By encouraging people to broaden the definition of what, in their daily lives, they might count as a 'creative activity', we found that far more people actually participate in artistic endeavours than thought they did.

November 2022

Through examining evidence from the latest wave of Cultural Participation Monitor data, this recorded session takes a look at the creative activities people do independently, such as playing an instrument, podcasting, flower arranging, drag, creative gaming, graffiti and much more...

A quick summary before we begin

Nearly half of people say that pursuing creative hobbies is a key interest of theirs, a trend that skews younger, and has increased through the pandemic.

Creativity Increase Since Covid.png

More 'traditional' vs newer creative activities

Interestingly, in Spring of 2022, when we asked specifically about people's participation in more 'traditional' activities (such as painting, music, photography, writing etc.), only 45% said that they had done so since the start of the pandemic.

In this wave, however, inclusion of a broader range of activities (graffiti, magic, horticulture, creative gaming, fashion, etc.) saw a whopping 86% say they had taken part in a creative activity in the past 12 months.

Graphic of New vs Traditional Creative Activities.png New Activities More Popular Than Traditional.png

Some groups participate more than others

Older groups, and people who don't often attend arts, culture and heritage events in person, are less likely to participate in everyday creative activities.

Although certain activities, particularly those related to nature and food (e.g. gardening and cooking) narrow that gap significantly.

Nature and Food for Non-attenders.png Nature and Food for Older Groups.png

'Where' and 'how' varies by activity

While all creative activities are done most often at home - and the majority of them solo - some, such as dance, creative discussion or performing arts, lend themselves more than others to engaging elsewhere.

The newly included activities are not only more popular, but also even more likely to be done at home, where barriers to participation are removed.

Activities at Home Scatter Chart.png

What kind of support people need to participate creatively

Overall, people consider lower general costs, and offering 'ideas and inspiration', to be more important means of support for encouraging their everyday creative participation, than help with specific skills or materials.

Support Needed for Creative Activities.png

However, people participating in creative activities primarily at home require, understandably, different kinds of support than those doing it outside the home.

  • Outside of the home, people are more likely to want access to technology, peer support, networks, dedicated space etc. - i.e. if an activity is happening in the public domain already, the more people involved, the better.
  • Whereas, when it comes to creative engagement within the home, cost, skills, inspiration and materials are the key means of support people seek.

We've singled out 'Crafts' and 'Fashion and Style' by means of example:

Support for Crafts.png Support for Fashion and Style.png

So let's see what else the data is saying...

Download the Data Presentation