Q4 2019

Q4 2019 | 23 The rise of Britain’s creative industries Hans de Kretser is a Director of HdK Associates - a small London-based arts marketing specialist. He started in the industry 16 years ago and has noticed it develop. “We have always had a tradition in this country of being creative,” said Hans. “I feel that is something we are very strong at and a leader in some fields, particularly for the visual side of things and content creation. The quality of work is also very high. “When I started out, it was a different landscape to what it is today with less of us doing this job. I can clearly tell that there has been growth in the industry as there is a lot more competition and more digital agencies, but also much more work from clients than 15 years ago. “There are a phenomenal amount of people applying for marketing jobs and the skills I see coming through are fantastic.” HdK Associates is responsible for marketing campaigns for leading arts organisations, but the SME’s work has branched out over time to also cover building websites and digital work including social media management, digital advertising campaigns, live streaming, graphics and animations. In its campaign for client Dance Consortium – a consortium involving 20 large scale theatres promoting international contemporary dance productions across the UK – the work initially involved creating a website and promotional videos but has diversified over time to include engaging content across digital channels, multiple formats of short shareable videos and supporting the theatres to fulfil the full extent of their potential reach online and on social platforms. “There is so much content out there that we need to raise our marketing content above that cluttered environment,” explains Hans. “Contemporary dance is one of the smaller audiences but still has a healthy and popular following. So, we have to think creatively to compete against the other entertainment cultures, such as musical theatre, with our content.” Artist Sue Verity came into the industry in later life. After spending two decades as a hairdresser, Sue following her ambition to be an artist by retraining and setting up her own business, Verity Arts. She has grown the company and now takes regular commissions and works from a studio in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Sue has had support from business network groups and the local authority along the way so she can now focus on her paintings that incorporate celebrities from Johnny Depp to The Peaky Blinders, Tyson Fury and Queen guitarist Brian May, who was so impressed, he bought his portrait. “I’ve never been as busy as I am now,” Sue revealed. “It seems that people have a new interest in the arts and are excited by it. I think it’s because there is a keenness to see a physical canvas, away from the digital world we are constantly living in. “Artists are notoriously not good at business so I have got all the support I can from courses offered by the local authority and networking groups. Although it would help our industry further if the government could give more support, such as subsidised rent on premises or a relief on business rates, as people in this sector often work on their own or in a small business. “I found that there is huge potential for the arts in this country and there’s definitely a future for it as I’m seeing a new generation of talented young people who come to my studio and paint for the day. “With creative work, I always say that when someone buys a piece of my art, they are also buying a piece of me. That’s the nature of this work.” Despite a boom to the industry, some areas of the sector, such as the film industry, are projecting a severe skills shortage over the next five to 10 years. It’s something that the Creative Industries Council (CIC) is trying to address with campaigns like the Creative Careers Programme, to encourage young people to think about a career in the sector, and the Diversity Charter, aimed at expanding the workforce with people from more backgrounds and regions. Amanda Nevill, CEO of the British Film Institute (BFI) said: “We are living in a time of unprecedented and sustained growth in the UK’s Creative Industries - from being home to the world’s longest standing and most loved franchise that is James Bond to launching the careers of some of the most exciting new storytellers in the world. “But we know that we need upwards of 10,000 new entrants to join our industry, so it is essential that we find new and existing talent.” Anthony Daulphin is CEO of the Standing Ovation Project - a small business he founded in Birmingham three years ago to inspire children through creative arts. His arts educational company has quickly expanded to now operate in 50 schools nationwide beyond Birmingham to London and further afield. {photo of Anthony Daulphin to insert} With his work at the Standing Ovation Project already touching the lives of over 25,000 children, Anthony was named in the Birmingham 30 Under 30 list of the most inspiring young entrepreneurs and professionals in the city. “Birmingham in general is getting to be known as one of the most creative cities as we have outwardly creative thinkers and from that breeds all kinds of different arts,” said Anthony. “There is a constant discussion about the arts being taken out of schools and that has become a challenge, but I am a very driven person and I think it’s important that if you have a dream, you follow it. “My company offers support and provision, whether it’s through music, a radio station or drama specialists, and schools support us with carrying out these provisions in their establishments. It’s the arts helping to tackle behavioural issues and helping to grow children’s confidence. Thousands of kids are being inspired and who knows what that will lead them to do in the future.”

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