How important is self promotion?

Whether it’s speaking at festivals, doing interviews, or simply sharing your work online, creative careers now come with an added requirement – the need to PR yourself. We find out how essential self promo really is

Self promotion has become a growing part of a creative career, whether that means hitting the festival circuit, or building your presence online. But for many designers and creatives, it poses difficult questions around how much time should be spent PR-ing themselves, and how much commitment it really needs. In a recent column, CR columnist Paul Pensom wrote about how it’s one way to stand out from the “crowded pond” designers find themselves in.

“We all need to put our heads above the lily pads and draw attention to ourselves,” he wrote. “To croak, ‘LOOK AT US! WE’RE BETTER THAN THE REST! YOU NEED US IN YOUR LIVES!’”

As he rightly points out, creatives no longer have the luxury of retreating to their desks, and waiting for the clients, magazine features and speaking engagements to roll in. These days, a bit more hustle is required. We spoke with London artist Jasmin Sehra – who’s worked on projects with Lazy Oaf and MTV – and graphic designer Annie Atkins about the role self-promo has played in their own careers, and how others can overcome uncertainty around PR-ing themselves.