We thrive off the creative industry. Staying consistent with buying the latest clothing trends, newest technology, listening to the top 100 musicians and even buying the most sought-after artworks, but are you supporting your local creatives?
Now there is nothing to say supporting larger and more known brands is a problem, if anything you are contributing to the very beautiful world of the creative industry. Your contribution is helping. You are recognising that creativity is everywhere, or simply because you want some air pods and funky looking air max trainers. It doesn’t matter, its still a contribution and without a doubt you recall that somebody made those when you buy these luxuries… right? Its not always Chanel the company brand or a man named Nike that made them. Its Karen who has two young children at home, that works for the company spending hours and hours stitching that snazzy frock you have draped across your body but without a doubt I am sure you remembered that. Just like the time you remembered that your old school friends or work colleagues are trying to kickstart their own business ideas and wanting to live their passion. You know, the ‘locals’. The jo blogs of society.
As a ‘newish’ artist signing up to anything and everything that allows me to explore the art world and meet new people is crucial for me as I require some form of exposure to get to where I want. Its that scary word called ‘networking’. Which is vital, especially for aspirational business owners like me. I have had the enjoyment and luxury of being able to have numerous art opportunities since finishing University. A local businessman in the Saints part of Ipswich and proud owner, Darrell Chalkley, ever so kindly offered me to exhibit in his amazing historic building situated in the town centre of my home town. Pretty cool right?! But it got me thinking. How come not more people are doing this?
I know a considerable amount of very talented artistic individuals around the U.K that are struggling to find exposure, to exhibit or to support themselves financially with being an artist. Therefore, supporting the locals are important. These aspirational, young and enthusiastic individuals need the support. Without sounding drastically over the top, but what happens if the designer resigns from Gucci and they cannot find another designer, leading in the mass closure of all Gucci stores meaning you cannot get any new beaded sliders to match your Gucci bag, wardrobe or even carpet?! Well it may not be designer, but I bet there’s a kid in your local that does some cool illustrations on shoes for more than half the price. Might mean changing the décor of your home and switching the wardrobe up but means you’re putting money in somebodies’ pocket who may really need it!
Another reason to support your local creatives is because they’re starting from scratch and have invested a lot in materials to be able to create. It is a business for them, a money maker (if that’s what they aim to achieve with creating). Some creatives are content with having slight exposure, never exhibiting and never making a penny, but there’s a lot more wanting to make their passion their main source of income. So, support them and here’s a few ways you can do so:
Know someone that is making their first album? Listen to a few songs or even better buy it!
Know someone who paints a lot? Buy them. Look at them. Show you’re interested. Ask for a commission!
Know somebody that covers their clothes in studs, paints on them or simply makes their own outfits? Celebrate their craft. Ask them to decorate your clothing for commission!
Know a photographer who needs some models? Be their model. Ask your friends. Pay for a photoshoot.
Of course, there are many other ways but that’s a starting point. Honestly, nothing is more humbling and rewarding than selling your first piece of art. Heck, I have sold about 10 ukuleles internationally and still get excited when I get the new order confirmation in my inbox. It supports me financially and allows me to still create and enjoy what I do. Please support your friends, siblings, parents and neighbours with their small businesses or creativity because you are helping somebody to be able to support themselves. Plus, you’re making their day.
Go buy that painting! Work that photoshoot!
Now if you got here you may be thinking ‘you better practice what you preach’. Believe me I do. I have a few business proposals in the works regarding supporting the local Ipswich art scene and collaborative ideas with some friends.
What are you doing?
Want to work collaboratively on some creative business ideas in Ipswich or Suffolk? Contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org