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David Mahoney, Behance Scotland

David, how important do you think it is for creative freelancers, as well as graduates/ students, to receive feedback on their creative work?

I think it’s very crucial; I want people to consider this part of their creative process. Asking for feedback does make us very vulnerable and it should. Our creative work is often personal; we dedicate our time and energy into our work which makes us very protective. Coming under scrutiny or receiving critical feedback therefore makes us feel like we are personally being judged. However asking for feedback is great, I often find new perspectives to a problem or a new way of thinking, which I would not have found otherwise from working in isolation or by not sharing my work, which is extremely insightful and something I find fascinating. This is the very reason I founded Behance Scotland, I wanted to bring together respected talent from the creative industry with years of experience, whose insight and opinions are well respected, the environment would allow people to be open about sharing ideas and getting feedback and hopefully allow people to build and improve their portfolios.

What's your #1 tip for creative graduates or those starting out as freelancers?

Make connections and build contacts, the best way you will make lasting connections and find opportunities will be through meeting people. Get to local creative spaces, events businesses and start meeting people, these people may not be the people who can help you, but they certainly might know someone. Secondly, share. Share your creative process, your portfolio. Creating content and sharing it online is one of the best ways to gain exposure. I often hear the advice ‘don’t share work online, it will get stolen’ which I think is very outdated advice. No one has a monopoly on being you. If the work is original people will find who produced it, and often people will surprise you and probably find a better way of that same process! People now go online looking for original content to share and the best way of putting that content in front of people is through using tools such as Behance, Instagram and similar sharing platforms.

What makes Edinburgh such a great city to be based?

Edinburgh has a history of great arts and culture, the best part has to be the size where getting to places and events and meet ups is very easy. Furthermore we have a thriving creativity community that clearly is growing, especially in areas like Leith. Plus all these new international links to other countries makes living in Edinburgh very desirable.

What gets your own creative juices flowing?

There is a poster above my desk which is a quote from Picasso who says ‘inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’ which is very much true. The hardest part of getting my creative juices flowing is starting, there is often never a better time unlike the present so I often will try and find any time to be inspired. I like to think that waiting to be inspired is like waiting for a plane at a bus station, it rarely happens. However I would say I am very much inspired by lots of the creative work featured online on Behance which I know is cliché but honestly most of the hottest talent is featured daily, which often is a good boost to make you want to produce great work and share it. Furthermore I often am inspired by meeting people, being part of a community like Creative Edinburgh allows me to engage with people, watching people produce great work locally is often a great motivator!

What does the future hold for Behance Scotland?

The plan is to continue growing the community and to improve the quality of the event and content we share. I am now looking to invite more speakers, to build a larger reviewing team and to allow people more opportunities to get feedback on work. I will soon be looking to organise the next event for 2014 in the winter where I hope to improve up on this springs event!

For more information on Behance Scotland visit www.facebook.com/behancescotland

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