This week starts with Valentine's Day, Monday is President's Day, Tuesday is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday and Wednesday (for some) is Ash Wednesday. What a whirlwind of a week!
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a time of excess and abundance (not always the best kind) but in order to celebrate and to honor Valentine's Day (which I don't celebrate because it's my husband's birthday), I'm gifting YOU with a Money Guide for Couples. Click on the red link to sign up and get it. (It's only going to be up this month!)
Nothing to gift you for President's Day, although I'm hoping President Biden will gift us with another stimulus check and also student loan forgiveness because so many people need it, during this pandemic, especially for creatives.
In today's collaborative blog post, I want to hopefully inspire you to start creating your own projects!!! Please don't wait for someone else to give you the greenlight. Instead, choose to give yourself that greenlight!
But first, some sobering numbers -- with an astounding 93% drop in ticket sales, actors, directors, and theatre owners are really hurting. Many people have had to accept jobs outside of creative pursuits, while others have had to rely on secured loans and unemployment, to get by.
While unemployment rates have dropped to 6.3% in January, it's probably much higher for creatives. But, it's interesting to see that many are also using their creativity to create alternative sources of incomes for themselves. Some are even selling what they had previously considered to be just a hobby.
In the U.K., Hobbycraft alone has seen a 200% rise in sales this past year, proving that we’re hungrier than ever for a creative fix. If a craft store can increase its revenue during a pandemic, I believe we can all take advantage of a time to make your creativity pay.
Creatives are getting closer to their audiences...
In the past, creatives have often had barriers between themselves and their audiences. Whether through theatre, third-party sellers, directors, or more, this is a contention that’s as old as the creative industries themselves. Even pre-pandemic, this was changing, with Amanda Palmer being the first artist to raise $1.2 million through crowdfunding back in 2012. At the time, her effort to break from record companies was met with a great deal of criticism. But, as this past year shows, Palmer might just have been ahead of her time.
Certainly, artists across the board have realized the value of interacting with their audiences directly this past year, whether that's through social media, self-hosted online events, or even independent selling. These efforts, alone, are creating much-needed relationships and connections at a time when we’re more isolated than ever. And, it’s leading to levels of support and loyalty that many creatives could only dream of previously. In fact, TikTok Stars and social media creators can now join Hollywood's top union, SAG-AFTRA, who just approved a new "influencer agreement."
More time to dedicate to the creations you care about...
While creative types are often far closer than others to their dream careers, they still typically have to make compromises. That might mean changing an aspect of a song to please record companies or accepting theatre roles that aren’t exactly Shakespeare.
Now, though, we all have more time to dedicate to the things we love. In the creative realm, that means that individuals are finally pursuing the creative paths that they’ve desired all along. This much is evident in the fact that start-up businesses, many of which are along creative lines, have soared by 47%. This has led to 58% of creatives in a recent study reporting that they’ve moved to selling online, with a surprising 80% doing so through their own websites.
For many, this is a plunge that’s long been on the horizon, but filling creative roles in other people’s dreams has kept the pursuit at bay. Now, there’s no excuse, meaning that, despite a loss of income that racks up to 80% according to some participants in the aforementioned study, many creatives are finally finding their feet.
Unprecedented levels of support
It’s also worth noting that, while creative sales did take an initial hit, a surge in support for local sellers has seen smaller, typically creative, companies enjoying unprecedented levels of support and attention. In a way, the risk of losing our creative industries/best creative sellers has driven more of us than ever to invest in art, crafts, and general creation in all its forms. Instagram, specifically, has been a driving force in this shift with trends such as #shoplocal, and even days in which users highlight/share their favorite small, creative businesses.
Are we through the worst of Coronavirus? Not yet, but making the most of the opportunities mentioned should be enough to see them on the mend in no time.