The Creative Industries.

In 2001 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) defined the Creative Industries as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property”[1].  That covers a massive spectrum – from advertisers to architects; painters to programmers; sculptors to set designers; the list goes on: art and antiques, computer games, crafts, designer fashion, film and video, music, performing arts, publishing, software, television and radio[2]. Really, it covers a lot. There’s a section for us all, regardless of whatever tickles our fancy!

On March 13th 2008, the Creative Industries were helped greatly in Scotland by the introduction of the Creative Scotland Bill. This Bill has sought to:

  • Promote understanding and enjoyment of the various arts
  • Support and develop talent
  • Encourage people to get the creative juices flowing
  • Enable great diversity of who can access and create.

These are just a few of the many as stated by the Scottish Parliament[3].

There has been almost constant change within the Creative Indistries in the past few years, altering how we work – now there’s new synergy, and some roles have diminished while others have thrived. Off the top of my head: when one wishes to create their own website, it’s easily done – I made this one today, for example, whereas I would have had to hire someone for designing and whatnot a few years ago. So perhaps the web-designing sector has gone slightly down hill (though, if you DO pay, the result will obviously look a lot more professional *cough*), but it means that smaller businesses can thrive. Etsy, is a prime example of this.

The Internet.

Of course, the Creative Industries would not be what they are today if not for the creation of the internet. Early 20th century, what would we have had to do to view wonderful works of art or listen to music? We would have…wait for it…that’s right, we would have had to PAY for it. Now, it’s okay, don’t panic, because with a few clicks and clacks of keys or a tap on our phonescreen, we can view almost anything we could possibly imagine – and more.

The value of the Creative Industries to the economy just continues to increase. It was found that this year, they were worth a whopping £76.9 billion – that’s approximately £8.8 million per hour, £146,000 a minute![4]  That’s a 10% increase on 2013,[5]. 5.6% of UK jobs (that’s 1.7 million of them) are within the Creative Industries.

Synergy within the Creative Industries generates a lot of jobs and a hell of a lot of money. Look at the film industry, for example. A director taking inspiration from a book, like…say…The Hobbit trilogy. They grossed a…well, gross amount of money. Books and films have been in cahoots since the beginning. But now, it’s also happening in reverse, as can be seen with the video game BioShock (highly recommended) – a prequel novel called “Rapture”, by John Shirley, came about (also highly recommended). It’s almost unlimited what can be done with the Creative Industries, and that’s the beauty of it. Different people find inspiration in different things, so there really is no end, especially with the Creative Scotland Bill helping.

Music. Film. Who can say they don’t indulge in either every now and again? Culturally, both are vital. We remember eras for their creativity. The Beatles, to state the obvious, inspired people the world over. Or even FIlm Noir, the smartly dressed cigarette-smoking, gun-toting, gruff-voiced lead, after an often lethal lascivious woman. Having such a variety for us to cherry-pick from allows each of us a stimulating selection of things to be enthralled and entertained by.

Now, let’s not get confused between the Creative Industries and the Cultural Industries. The latter focus more on providing cultural wealth rather than monetary gain (museums and libraries), though it is a slippery slope as a lot of the Creative Industries do bring about cultural wealth, but it’s not the priority, it would seem.

I would like to go into creative writing, though I understand that this blog post perhaps hasn’t shown that so well. There are a plethora of problems facing this industry, though. There are so many people going after the same thing, trying to get their name heard, trying to touch people’s lives – there’s a ridiculous amount of competition. Another issue (for me, anyway) is the terrifying thought of someone reading something that’s proven so valuable to me as a method of venting or just to pour my innermost thoughts onto a page, and then discarding it as being terrible.

Want to know what’s acting as a beacon of hope? Of course you do. If 50 Shades is worth publishing, then surely so am I.

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