How to nurture new talent

The creative industries can feel bewildering for newcomers, who rely on the wisdom of more experienced practitioners to find their way. Here we explore how to support creatives who are just starting out, from giving constructive criticism to helping people refine their ideas

It’s easy to forget how much of what you know comes down to experience. The lessons learned from successful projects and setbacks, and the confidence that comes with doing something again and again over time. No-one starts out knowing everything they need to succeed in their chosen career, and even the most skilled creatives need guidance and support.

For managers, mentors and creative directors, this presents several challenges. How do you help build someone’s confidence while also being honest with them when their work needs improving? And how can you help them develop their style or their approach, while encouraging them to take ownership of their ideas? We put these questions to three people with extensive experience of working with new talent. Here, executive producer Bart Yates, designer and educator Zoë Bather and illustration agent Nicki Field share their experiences of working with directors, illustrators, animators and designers, and offer some advice on helping creatives to develop and produce their best work.