Creatives reveal why they work as freelancers

Necessity appears to be the mother of creative freelancing, not just invention.

Asked why they became freelancers, the majority of some 700 independent creatives said they felt their mode of working was the only feasible way.

But this is not a harsh reality. The creatives said working for themselves was the sole method that could fulfil all of their creative goals, or allow them to conduct their business.

There are five reasons why other creatives became self-employed. They were ‘too specialist to be a full-timer’; because they wanted ‘creative control’; due to their family, a retiring situation or redundancy.

“In some jobs in the creative industries the likelihood of being employed full-time is limited, but organisations require certain skilled workers for shorter periods of time,” said the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), which ran the survey.

“Many freelancers [also] choose to be self-employed because it gives them creative control. Most of our respondents reported that being self-employed allows them to pursue what they want to do.”

In having this autonomy, freelancers reported the by-product of being able to command a higher rate, or better fees for the work, albeit only “sometimes.”

Turning to the ‘pull’ factor of ‘family’ towards freelancing, the CIF said: “Many working parents are trying to find a way to work while having time for their families. Making money through freelancing can also be important for single parents and carers.”

The federation also found there is particular breed of freelancer who is using retirement to build a business based on their creative passion, and making money at the same time.

Their situation smacks of stemming from more flexibility than the almost one in 10 respondents who admitted they became self-employed after being made redundant.

Included in this group -- the smallest of those identified in the survey --- are other creatives who felt forced into freelancing for other reasons including poor health.



17th August 2017

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