Let’s hear it for creatives supporting creatives!
If you think in terms of a wider creative community, our survival relies not just on our own businesses, but on the survival of our competitors. Right now, we need to work together like our livelihoods depend on it, because well, they really do. Here are ten communities that are making it happen.
1. Creative Boom Chat
Creative Boom is one of our favourite art and design magazines. Katy, the Founder of Creative Boom, always goes out of her way to help, highlight and hero the people who make up this country-wide creative community of ours. It comes at no surprise that in light of COVID-19, she sprung into action to launch the Creative Boom Chat—a free, friendly forum for creatives to connect and support each other.
Sat at home and wanting to do something more to help the creative community, we asked our followers on Twitter if they would benefit from a Creative Boom forum, away from social media. And the resounding answer was yes! We launched a free and private chat room the next day and over a thousand people signed up.
After a few days we had 1,500 members. It’s been amazing (and emotional) to see everyone supporting each other on there. It weirdly feels like 2009 again, in the midst of the global economic crisis when the creative community came together to support one another, and when Creative Boom launched. Although these are hugely challenging times, I’m reminded of the generosity and kindness of creatives and feel we will get through this together!
Great for: Avoiding Twitter, meeting UK-based creatives, and asking for advice.
Sign up to the Creative Boom Chat
2. Creative Industry [COVID19] Support
When things started changing fast, we knew we wanted to do something. We had written about top tips for working from home, but we want to do more. So—similar to Katy—we asked our audience if a group would help, and to make a long story short, the Creative Industry [COVID19] Support LinkedIn group was born! Since it started, nearly 3,500 creatives all over the world have joined and together, we’re regularly posting useful resources, job links and information that could impact creatives and small businesses. Our whole team has joined the group to give 1-to-1 advice to anyone with questions.
Creating the group was a quick decision. There was a lot of uncertainty at the time, but creating a space for everyone to band together seemed like something we could all get behind. I don’t know that we expected this to grow beyond our local community, but it’s been great to see creatives from all over the world pitching in!
Great for: Actionable advice and creative inspiration.
Join Creative Industry [COVID19] Support
3. Slack Channel for Agency Owners
Ben Steers is the Founder of Fiasco Design, a creative agency in Bristol. As a head-honcho himself, he knows that fellow agency owners are likely going through the same things as him. So, he set up a Slack Channel for agency owners across the country to share info, resources, but also new work ops for agencies who might be struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
Great for: Discussing issues with fellow business owners.
Get in touch with Ben to join the Slack for agency owners.
4. The Illustrator’s Slack Channel
Ben The Illustrator is a brilliant well, Illustrator who specialises in travel, interiors and bold colours (you need to check out his work, he’s awesome.) In response to Covid-19, he set up a Slack channel for fellow illustrators to help each other get through the current stuff but also build a community for the future. Within a few hours, it had over 100 members and that was ages ago.
I started the Slack group after seeing Ben Steers from Fiasco setting one up for design agency founders, it’s a great idea to give people a more private place with a focus and a profession in-common. The Illustrators Slack has 700ish members and they’ve pretty much run with it in their own directions, people are using it to seek advice, to support each other and share artwork. Being a private space, people can post work-in-progress for constructive feedback, without it being public. I think if anything it’s a community to simply be there when people need it, I’ve not really had much time to chat on it myself, but I get reports back on how it’s useful and a positive distraction from everything that’s going on at the moment.
It does have it’s more serious discussions, people dealing with coronavirus in their work, or where their jobs are being affected by everything that’s going on, and thankfully illustrators are a generally positive and supportive type so these individuals who aren’t having a good time, are getting the respite, advice and friendships they need.
Great for: Illustrators to connect and support others who know exactly what you’re going through.
Contact Ben to join the Slack channel
5. The Dots
The Dots is a network specifically designed for creatives. Between their job’s board and community of creatives, it’s a handy resource for finding work and people to collaborate with. What’s more, they have their brilliant ‘ask the community’ section with an entire tab dedicated to coronavirus support.
Great for: Finding fellow creatives and a change of scene from LinkedIn.
Sign up the The Dots
6. Creative Entrepreneurs Club
Creative Entrepreneurs Club was set up by Rachael Brown to support creatives in Scotland. With the pandemic, we’ve collaborated with Rachael to send CEC into overdrive, offering 1-to-1 sessions and a jobs board with regular opportunities that can help our fellow creatives win work and survive these tough times.
Rachael got in touch with us to join forces on the Creative Entrepreneurs Club COVID support plan. Since kicking off, we’ve worked on free webinars and our team has been on-hand to help business owners, creatives and freelancers on everything from branding, to self-promotion and strategy. As always, it’s amazing to see what can happen when we all put our heads together.
Great for: Advice and support from local creatives in Scotland.
Join Creative Entrepreneurs Club
7. Sketch Community
Sketch is a software platform that allows designers to create and collaborate to bring their ideas to life. They’ve got a great community with regular meetups taking place all over the world, which are now all online, so you can explore other creative communities from the sunny corner in your living room. If you want to talk with fellow designers (and maybe even learn more about Sketch) then have a nosey on their community page. (PS: We recently saw one called ‘Sketch & Fajitas’ which sounds like a winning combo to us)
Great for: Meeting creatives all over the world and doing some research on new tools.
Browse Sketch meetups
8. Adobe Live from the Sofa
Every single weekday, Adobe are interviewing creatives on everything from brand, to Photoshop and design (you can watch our Andrew’s episode here). With every live stream, you can log into Behance and ask questions for the guest and the Adobe team to answer.
Great for: Learning loads and getting the answers to those questions you’ve always wanted to ask.
Subscribe to Adobe Live’s schedule
A community for agency owners and managing directors, Agencynomics is a not for profit social enterprise more widely known for their book, aptly named… Agencynomics (which we’re big fans of—it’s definitely worth a read!). They also run free events and have a podcast which often features agency owners and other creative industry peeps.
Great for: Gaining new insights and perspective on business strategies, especially for agency leaders.
Check out the Agencynomics community
10. Agency Collective
The Agency Collective is a collaborative community for agencies big and small, offering 24/7 peer support for agency owners on things like HR, CRMs, key metrics for measuring success, industry insights, and well, you name it, really. They also recently ran a blog series called “The Unstoppables” which features agency owners from around the world and the strategies they’re using to adapt during COVID.
Great for: Agency owners looking to generate creative ideas through the collective knowledge and experience of their peers from around the world.
Read more about The Agency Collective
Psst! We’re going to keep adding to this list, so if you know any we’ve missed, drop us a message.