117 - Focus on what you care about with Ross Barber-Smith

Hello and welcome to the The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get what you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.

I’m your host Tucker and this week is an interview with web designer Ross Barber-Smith. “Hey, Tucker" you may say “There are a lot of web designers out there. Why interview Ross?” "Well, my friend” I may reply “Ross chose a specific path for a specific reason.” 

You see, Ross, while a web designer only works with musicians and others in the music industry. This is because that’s what he’s really interested in. Ross went to the University of the Highlands and Islands Perth College in Scotland taking the Popular Music Bachelor of Arts program. 

In today’s talk we discuss his time in university, what it taught him, what he wished he knew he should have paid attention to at the time and how he’s created his own path. 

At one point he mentions he now knows the difference between marketing and promotion. I meant to follow up with that but the conversation got away from me. So I looked it up and I found this answer by Ross Simmonds on Quora and I think it will suffice. 

"The key difference between marketing and promotion is the fact that promotion is a part of a companies overall marketing mix. The marketing mix consists of price, product, place and promotion. Thus, marketing exists without promotion but promotion doesn't exist without marketing.”  - Ross Simmonds via Quora

What I found interesting was Ross’ dedication to his focus on music. We talk about why he doesn’t offer other services other than web design and he admits that while offering these other services may provide more work for him - at the moment he’s focusing on the things he loves and avoiding the things he hates.

When you're done with this episode and you long to hear more of Ross' dreamy accent you can search for Bridge The Atlantic in your podcast directory and listen to Ross and his co-host interview musicians about what it takes to make it in the music industry these days. 

I hope you enjoy today’s chat with music industry web designer, Ross Barber-Smith. 

Do you know someone who may be scattered a bit in the projects they are doing and not really happy with it? I hope you’ll send this episode to them. The easiest way is to send the short url TheSparkAndTheArt.com/117 it’s the perfect size for a tweet or Facebook update. The most difficult way is to arrange the salt crystals on the top of a series of pretzels into a transcription of the episode and invite your friend over for a pretzel eating contest and hope that they read their food before they accept your odd challenge. (I’m not sure when I started doing these ‘most difficult ways’ bits but I’m curious how long it will go. And they seem to be getting a little more odd the longer I go.)

If you’d like to write a ‘Most difficult way’ to share an episode feel free to DM it to @sparkartpodcast on twitter or even better leave a voicemail at the toll-free number 1-877-966-4886 and I’ll play it on the show. 

Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.

- Links for this episode -

Popular Performance BA course - https://www.perth.uhi.ac.uk/courses/ba-hons-popular-music

The art of shouting quietly - http://shoutingquietly.com/