Audience Answers Coming Soon!

Do you get involved with creative or cultural activities at home or in your spare time, on your own or as part of a group?

It could be anything from singing, drawing, pottery or knitting or finding out more about music, the lives of artists etc. Anything you do primarily for your own creative enjoyment, but not as your main way of making a living. We’d like to hear more about your experience if so.

We’ll be collecting your stories through an online survey and publishing some of your responses on this page. New responses will be published every week. We’d be very grateful to hear your story - it will help us to make practical recommendations for funders and funded organisations to support creative activity in future. Recommendations will be posted on this site later this year.

Take the Survey


Browse some of the responses we've collected so far in our Library of Everyday Creativity:

  1. "I have always been told that I am creative"
  2. "I make birthday cards for family and friends"
  3. "I'm in a choir"
  4. "I knit most days"
  5. "I've been writing fanfiction since I was five years old"
  6. "I have spent hundreds of hours learning new crafts"
  7. "I write poems"

1 | I have always been told that I am creative. From a young age crafting and painting has helped clear my mind going through difficult times and connected me to people by helping others. I have created pieces for family, offering something that no-one else has to be able to see the beauty in the world and, when I developed psychosis, my creativity was of great help, inspiring me to be an arts therapist. I've recently been involved in creative workshops and assisted delivery where I have engaged with artists. In my free time I also dabble in poetry and regularly attend galleries, which I hope also counts towards being creative. I have been judged, bullied and misunderstood for being creative, but I know that it is something nobody can take from me and that is why I am going to university to study fine art.

2 | I am aged between 30-35 and I work in the arts and cultural sector. I find the main time I do something creative is when I make birthday cards for family and friends - it might be painted, lino- printed, collage or drawn. I really enjoy the process of making the card, along with the appreciation when it's received. I've always done craft activates since a young age, studying art at school and a art foundation at college. But I find it hard to motivate myself to be creative more regularly now I'm working, as I need a reason / project with external accountability. This is despite knowing I always know I'll feel more relaxed afterwards as it requires full attention and takes you away from other thoughts. Having a local craft drop-in class in the town where I live would motivate me to take part more often and to meet more like minded people.

3 | So, I'm in a choir. I kind of stumbled in to it at a time when I was having a really hard time at work and friend dragged me along to a rehearsal saying "you'll like this, it'll make you feel better". He was right! That was 10 years ago and I still love it. We get involved in all sorts of projects from huge outdoor spectacles and major national competitions to local church fetes where the choir sometimes outnumbers the audiences 2 to 1! We laugh constantly, usually at ourselves, and I've met people of all ages from really diverse backgrounds and call many of them friends now. Our brilliant leader often pushes me way out of my comfort zone, but in a way that is always supportive and kind. And I never fail to come home from a rehearsal or performance feeling better than before. Taken all together I guess this means that while the music element is great, it's the general happiness boost that means the most to me - and I really struggled when that was taken away from us for 18 months by the pandemic.

4 | I'm a 27 year old living in North West England. I knit most days, mostly by myself or with my girlfriend, who also knits. I decide myself what to make, which is a range of things including garments, toys, accessories and socks. It makes a big difference to my life, allowing me to feel productive and creative after work, and helps me to destress. It also provides a welcome point of focus in a world of distractions, so I don't scroll social media mindlessly whilst I watch TV. I started because my mother taught me many years ago, then I picked it back up during university and especially once the pandemic started I began doing it every day. I watch content online created by other knitters, mostly on YouTube, which makes me feel part of the knitting community. I have occasionally joined in groups at a local pub to knit, though not regularly. I find that many people I know either knit or crochet, and its great to talk to them about it. In general, I wish there were more groups for people who work during the day, as many groups are for retired people so take place during work hours. I would attend a group regularly if it worked with my schedule. I also would enjoy if there were more wool shops near me where I could purchase supplies, meet other knitters and get advice. I used to live near one in the North East but lost this when I moved.

