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5 minutes with Jess Scully

Jess Scully 2

Did you miss the interview with Jess Scully in the last issue of the magazine? Fear not – here she is again – one of our favourite creatives and the powerhouse behind Vivid Ideas, TEDx and Qantas SOYA .

Jess Scully is one of those people who makes you feel better and bigger and brighter just being around them. Growing up in Sydney’s West, Scully is the daughter of a Chilean mother and Indian father who immigrated to Australia in the ‘70s. She credits her parents and their boundless optimism for her outlook. She says, “They see possibilities in everything”.

Fast forward through a journalism and law degree, a career working on Yen and Stu magazines and a job working as a Sales Director for a costume-making company and Jess says that her success and standing in the creative industries – an industry that is incidentally worth over $4 billion to the Australian economy per annum – has come about due to meetings. Not the kind of meetings that take place in a meeting room; meetings that are one-on-one with all sorts of people.

Scully says, “I’m a creative omnivore. I know a little bit about a lot of things. Having meetings makes you see the connections between things and really helps with trend identification”.

Scully maintains that most people working in the creative industries face the same challenges, regardless of what area they’re working  in. “Finding an audience, making money and finding  mentors are what everyone struggles with,” says Scully.

Furthermore, she said that creatives often struggle to sell themselves but they need to embrace the ‘jingle jangle’ of developing audiences if they want to prosper.

Scully says that creative industries add value to every other industry sector but are terrible at selling themselves. “The art world, for example, tends to create exclusivity rather than inclusivity which goes against the rationale of audience development. If you want people to care about what you do, you need to tell them why it matters and explain it in a way that makes sense,” says Scully.

“Our major export should be intelligence and imagination; not the stuff we pull out of the ground. Creativity is an infinitely renewable resource. We are a globally connected, culturally diverse nation with access to every creative tool available and proximity to the oldest living culture in the world,” says Scully.

Scully’s main focus for the year ahead is positioning Vivid Ideas as the antipodean equivalent of SxSW or MIPCOM. “We should be drawing on what’s happening in China and Korea – working with our neighbours rather than following America and Europe – and leading the way in the region,” she said.

And the thing about Jess?  She will do it so watch this space ; Vivid Ideas in 2015 is going to a whole new level.



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