A freelance career in the creative arts
A freelance career in the creative arts

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1 What are the creative arts?

Before you start the course, spend a few minutes thinking how you would define the creative arts.

Activity 1 Defining the creative arts

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

How would you define the term ‘creative arts’?

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Discussion

The creative arts can be defined in many ways. The UK government’s Creative Industries Council defines the sector as comprising ‘Those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’ (DCMS, 2001).

The Creative Industries Federation (2017) breaks the industry down into 12 subsectors:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Design (product, graphic, fashion)
  • Film, tv, video, radio and photography
  • Creative ‘tech’ (IT, software and computer services)
  • Publishing
  • Museums, galleries and libraries
  • Music, performing and visual arts
  • Animation and visual effects
  • Video games, and
  • Heritage.

This is a very broad definition of the creative arts covering several areas that you might not immediately think of as ‘arts’. In order to simplify the perspective, this course is designed to be most relevant to those working in the following areas:

  • Visual arts: e.g. art, film, photography, crafts, design etc.
  • Performing arts: e.g. music, dance, theatre etc., and
  • Written arts: e.g. poetry, literature, non-fiction writing etc.

Activity 2 Categories within the creative arts sector

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Spend a few minutes thinking about the subsectors listed by the Creative Industries Federation. Can you identify which subsector (or maybe there’s more than one) your work fits into?

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Discussion

If you’re unsure whether your ideas fit with the categories this course intends to focus on, have a quick look ahead through the course content. While you might not come across a case study that matches your own area of interest, you should feel reassured that the course will cover many of the factors you need to consider when working as a freelancer, as well offering tips for navigating the creative sector.

In the next section, you’ll focus on the wider context of freelancing within the creative arts sector.

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