COVID-19 creative industry survey

At a time of huge uncertainty across all sectors, many are trying to understand the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the workforce. In the creative industries there is a particular ambition to understand what this looks like, and the impact that is being felt by small companies, sole traders and freelancers.

We asked those who work in the creative industries, across disciplines such as photography, graphic arts, illustration and video, to complete a survey asking detailed questions about what has changed in their professions since restrictions on movement and social distancing have been introduced, and how current predictions for continued restrictions on movement and interactions have already, and may affect their business in future. Our aim is to allow people to understand how they are fairing in the current climate, by benchmarking their own situations against what is happening at the macro level.

The pandemic will undoubtedly change the way we all work. The faster we can adapt, the better we can limit the damage. Based on government statistics the UK creative industry was worth in excess of £100bn in 2018 so the health of the sector is vital to the economic health of the nation.

Tips and insights for creative people

There are also tips and insights here for creative people who are suffering greatly as a result of the economic contraction. It is important to understand the best practices for working remotely, acquiring and communicating with new clients or art buyers, and online marketing strategies. Sharing best practices will give everyone the best possible chance to recover financially when the economy frees up again.

“There have been some positives in terms of reflecting on our values, solidarity, creativity, and how artists & photographers can share and teach each other just by sharing their experiences.” – Stuart Waplington, Creativehub CEO

In people’s personal stories there is a great deal of anxiety and heartbreaking stories of isolation and depression. There are also fantastic stories of optimism and personal development, and people feeling they have taken the chance to reassess priorities in a good way and see clearly what really matters to them. Also, many people are taking the time to focus on professional development. This includes learning new skills, experimenting with new ways of working and developing new projects. 

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