Updated: Jan 21
You don’t need to be middle class or even semi-privileged to write, craft, study or learn something new. But you do need to be allowed time to express yourself in this way, and you need this time whilst maintaining an income.
For those of us from less advantaged backgrounds, we perceive our lives to consist of less creativity. Why? Because we learn to suppress it. We don’t have the status or power to control our lives. We work for others, we do as we are told to financially survive. We often go unseen, but this doesn’t have to define who we are…
A new image..
Creativity, boundaries blurred
It’s very difficult to envisage yourself creatively. What do you think when you imagine an artist? How do you think of a writer, an illustrator, or a photographer? I can imagine. I think of those pristine black and white images too. Beautiful, successful, powerful, all with a strong background in marketing, design and of course the key sales pitch, ‘I was lucky, you can be like me too’..
Apart from we all know that it isn’t true. These tropes and stereotypes work well. They keep us in our place, and serve a strong message that creativity should be reserved for those who know best. Those who are experts, those with the time and skills to dedicate to professionalism…
But we are experts and professionals too…
Working class creativity in action…
Think of someone you know well. Someone who you might see every day, be it the neighbour, a family member or even one of your Twitter friends. Look at what they are doing. It’s creative. It’s just not been sold to us in this way.
Whether you are an online activist or someone who simply makes others smile, you are creative. You are enough. You just need to be allowed the time to be.
So how do we do this?
There is never an easy solution out of the constrictions of life, especially for those of us without privilege. For me, it’s mostly finding the small moments (like now), sitting on my sofa with ten minutes to spare, writing this blog on my phone and wondering if it is even worth sharing.
But I will share this, because I feel that I can be creative as a writer, and I hope that this will give others inspiration to find their own creativity too. We all have creativity within us. It’s society that tells us that we shouldn’t be, a society that likes to keep us in our place..
But art is for all, and we can be professionals too.