Have you noticed how the most creative people tend to be left-wing? The whole concept of the ‘suffering artist’ perhaps contributing to this because, where being right-wing/conservative is seen as, not always but overwhelmingly, the party of the rich and the wealthy, the liberal, ‘suffering’ artist trope just doesn’t fit that stereotype.
And, where the conservatives are very much focused on the economy and how to uphold capitalism through working as much as possible, essentially being ‘wage slaves’, the concept of pursuing creativity, something which for most people will pay very little, if anything, again, just doesn’t fit.
And, the biggest reason for the massive discrepancy between left wing creatives vs right wing creatives is, I would argue, the willingness to ‘go against the grain’, to push boundaries, and to, unapologetically, strive for change…
You only have to take one look at the conservative party to see that they are not about ‘pushing boundaries.’ Very ‘to the book’ and ‘proper’, it’s unlikely that they would embrace the idea of creating art that makes us question why things are the way they are/art that inspires us to want to change the way things are (the conservatives want things to stay the same because, ultimately, a capitalist society benefits them., i.e., the top 1%).
‘Liberalism, novelty seeking, and creativity all share the tendency (or the ability) to think in ways that differ from established lines of thought (in the case of novelty seeking and creativity by associating previously unrelated elements with each other). Indeed, novelty seeking is seen more often in liberals. Conservatives tend to be more structured, rigid and to prefer clear answers.’
It’s unsurprising then that, under a Tory government, we have seen major cuts in funding for creative industries. By making it impossible to live by pursuing a creative career owing to the total desolation of funding in such careers means that, unless you’re incredibly well off/have a ‘security blanket’ of money behind you, it’s impossible to do what you want to do full time. You’re forced to get a job doing something you don’t want to do to line someone else’s pockets, all the while taking your time and energy away that you would’ve otherwise put into your art…
This (^) makes me reflect on the quote ‘everyone has a book inside them.’ It’s true, we all have the potential to unleash our creativity, however that may be, whether through writing a book or painting a mural or even just moving your body, but, what we don’t all have is the time or the money to turn our ideas into a reality. And so, the sad fact is that we are going to be seeing more and more artists dropping out of the creative industry because the government have made it so it’s not really an industry at all, but more so a ‘hobby’ that they tell us we should be doing ‘on the side’, that we should get a ‘proper’ career instead…
Creatives Told To Retrain
Just cast your mind back to 2020 when, as the UK was coming out of lockdown, the government released a nationwide campaign encouraging people in the arts to retrain and get another job.
The *genius* (note the sarcasm) behind the campaign was no other than our now prime minister, Rishi Sunak…
TV ads and billboards such as the one shown above were seen all over, and on social media, the government got a lot of backlash from people in such industries. Because, to be told by people who could get away with not working a day in their life based on how privileged they are/on how much money they have, that what you’ve devoted your whole life to is ‘no longer viable’, it’s heart-breaking. Heart-breaking and so frustrating that it’s going to see the most vulnerable people- the working-class who, by the way, produce the best art/make for the best creatives because of their experiences in life, being pushed aside while the privileged-the middle and upper classes, get to, yet again, take it for themselves, producing art which will be wholly unrelatable to the vast majority of the population, for their experiences in life will not reflect the collective experience that ‘normal’ people have.
The art that inspires me the most is that which I can connect to, that which encapsulates the collective experience of humanity in all its bad and good, through creativity.
When I’m reading poetry, I get inspired by the struggle and the sense of making it through something that you didn’t think you would make it through, something which, having most likely had a relatively ‘sheltered’ existence, the middle-class, and again this is very much a sweeping generalisation, will not have the experience to write about/to create art based on, that will really get to the core of what it means to be human/that will make us think and feel and be inspired. I just can’t see it happening…
Where making art is all about emotion and, if you’ve seen any Tory speeches, well, lets just say they have about as much emotion as a brick, I wouldn’t have thought that the art is going to be great…
And so, we must keep creating.
We must find a way to keep doing what we really want to do.
Whether they tell us it’s a career or not, we must do it because, without creativity, the world would be a very boring place (and I would be very sad).
Keep being inspired.