Why is the Creative Industry so important?
We don’t believe you can really put a price on the joy that art brings people. We think after a lot of people have only had themselves for company for over a year now the importance of characters, story, laughter, relatability, human connection, has been brought to the forefront of peoples minds. The thing people (especially able-bodied people) need to remember is that for a lot of others isolation and accessibility was a problem long before the pandemic began, and art is how people can express themselves and how others can connect to them too. Creative collaboration and connection is vital, it keeps people alive.
How has the COVID pandemic impacted artists?
Being an artist right now isn’t easy, it’s a commitment, just like any other job. It’s important to keep learning, to see what people need, to utilise your skills in a way that can make a living but to also create art sensitively and make sure what you’re putting out into the world isn’t harmful. From the start of the pandemic lots of creatives have had at least parts of their revenue cut off due to closures (e.g. teaching workshops and attending conventions) and many of us freelancers aren’t covered by contracts to furlough us or simply aren’t yet eligible for grants to keep us going. One thing that has popped up more, now that connecting with people physically hasn’t been allowed for the most part, is online collaborative opportunities, spaces, and collectives, like CHIP, to bring people together under a project or theme and support one another in our times of need. Working with others and bringing people joy though art is an indescribable feeling.
How can we improve the working environment for creative industry workers?
As the organisers of CHIP we do our best to foster a healthy working environment and avoid worker burnout. One of the most important things is communication. Be clear with your payment, your information and vision, your deadlines, make them reasonable, allow your artists to communicate with you when they have physical difficulties such as wrist strain, sickness, or when an issue comes up that you weren’t aware of from your own perspective. Listening and talking to your coworkers is one of the best things you can do for them. Make sure you tell them how much you appreciate their hard work too!