How Creatives are Coping with Self-Isolation - whynow

Creatives in London and worldwide have harnessed Instagram to maintain critical lines of communication and humanistic exchanges from self-isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic develops.


We have become increasingly vocal about the predicaments and complications that social distancing and self-isolation (especially in the midst of a government lockdown) present to our livelihoods.

But amidst the uncertainty and the increasing self-preservation mentality sweeping the capital, our emotional transparency has bred collective support from the creative community, increasingly revealed online. We’ve curated several mass support efforts for freelancers and individuals on zero-hour contracts that are circulating via Instagram:

#ArtistSupportPledge

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Yesterday I instigated the #artistsupportpledge Within hours I had multiple pledges and hope to be able to report the first completion today. It's a simple concept, you post images of your work you are willing to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). Every time you reach £1000 of sales you pledge to buy another artist's work for £200. This creates a small but dynamic market where all can contribute whatever their level of success. This is a culture dependent on the honesty and generosity of our artistic communities at every level. So, make a pledge, post your work with the #artistsupportpledge Please repost this and make a pledge. I look forward to seeing your work. @matthewburrowsstudio #supportartists #art #culture #kunst #generosity #artists #artworld #artcommunities #artistsupportpledge artistcommunities

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Founded by UK artist Matthew Burrows (@matthewburrowsstudio) in an attempt to alleviate some of the burden on artists that have found themselves without work, teaching, technical support, gallery work, exhibitions and sales. The idea is to post images of your work to sell for no more than £200, not including shipping. Anyone can then buy the work. Once £1000 of worth sales is reached, you pledge to buy another artist’s work for £200. This initiative has been promoted by the likes of London queer photography duo Heather Glazzard (@heather_glazard) and Nora Nord (@noranordfromnorway).

Tori West Happy Hour at 5 pm

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If you’re at home isolating and as a special thank you for helping us save our website and online archive, we’ve published the @bricks_magazine x @gurlstalk community project from ‘Rise Together issue’ section as a special tab online for a month! 🌍 Featuring work by @elizahatch, @nicole.ngaise, @weemoodyjudy, @sonny_flynn, @stafisamaki, @isabelladiasx, @iamabigalatia, @gabemarino, @evatodica & @inter_sexy and guest edited with the help of my pal @charlottegush 💚 a huge special thank you to my friend and online editor @artschoolcliche for building the entire new website and to @jonquil_lawrence & @itsluketsmith for archiving almost 6 years of content while I finished the issue — without them it truly wouldn’t exist. 🔗 link in bio to read it all! 🥰 I’ve always admired @adwoaaboah’s work with @gurlstalk & I’m so honoured to have done this project with the platform, definitely a career highlight so far so massive thank you to everyone who helped make this happen! 💋

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BRICKS Magazine editor, queer and Welsh advocate and part-time cleaner Tori West is doing Instagram live talks inviting talent on to chat and beat the isolation. She has featured anonymous creatives in Paris who spoke about the lockdown there, and a few days ago hosted Joshua James Small (@joshuajsmall), who spoke about life under lockdown as a fashion designer and sitting at home in isolation with his mum. Organised vis-a-vis chats via social media can massively combat feelings of anxiety and depression associated with loneliness, especially when listeners are able to contribute to the wider conversation and get a sense of how others are coping with similar situations, and obtain advice as to how to cope with their own.

Temporary Income Protection Fund for Freelancers

Dear Prime Minister, we are writing to you as a collective group of organisations representing the UK’s five million self-employed and freelance workers, regarding the support available to them during the coronavirus crisis.

