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During my post-graduate study at the RCA in 2001 I really made some choices about which career path to take creatively. I wanted to be a studio-based artist working to commission and exhibiting.
I’m an artist and designer, based in Bristol. I’ve been working for myself for 12 years and have grown from a sole trader to a VAT registered limited company, and have recently become an employer.
As Head of Exhibitions and Collections for the Crafts Council, museum objects and public programmes are my business. Exhibitions are a unique platform for public engagement with critical themes, profiling makers work, and creating an enjoyable, stimulating and learning experience.
“A decline in tool use would seem to betoken a shift in our relationship to our own stuff: more passive and more dependent. And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them.
Create UK articulates a plan for strategic action. The industrial strategy, developed by the Creative Industries Council and published in July 2014, reads as an essential ‘To Do’ list for industry and Government in order to maintain the industries’ remarkable growth within the competitive global landscape.
The huge talents of craft makers are incredibly inspiring, as we will see reflected in this week’s series of blogs from makers Rebecca Gouldson and Rosalind Wyatt, from the e-commerce platform Folksy and from the Crafts Council and Creative Skillset.
The UK is not alone in it’s citizens aspiring to secure their futures, and finances, through self-employment and entrepreneurship. Here in Poland, and across the European Union, individuals want to work for themselves, increasingly need to create their own work and are searching out ways of circumventing the shrinking labour markets and constructing their own platforms to enter it through.
I was sitting in a vibrant Milanese coffee shop a few months ago with three Italian university students – they were sparky, enthusiastic, effective communicators and they had a really good business idea (a music based product – very clever).
Perhaps for too long economic independence has seemed a distant, intangible concept far removed from the everyday lives of most of the population. Yet to achieve economic independence on an individual, community, regional and national scale is one of the key graduations of life: the daughter or son who moves from economic dependency on their parents to economic independence offers the individual growth, freedom, choice, confidence, self esteem and has knock on effects for the community in which the individual lives.
The true meaning of work, for many, is no longer about employment and career progression – aspirations have moved on from six figure salaries and rising to the top. More and more people are vocal about their desire to work for purpose driven organisations and in places where they can have a positive impact on the world around them, rather than following a traditional career trajectory with a comfortable landing.
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