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Samuel Ross, Converse Open to Change

Samuel Ross on how to problem-solve and progress your creative business

In the second session of Dazed and Converse’s Open To Change initiative, the A-Cold-Wall* founder shares tips for how to expand the reach and success of your work

In the second session of Samuel Ross’ mentoring workshops, the A-Cold-Wall* founder offers seven young artists, designers, photographers, and filmmakers advice on how to expand the reach of their work and progress their creative businesses. 

The event – the video of which is premiering today on Dazed – is the second in the series, and follows an initial workshop which saw Ross advise his mentees on how to nurture their idea to turn it into a business.

Both sessions are part of Ross’ mentorship scheme under Dazed and Converse’s Open to Change initiative, which fosters opportunities, education, and representation within the creative industries and emphasises underrepresented communities.

In the second workshop, Ross is once again joined by the All Star team: artist and product designer Jaimus Tailor, stylist and consultant Coco Mell, photographer Djiby Kebe, filmmaker and photographer Nathan Clement, fashion designer Reece Yeboah, and art directing duo Fa and Fon. 

In a show-and-tell format, each creative gives a short visual presentation of a new project, followed by Ross and Converse’s Matt Sleep offering their critical analysis, as well as problem-solving and development tips. Among them is advice on how to pitch to a brand, figuring out where the creatives want their brand to sit amid others, and how to extract more opportunities from your partnerships.

At the end of the session, Ross summarises its key learnings, including calendaring. “For something to continuously build, you need constant motion, constant activity, and constant activations,” he tells the group, “and again, having that calendar in place will allow you to identify the gaps in the market and in your calendar.”

Another key learning is “going back down to a grassroots way of building community”. Ross continues: “Your friends, your family, they’re always going to support you – to a certain degree, you shouldn’t even count them, they’re on your side. You really need to think about, ‘Who do you want to speak to? Why do you want to speak to them? How do you speak to them?’.”

And lastly, says Ross, delegation is key. “Who does what? Who’s the creative lead? Who’s the managing director? Who’s head of finance? What contractor do you go to when you’re looking for site locations? It’s not enough to just stick to your own, you’ve got to throw yourself out there.”

Watch the second session above, and keep an eye out for the next Open to Change mentorship session with Samuel Ross. You can also explore the Open to Change digital hub now live on Dazed.