Creative Business Wrap – December 2021

Here’s a collection of articles and resources I’ve found this month and in keeping with the festive season I’ve made sure to include a couple that give us some hope for the new year.

Artists’ incomes are stubbornly low – is encouraging entrepreneurship an answer?

As this weary year comes to a close, it’s the arts that we have missed the most, and the ongoing struggle for cultural workers  to maintain a liveable income hasn’t improved. Kate Power analysed annual reports and a senate enquiry as well as interviewing artists and arts managers and came up with some blunt truths: the hours are long, wages are low, unpaid work is expected more government and philanthropic funding is needed. What interested me most was her suggestion that emerging cultural workers need to develop an “adaptive entrepreneurial identity” and that entrepreneurial skills should be taught to students of the arts. There’s an opportunity for universities and business coaches who can provide training customised to the creative industries.

Crowdfunding joins blockchain

The combination of crowdfunding and crypto got my attention this month and it looks like Kickstarter is set to differentiate itself by developing a new company that will put blockchain technology behind its platform. Crowdfunding is already being threatened by new distributed autonomous organisations or DAO’s, that are embracing blockchain technology so cost cutting and agility would be behind this move. Interestingly, when the new company is up and running, it will make the tools available for anyone to create a competing crowdfunding site.

I keep an eye on developments in crowdfunding, because for the last 7 years, I’ve facilitated Creative Partnerships Australia’s MatchLab program for budding creative fundraisers. In November we had another cohort of 25 artists complete a fundraising clinic and they will all soon be embarking on their campaigns – many of them through crowdfunding. Participants get a helpful kicker of $5,000 from CPA. Take a look at an example of a campaign here – Bendigo artist David Gagliardi is raising funds for his multimedia project Everyone Goes To Heaven In The Clothes They Died InThe video for which looks fantastic!

5 second book reviews are going viral on #BookTok , the reading corner of TikTok.

Rafka Touma in the Guardian outlines how the traditional book review has been reinvented in surprising ways: from combining an emotional song with a book recommendation, to a confessional style where the creator shares the plot of a book as if it were a real story, then cuts to the book cover to reveal the title. Dubbed the “TikTok effect”, these reviews are already impacting sales particularly in Young Adult fantasy fiction and also in the classics, mysteries and, um, erotic fiction. Could be a conversation starter with a young person you know (maybe not the erotica bit)?

Media inclusion of Indigenous peoples – room for improvement

Despite the  widespread coverage of the passing of actor David Dalaithngu and NITV, the National Indigenous Television Network celebrating nearly a decade of broadcasting, Tristan Kennedy in The Conversation argues that media inclusion of Indigenous peoples is increasing but it’s often just surface level inclusion. The ABC and SBS feature more Indigenous faces and voices and use the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names, Kennedy criticises the “whiteness of breakfast TV” argues that social media is a better opportunity for Indigenous creators to self-publish their own stories. We’re lucky in that we work with a range of organisations who put Indigenous representation and collaboration at the heart of what they do. And if you’re looking for a bold, irreverent example, can I suggest taking a look at Studio Hackett’s Cooked – an awesome 6 part animation by Jake Duczynski and James Hackett.

What workers want

PwC have recently published a very readable and relevant report What Workers Want: Winning the war for Talent which could help you in  planning  your workforce strategy in 2022. They surveyed 1800 Australian workers and found that 25% ranked reward and remuneration as their first preference at work, closely followed by 22% who valued wellbeing as their no 1 preference. Rewards included salary and other benefits like super, bonusses and discounts and wellbeing included mental health support, gym memberships and work life balance. They counter concerns about the “great resignation” predicted in the first quarter of 2022 with the reminder that “attraction trumps retention” and provides valuable insights into how to create the right Employer Value Proposition (EVP) to attract the right staff.

Positive outlook for the design industry in 2022

Finally, Creative Boom paints a very optimistic view of the prospects for the design industry in 2022. In a relentlessly upbeat article, they recognise that while 2021 has been tough for all but it’s brought us opportunities to rethink how we gather inspiration, collaborate creativity and do business. Just what we all need to read at this stage of the year!

Wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday season, doing the things that inspire and refresh you for the year ahead.

Found a great article on the business of creativity which is worth sharing or just want to continue the conversation? Drop us a line via our contact form here.