A common frustration of creative people is finding the balance between the time spent on their personal creative passions with the time spent doing work that pays the bills, says Deb Morgan from Create or Die.

Morgan has teamed with The Studio in Canberra to create The Studio Marrickville, a place that brings artistic freelancers and small start-up enterprises together in a ‘co-creating’ model.

The Studio, which opened earlier this month, offers co-working desks and artist studio spaces and is equipped with a workshop, gallery and events space fitted with vintage furniture and props as well as a film and photography studio.

“Managing a business can be really hard, especially for creatives. It can be challenging to learn the skills you need to build a viable business and overheads to rent an office are expensive,” Ms Morgan said.

“The Studio provides a supportive working environment for people who are already running their own business or are sick of ‘working for the man’, and a community of creative professionals that can be drawn upon to add value to your projects.”

She says Create or Die started as a conversation between a group of friends about balancing personal creative work with getting paid. The idea was to encourage others to do their personal creative work.

“People have very strong opinions on whether you should do free work or not. Some people happily do work for free if they think they’ll get good exposure out of it,” she said.

“I’ve also seen a lot of creatives become bitter because of exploitation. Burnout is a big problem. We run creative workshops and give people opportunities to refresh their creative spirit.”

She says Marrickville is the perfect place to set up this sort of organisation.

“There are a lot of creatives in Marrickville. Newtown is becoming expensive and people are being forced out,” Ms Morgan said.

“Marrickville is a vibrant community, very multicultural. And the Council is very supportive of creative industries. There’s a lovely sense of community in Marrickville.”

She says the long term vision is to have a regular calendar of events with a short film festival and regular open mike nights.

“We’re really just creating a hub for the creative community where people can feel comfortable. If you’re a middle aged mum who used be into art and want to get back into it, we want you to feel welcome.”

~ Chris Connolly // Inner West Journalist ~

Article published in The Inner City Weekender on 15th August 2014
Twitter: @connolly2204