Week 3, “Your income and Your Art”. The lecture covered the various ways in which someone can can seek an income in the creative industries. The key ideas from the lecture were that the options for seeking income as a creative professional is to become a creative employee, conduct freelance work or seek crowd funding options. Each alternative comes with its own set of positive and negative attributes.
First, being an employee, working for somebody else for a regular pay cheque. Doesn’t sound so bad? Right? Let’s look at the positives: a regular and reliable income, paid leave, routine, working with and around others, clear objectives and consistent work opportunities. As with all things, the flip side to this is that routine and working with others may not suit you, additional negatives include the fact that almost everything you work on will be someone else’s idea, rigid work hours and structure, less creative freedom and having to report to others about your work.
Second, freelance work, working for yourself and undertaking contract work. Freedom! At what cost? The positives for this category include: flexible work hours, working to your own schedule, get to pick and choose projects that appeal to you, creative freedom, pick and choose colleagues as well as the potential to create and profit from your own ideas and projects. The negatives for freelance work are: work is limited to what work is available, income is not steady or reliable, long working hours as you get paid by the job not the hour and no holidays.
Lastly, crowd funding, putting your idea to the public to seek funding for it’s production. Positives include working on your own project and the possibility for immense funding, however negatives include funding is limited to what the public is willing to contribute and this may doom your project.
From this lecture I understand there are a variety of sources a creative professional can seek an income, each with their own ups and downs. Alternatives also include mixing and matching which appears to the the best strategy. Additionally it is understood that with the current availability of opportunities the is the possibility to pursue the career options you feel are best for your desired lifestyle.
I found it interesting that crowd funding is a viable option for those who can gather the support needed for it to be a viable funding option for the production of a project.
From my experience there is a great security in having a regular pay cheque however the set working hours and having to always be doing what others want you to can be draining, though I found that working with abrasive personalities for long hours regularly was the most detrimental part of holding an employee position.
I would seek the alternative of part time employee and part time freelance work until I am in a position to pursue my own creative projects. I feel that working in a studio for part time would give me more experience and insight into the industry while also giving me the time to pursue other work to supplement the regular income of finance and experience.
The significant points of this lecture were that there are three main options for building a career in creative industries: Working for others, Working for yourself and Crowd Funding.
Firstly working for others is the most steady and reliable option, one might say the most sensible. Working for yourself is freeing but can be an unstable income and is ruled by the fact that you can only work on what is available. Working for yourself has great potential but is moderately risky. Finally there is the option of seeking crowd funding to pursue a project, this is by far the riskiest option for seeking income however it is all dependant on if you can acquire the right amount of support for your project from the public for it to take off.
As with all things there are at least two ways to look at this information, first you can see the possibilities and the risks and realise that being an employee is the most stable way to earn an income. Second you can decide that though stable working for others restricts your creative nature to much and so you gravitate toward working for yourself through freelance work or seeking crowd funding. The alternative is that you can mix the two until you are in a position to pursue your own projects.
The take away message from this week is that in the creative industries there are options available to the creative professional to allow them to work the way they want even if it isn’t always the easiest option. After reading over this week’s lecture it gave me an insight into what to expect when I begin my career in creative industries. It has also given me the information needed for me to formulate a solid plan for building that career and pursuing my dreams.
Here are some links to other articles and resources that you may find interesting or helpful.
This website shows the average salaries of various graphic and web design positions. Although I was unable to find animation on the site it is still a helpful indicator into the industry.
Another interesting article regarding freelancers in the creative industries.
By James Day – 1002467