Wednesday 25 February 2015

Wish List

'Flow' card by Mindful Productivity on Etsy

As some of you know, I am involved in politics, and with the General Election in the UK on 7 May, fairly busy. Yesterday, the Labour Party released a document on improving access for young people to the creative education they need and succeed. It also talked about the creative industries, and how important they are for the country.

“If you believe in social justice, if you believe in a more equal society, then access to the arts and culture is not an optional extra, it is essential - not simply because of the worlds it opens up, but because of the wider impact it has." *

It made me think about how I did not enjoy any arts and craft education in school, because the teachers mainly focused on the ones who they saw as very talented and gifted, and the rest fell by the wayside, left to muddle around unappreciated. The pure enjoyment of art, creativity and craft –if you weren’t on genius level – was not seen as important. It was always about this grand outcome, this exceptional piece – and exceptional is often in the eye of the beholder, here the teacher – never about 'worlds opening up' or the moment of ‘flow’ ie when you forget everything and are just involved in creating something, and sort of...well, float on a cloud of bliss!

I find that when running a creative business, it’s a bit like that, too. You try to produce, and anything handcrafted takes time, so you focus on getting things done, and the lovely feeling of flow falls by the wayside. I knit on the hoof, during meetings, watching TV, and while my computer is uploading something, but only when I am not at home, for instance, when travelling by train and in no rush to do anything else but knit and look out of the window and drink coffee, do I get my flow back.

So it is hard to just live in your happy craft flow when you are running a business and trying to make a living. You may feel like you are battling against the world or closed doors, rather than worlds opening up.

Coming back to the political, I wonder what you – the reader – would love to see done by a government – any government – to improve our playing field as a creative (often one person-) business? What would be the one - or more – thing/s, that you want a government done for small independent creative businesses? The thing that open doors?

Then maybe, we would get our flow back more often...

Tell us your wish list in the comments!



  1. Nice post Purls. An adjustment to the taxing system might help some artisans. Only certain types of artists can get tax breaks and under certain criteria, eg painters and sculptors. What about all the other craft workers out there who produce amazing quality items and have to really struggle to make any kind of a living from it? I understand why it cannot be a free for all, but the field could be widened a little.

  2. Hi AM, tax breaks sound like a great idea! We have the UK system in the North, and as far as I am aware, there are no tax breaks for artists - there is something if you receive royalties from artistic works, I think, but that doesn't apply to craftspeople.

  3. Purl. A fantastic post. Thank you. Sue

  4. Great post Purls. Too true that we can lose the very thing that gets us started in the beginning to the effort of making it all work. A little fresh perspective goes a long way.
    Also too true how the children need encouraging and opportunity to be involved in a creative process. I find that they reach a certain age and they suddenly start judging themselves in relation to some perceived standard and inevitably, feel that they are falling short and ' no good' They never notice the exuberance and energy in the work , just focus on some narrow and arbitrary point of reference. It certainly doesn't help if the significant adults in their lives,reinforce this negative concept for the child. Catherine :-)

  5. Interesting Purls, answering about our wish I would say:
    My desire would be to end inequality, I want a social justice, to start ending 100 'tax haven' in the world, although one near my country Andorra is falling:-))
    but it is more merit of chance that of politicians, I'm afraid !
    At that point, I think could help small business more than financial World..but let's work together with the values of Labour organization and we maybe re-regulate those who steal cause most people are suffering
    Thanks for share Purls....