An open letter (instigated by Creative Industries Federation and IPSE) direct to the Prime Minister requesting the implementation of an employment support package specifically for the self-employed as a part of the government’s upcoming economic package. This initiative is a direct appeal to the masses to help influence government policy, and has been signed by Arts Council Wales, Association of British Orchestras, British Fashion Council, Independent Publishers Guild, and York UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts, amongst others, and is under heavy promotion by fashion designer and illustrator Charles Jeffrey (@charlesjeffrey). Individual signatures can be added and are encouraged.

https://www.creativeindustriesfederation.com/news/open-letter-temporary-income-protection-fund-self-employed-and-freelancers

Boiler Room Live Series

Amid the pandemic, underground and independent musicians have confronted the precariousness of their craft. Boiler Room (@boilerroomtv) has started a new live series under lockdown and isolation, which will broadcast from artists’ homes and private spaces. Each show gives the opportunity to donate with funds going to a different cause each week, and those who are able are encouraged to give what they can to the vulnerable — for example, what might be spent on a night out. Boiler Room is taking suggestions for initiatives and charities in the chatroom, where they will also be sharing other causes to support.

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF)

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Today, we are announcing the creation of A Common Thread: CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief, which is repurposing the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was originally established as a response to the tragedy that took place on 9/11. Now, as we are all faced with new challenges, it is being repurposed—in addition to raising and distributing funds to those who have been most affected—to tell the stories of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes across the country in our incredibly strong and vibrant fashion industry. Applications will be available on the @CFDA website beginning on Wednesday, April 8 (and the fund is not limited to former Fashion Fund participants or members of the CFDA). Tap the link in our bio to donate to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for COVID-19 Relief and to learn more. Photographs courtesy of @cfda.

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Spearheaded by Vogue in collaboration with the CFDA, the CVFF was launched in 2003 in response to the 9/11 tragedy and how the crisis especially impacted emerging talent. The 2020 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has been repurposed into a fundraiser to aid fashion businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new fundraising and storytelling initiative, called “A Common Thread,” seeks to raise both awareness and needed funds for those in the American fashion community who have been impacted by COVID-19. Donors can support the fund by texting THREAD to 44-321 (USA only). Applications for funding will be available on CFDA.com from Wednesday, April 8th.

Whitehall and City Hall COVID-19 Support for Business and Employees

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Thank you to everyone who dialled in yesterday for our Fashion x Covid-19 business webinar. We heard from @creative_fed @ajc_udl @makeitbritish the China-Britain Business Council, @navkl chaired by @tamaracincik offering up to date resources from @ukhouseofcommons @mayorofldn @defrauk @dcmsgovuk BEIS and the opposition parties. Our speakers covered the impacts to trade, regulations, advocacy, the potential delays to Brexit and how COVID-19 might shift the narrative into a new phase of negotiations, legal questions and business with our largest tourist and growing luxury market, China. Plus @fashionroundtable ‘s work on creating a platform for medical garments to be made in the UK by our industry, the Shortage Occupation List of visas and the latest on having our workers back on that much needed list, our new @linkedin forum to support jobs postings, as well as @defrauk ‘s work with WRAP to support sustainable enterprises. All this and more in 40 minutes! We will be hosting these weekly – head to our newsletter sign up via the link in our bio to hear more when our news drops on Tuesday plus all the guidance papers and links. Also looking at hosting a more fun one each week: so one fun, one facts / the world life balance in your own home! #fashionroundtablewebinar #fashionroundtable #fashionroundtablecommunity #virtual #supporting #jobs #covid19 #freelance #selfemployed #fashion #economy

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Fashion Roundtable (@fashionroundtable) has offered support in a myriad of ways, including compiling a checklist of support for all businesses and employees from Whitehall and the UK Government. FR representatives have been back and forth with the UK government and City Hall asking for clear support for fashion freelancers, self-employed and small businesses, have tabled parliamentary questions and have been speaking to relevant policy leads at Whitehall to push for the sector’s financial security. They have also generated a template letter for individuals to send to their MP to push for help for all freelancers and self-employed, linked on their Instagram profile. And lastly, they’re hosting weekly Fashion Roundtable x COVID-19 support webinars every Friday to answer questions regarding COVID-19, what they are doing, and what you could do. 

Please reference these if you find yourself struggling or are in a position to give back. Likewise please feel free to contact nicole@whynow.co.uk with any updates on new initiatives, as the individual effort count is growing every day. Here at whynow, we believe the world needs more good news.

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