how-NOT-to”: the road to success is filled with small and big mistakes, hence, my precious advice to avoid mistakes, in order to save time, money and energy:
1) Don’t demand investments from others, if you don’t invest in yourself first
When you hear designers justifying their awful personal website with the saying “the shoemaker wears broken shoes”, you need to know that it is a huge… (I was going to write a not so “politically correct” term… but I refrained!)
Take a couple of months to take care of your most important client. That is, yourself: you”ll have to work, decide with, sell and resell yourself throughout your career. Take care of your brand identity flawlessly, from your business card, to your website, to your preemption’s layout, because tomorrow you can meet the person or the client that will change your life.
2) Mac or PC?
“…I don’t agree on that, Scoz”
That’s because you never had a Mac
“…you’re just another Apple fanboy”
Since they changed the world of design and probably you have been inspired by them at least once… thanks for the compliment!
“…but the Mac is too expensive”
Refer to item 1 on the list
3) Focus, focus, focus!
Experiment, search, test and discover your best skill, your most creative side and hit the gas pedal, try to specialize yourself on a single thing, be the best in that niche, don’t waste your time by offering thousands low-quality services. There are plenty of opportunities for our job, but everyone looks for excellence, talent, that distinguishing mark. Be a detail freak! You cannot struggle anymore, the days of doing all and nothing are gone, the meritocracy era is here, where talent will prevail, together the will to enjoy the ride regardless the goal.
“…But Scoz, in Italy this is impossible”
Read item 4 and then item 1.
4) Stay small, become cloud!
Try to widen your online freelance network, UI designer, blogger, developers; don’t bury yourself in an office, find the lightest bureaucratic solution, because it will be temporary, don’t root yourself in a position that will prevent you to accept in a couple of months a job in San Francisco or New York, otherwise, why we’d chosen this job?
Small means flexible, ready to turn by 180°, because remember: “the only permanent thing, is change” (wrote by Heraclitus, in my opinion he was a designer )
5) Amaze your Mom!
Efforts, sleepless nights, caffeine… but enjoy what you are doing! If you’re not having fun, stop, and change something. Since your mom will never understand what you are doing, work hard, become rich and take her with you to New York or London.
Then, she won’t insist that you’d land an “office job” and she’ll be your greatest fan , even if she’ll believe that you “fix computers”