5 | I've been writing fanfiction since I was five years old, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and imagining that Riker and Troi were married and had a daughter. Who was coincidentally about my age. I've been involved in online media fandom for about twenty years, first on a Star Trek forum, then on LiveJournal in its heyday, and now mainly on Dreamwidth. In that time I've posted over 700,000 words of fanfic online – a statistic that really surprises me! That includes fic in big fandoms like X-Files and Yuri on Ice, but also sources as diverse as the Childe Ballads and the Beatles. I believe quite strongly in what Henry Jenkins said about fic: "Fan fiction is a way of the culture repairing the damage done in a system where contemporary myths are owned by corporations instead of owned by the folk." For most of the past fifteen years, I've done Yuletide, the annual small fandoms gift exchange that generally has around 2000 participants. I love the 'gift economy' aspect of fandom. During my time in fandom I've had over 60 short stories written as gifts for me, which is a pretty amazing thing. I volunteered for a few years to help run the exchange but I'm not able to make that time commitment now. The help and support I get in taking part in my activity comes from fandom itself. It was a coalition of fans that created the Archive of Our Own – and its associated charity, the Organization for Transformative Works – to ensure that we, the fans, own the servers. Some of my best friends are people I first met online. I once went on holiday to Iceland with two Yuletide friends I'd never met in person - we had a great time! My corner of fandom includes a lot of students, who tend to have free time to devote to it – but also a lot of lawyers, archivists, academics, programmers, and cultural professionals like me. It's a well-informed crowd. Most of what I know about race, gender and disability theory I learned from fannish 'meta,' critical analysis of media, fanfic and the sociology of fandom. (Writing meta is also a major fannish activity.) People aiming to research fandom have more than once found themselves schooled on survey design by the fans they were intending to study. Many people in fandom are also professionally published writers. So I don't think there's any firm line between 'everyday creativity' and whatever non-everyday creativity might be. (Art? I don't think so. Plenty of professionally published writing is hackwork and plenty of writing that doesn't get published within the lifetime of the author turns out to be art.) When I decided to try to get one of my original novels published I had nearly 20 fan friends who were eager to read and comment on it for me. And many of their comments were far more cogent than the (very expensive) feedback I got from a well-respected literary consultancy. Even if I do become a pro author, I imagine I'll keep writing fanfic too. The fannish community has been such an important part of my life for so long.

6 | Creating things has been something ingrained within me since really really young. I grew up with my mum who was a trained chef and marketing officer and my dad who loves to sing and paint. Not to mention my grandad who is a musician, my nannan who sings beautifully, my auntie who is an artist and my brother who is a talented guitarist and designer. I count myself as extremely lucky to be surrounded by such inspiring, loving and supportive people. Over the years I have spent hundreds of hours learning new crafts, spilling paint, admiring nature and a whole host of other things that take my fancy. Recently I learned how to make polymer clay earrings and I am also mid-way-through a big mural piece indoors. I don't have just one thing I like to do; I have many. Be it Photography with my Nikon DSLR or Designing and painting mirrors for a local gin bar in town I am happy to try it all! Everything around us is designed in some way. From the PC's we work on to the chair we sit in of an evening. Being creative can mean exploring and letting go, nothing has to be structured or convoluted. It can open your eyes up to the way people go through life and the way they work. Some of the biggest things I have learnt from being creative is to be confident in what you do, have empathy for others and never stop learning!

7 | I write poems. This gives me a creative outlet that I really need and feel I'm lacking. I've recently started to be more disciplined about writing as I really enjoy it but need to make time for it. I also love reading poetry and have attended a few poetry readings this year. I also collect records and have an Instagram account sharing photos and info on my record collection… I have attended a short writing group in the past and would like to do more of this or start my own writing group for myself and others. I also plan on taking a short photography course and a videography course next year. I'd like to see more courses like this in my area ... On IG I connected with some people through love of music.


If you'd like to add your story to our library of Everyday Creativity, you can TAKE THE SURVEY


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