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CONTENT IS NOW: PATRICK PRICE ON CONTENT CREATION IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY

Patrick Price wants you to question the way the creative industry thinks about content. Passionate about challenging traditions and approaching his work with innovation, over the last 15 years Patrick has worked with brands including Melbourne Fashion Festival, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and the Caulfield Cup Carnival (Melbourne Racing Club). Alongside his freelance work, Patrick’s vision has also seen him launch FJORDE Magazine and FJORDE Bride to worldwide readerships, gaining international attention for his curation in independent fashion, art, music and creative talent.

While known for cultivating brand identities and working across disciplines for local and international clients, Patrick is now teaching Macleay College students the fundamentals of creating content for industries of all backgrounds. From creative direction to design, Patrick champions production and publishing to ensure students have full creative control from start to finish as Content Creators. Chatting with Patrick about his experiences in the industry, we spoke with him to explain the elusive Content Creator and the advantages of being able to be multi-skilled in the rapid and everchanging landscape of creative industries.

Thanks for chatting, Patrick! How did you begin working in the creative industry?

How did I start? God, I think I fell into a lot of what I do now. I started off in photography, and from there started to upskill. I’ve always been a self-learner, so I taught myself a lot about the creative industry and what was needed. I always was talking to others and asking questions, and that’s where a lot of good colleagues and friends have come from. Over the last 15 years, I’ve built a career out of being an all-rounder and have adopted the title of a Content Creator in recent years.

When did you start noticing the shift in the industry towards Content Creation?

Over the last two years, the industry has changed. The industry is looking for people who can do multiple things because they don’t want to pay three or four people—they want one person who can do the job of those same three to four people, do it well, and get it done. This is where Content Creation becomes such a great course because we’re building those types of creative individuals.

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“The industry is looking for people who can do multiple things because they don’t want to pay three or four people—they want one person who can do the job well, and get it done.”

Yeah, totally. Looking at this change in demand, what does Content Creation mean to you?

Well, the same thing I tell my students: it is an industry of its own. Content creation applies to everything that we do and everything that we see digitally —it is not industry specific so we could literally work with anything we want to. Content may be considered “boring” from a general point of view, but that doesn’t mean that content creation can’t be creative and fun. And that’s the beauty of Content Creation: you get to have fun. It’s not about just creating a simple piece, content is something that engages, that you can come back to, and that you can delve in a little bit more to. That’s what Content Creation is about.

Do you feel Content Creation and social media have a close relationship?

There’s so many things that inform Content Creation that most people forget about; like blogs, street news, video, emails. Social media is often the most digestible and most in your face, but depending on the generation that you’re trying to target, it is really going to dictate the type of medium you use.

Definitely. As a Content Creator, how do you feel about the fastness of digital media?

Yeah, it’s interesting. As you get older, your interests change. I read the news on a daily basis now, not only to see what’s happening in the world, but as a Content Creator. Your content has to be relevant to what’s happening in the world. So I read the news to get a different perspective on current events, and then I look at things like 9GAG which gives a completely different perspective on current events. It’s the same content presented in two different ways: one’s long-form and one’s meme-based. But it does the same functionality if you do it correctly.

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“You need to understand the elements around you and we teach the elements around you, to give you that understanding to create better content.”

I agree, and I think memes are pretty complex. How does Content Creation tackle traditional pathways and make room for practical conversations?

We do it all. We lay a foundation level in the first two trimesters around what Content Creation is, and then as you go through the degree, we build upon that. You start from a generalist perspective and then we start to specialise your learning as you go along. You need to understand the elements around you and we teach the elements, to give you that understanding to create better content. We also teach software and look at traditional skills as well. so while we’re digital, you still need to have the understanding of traditional media and print and so forth. We still do things by hand. We sketch, we draw, we write, we do all those things—they’re simple skills but people forget about them. So in short: we do marketing, content creation, development, planning, and teach you to deliver the full gamut.

Do you feel Content Creation is about keeping that balance between traditional and keeping on the trends?

Yes and no, because you need both. You need to have an understanding of where you’ve come from to understand how people communicate today. If you don’t know the way they communicated then, you don’t know the way they’re digesting the information now. So going from print to digital, the way you consume print is visual. Now, you can hold it in your phone. It’s the same principles but it has to be shorter, digestible, but also bigger. It’s changed but it’s still the same; you need to understand the principles of traditional media that carry into these new mediums.

“Content is everything you see, everything you access and everything you interact with… that is content.”

Of course. How do you challenge yourself in the industry?

I constantly work on projects and try to keep my hand in the industry. There’s a big question mark on internships in the creative industry, and how much work do you do for free – if any, and I say this: there’s work you do for free and there’s work you don’t. It’s something you need to ask yourself: Will this develop me further? Will this give me some sort of understanding, development in my own career? I’ve been in the industry for a long time and I still do work for free because if it interests me or if it’s going to develop me enough or I’m going to learn something new, I will do it. There’s nothing wrong with doing something for free… you could be a seasoned professional, but you are always looking to develop your professional skills. So I have a bunch of passion projects that keep me busy.

Why should people consider studying or working towards being a Content Creator?

Content is everywhere, it’s a broad term and people don’t understand it because they don’t understand what content is. Content is everything you see, everything you access and everything you interact with… that is content. It’s a huge field; it’s where social media and community management was three years ago—and it will soon be common practice.

PATRICK PRICE TEACHES SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY AT MACLEAY COLLEGE’S MELBOURNE CAMPUS. If creating content interests you, check out our Digital Media courses.

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