The Monetary Value Of Creativity

The value of creativity is dubious to say the least these days. In no other work sector will you see so many people doing their trade whilst also holding down the ‘day job’.


I spent 15 years in full time office work whilst also being a freelance costumier before I finally snapped. Even so, since then I have drifted between various temp jobs which give me income whilst avoiding the commitment of full time hours.

You don’t hear of lawyers or doctors or workmen talking about doing what they do whilst also trying to hold down a second job to boost their income. But I don’t doubt a large number of office workers and other traded people were once creatives who simply gave up trying to do both. Many others are secretly working on business ideas.


I’m not afraid to tell people in my day job that I do other things. But I realise it can be an issue for many. It’s a bit like having small children at home. Your commitment to the work role above your other duties can be eyed with suspicion.

But you’re hard pushed to find creatives doing their trade full time without a secondary income of some sort. It means a lot of them are working 7 days a week.


If I am honest the core of my business probably takes up about 3 full working days plus the extra bits of admin I put in each evening. At the moment I am trying out a full time 9-5, 5 days a week temp job. You can do the Math but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be short on days in the week.

It struck me, as I contemplated this, how little monetary value we place on good creative skills when art is still the backbone of our culture. Music, visual art, advertising, fashion, television – these are all creative things which we feast off every day and yet the financial significance of those creative hours is markedly lower than in other industries.

Of course, I will always blame the introduction of cheap imports and even cheaper foreign labour which undermine all our creative talents. Art became about profit, not about craft. I know this isn’t only a creative industry problem of course. But I’ve written enough about that elsewhere.

I don’t think we will ever value these skills above others. Honestly I don’t think we ever did. Struggling artists gave always been a thing. And I continue to find this ironic considering how integral creativity is to our every day lives.



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