Discover! Creative Careers Week: Busting misconceptions about careers in the Creative Industries

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Discover! Creative Careers Week (13 – 17 November) is designed to inspire and inform thousands of young people across the country about the wonder and value of jobs in the creative sectors.

In a survey of 1,000 parents, Escape Studios – a London school of animation, games and visual effects (VFX) – found that 26% held negative perceptions about the viability of creative jobs. There is a risk that even when a young person chooses a creative career pathway, their parents or teachers may deter them from following this route, particularly as pathways into creative careers aren’t always clear, linear or well understood.

The talent pipeline of next-generation creatives is also under great strain, with a 40% drop in creative subjects being taken at GCSE over the past 13 years, compounded by a significant number of teachers who also hold negative perceptions about the Creative Industries, with 41% believing there is a lack of diversity and 29% believing workers are poorly paid [Discover Creative Careers Survey 2021].

Discover! Creative Careers Week is our time to make some noise about the viability and attractiveness of careers in the Creative Industries, and not only that, but their crucial role in the wider economic and cultural landscape. Here’s what two industry professionals had to say about the power of their careers in the Creative Industries!



Dr Caty Flynn (she/her) is based in Manchester and the Director of The Genre Lab; a team of interdisciplinary researchers and creative practitioners who provide research, consultancy and collaboration on creative projects.


Why does your creative career matter? 

CreaTech is growing rapidly, and this synthesised approach is key for tackling big issues in society such as mental health and the climate crises. I believe that conscious creativity is our finest human achievement and without it these problems will remain unsolved. Thus, creative careers really matter more than ever.

What do you love about your creative career? 

A career in the creative sector is not without obstacles, hard work, or failure – in fact, it could be said that creatives face these hurdles more often than other kinds of professionals. And yet, while there may be easier paths, they are also far less interesting, inspiring, and impactful.

Are there any misconceptions about your creative career and how would you debunk the misconception? 

I refute the common misconception that you cannot be a creative and also be career-driven and business-minded. Combining these mindsets is necessary and worthwhile now more than ever. Their commonalities are greater in number and more in sync than their differences, and include authenticity, confidence, hard work, flexibility, and innovation.



Ms Sunny Sarah (she/her), aka Sarah Wade, is from Lancashire and is a Freelance Professional Singer. She studied at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hertford and came out with distinctions in music and radio drama; her specialist genres include jazz, classical and folk.


Why does your creative career matter?

Singing matters because it brings pleasure to many people, and it helps improve mental health, not just for listeners but for me too. It means I can earn a living doing something I’m passionate about. I’ve always wanted to work full-time as a singer, I’ve never wanted to do anything else.

What do you love about your creative career?

I love being in front of an audience, and experiencing or hearing their reactions, because it makes me feel valued and appreciated, and part of a community. It helps me to know I’ve helped improve someone’s mood. In lockdown, I performed a little concert on our drive so that people on our street and people walking by on their lockdown walks stopped to listen. It really helped lift morale for the local community and is even still spoken about today.

Are there any misconceptions about your creative career and how would you debunk the misconception?

The people who ‘make it’ tend to have a friend or family member in the industry or an agent who’s in the know. Then there’s someone like me, who hasn’t had any of those privileges. I’ve experienced rejections from singing jobs and agents, and a lot of prejudice as a blind singer. A lifeline for me was connecting with our local council’s Arts and Events Officer during the pandemic. He has since booked me for community events, such as the Platinum Jubilee and King Charles’ Coronation. It’s really valuable to have those local creative networks before moving on to the big things. Something I’ve experienced as a singer who is blind is the discrimination from venue teams or events committees who assume that I, and my sound engineer and husband, Andrew, can’t commit to performances due to our visual impairment; they assume we can’t work equipment or travel. But Andrew is fully trained in setting up the equipment, and there’s public transport that we can use. Plus, we receive access funding via DWP to support us with any jobs and bookings. Assumptions shouldn’t be made about artists with a disability because that doesn’t define us or stop us from what we do best. It’s other people’s attitudes that need to change.

Get involved with Discover Creative Careers here!


Discover Creative Careers 2023 – 2025 is funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with additional support from Arts Council England. It is being delivered by ScreenSkills, in partnership with over 20 organisations representing the creative industries.


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