How does an individual fit into the new creative economy? Many people think in broad terms of small start-ups with collaborative teams working together to achieve innovation. But the role of the individual is the most critical piece of the link to a creative economy.
According to the Creative Economy Council, there are two factors that define a creative economy:
- Creative workers will play an important role in retooling older companies as well as creating new companies and jobs.
- The contributions of regional cultural and artistic factors will become valuable economic drivers.
So who are these creative workers? The simple answer- they are you and me. They are self-motivated, creative individuals who carve their own path and make things happen, on their terms. They choose to work in places that they also want to live in, and bring their creative work to the local economy.
Some examples of creative workers include carpenters, craftspeople, artisans, canoe makers, woodworkers, writers, photographers, thinkers, and activists. Whether in the arts or music, software or soap making, by focusing on individual talents, the impact is being felt across local and global economies.
An example of individuals making a local impact is Mass MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). Performance and studio spaces are leased to innovative businesses such as art galleries, a computer-generated special effects studio, and publishing companies thereby encouraging creative individuals to stay in the community. The result is that other creative individuals are then drawn to become part of this creative community.
In a challenging economic environment, the individual can find it difficult to stand out from the crowd of creative workers. It is great to have a brilliant idea, but it is what you make of that idea that can transform an idea into a successful and thriving business that makes an impact on the creative economy.