When was the last time someone told you they really liked your work? What about the last time someone told someone else they really liked your work – are you able to think of that? And… What about the last time you told someone that you really liked someone else’s work – do you know when that was?
We like to think that our creative communities – of whichever ones we become a part – are diverse; and that these celebrate and encourage this diversity… But, if they are, and they do, then shouldn’t this encompass diversity in all its forms? We don’t just mean, for example, diversity of gender identity, nationality and race, but also diversity of idea and emotion, of creative process and creative practice.
To us, a creative community means a naturally diverse group of inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary practitioners, participating actively in collaboration and co-operation for mutual benefit, prioritising the exchange of advice, knowledge and support over competition, influence and status. This type of community-based and driven thinking and doing has brought us this far, to a point where the creative industries contribute significantly to cultural, societal and political development – not to mention local and national economies – so why does it feel as if we’re gently moving away from this?
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of independent and small-to-medium business, encompassing artists, artisans, craftspeople, designers, makers and all manner of other categories of creative professional come under fire from colleagues, contemporaries and peers alike for using their professional platforms to express political sentiments. We just want to take a couple of minutes to reassure you that it’s OK for you to be political on your professional platforms, or via any other method of communication you have with your customers, partners or suppliers, for example.
There’s great pressure to approach January rested, relaxed, renascent, rejuvenated… And whatever other benign R-word you can think of. Retromingent, perhaps? No. Probably not. Many manage to achieve this, after a week or so away from the desk and the pressures of the nine to five and some are raring to get back to the routine. Huh. More R-words.