March 24, 2020

OUT06: The Creativity Issue

With most people surveyed in Epsom & Ewell recently claiming a ‘vibrant and creative’ borough was an important part of their ideal future, we thought this issue should be dedicated to Creativity.

We asked local cultural consultant, Maria Reeves, a founder of both MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival and The Horton Chapel Project, to guest edit this issue alongside her day job. As Maria’s motto says on her Twitter account; if you want something done, ask a busy person…

To ‘create’ simply means to make something that wasn’t there before; something unique that wouldn’t normally come into existence on its own.

The Creativity Issue of OUT Magazine celebrates some of the people, the ideas and the products flourishing in Epsom & Ewell. From fantastic festivals (Satisfied Eye p26 and MGSO4 page 25), crazy cheesecake (p13), Epsom’s new arts venue The Horton (p9) and a host of Local Creatives (p10), it shines a light on innovations that illuminate our community and make us feel good. 

Everyone has it in them to create. Take a tip from author-illustrator Zehra Hicks (p33) on how to get started, with simple sketches of the people around you, or get inspired by the designs on UCA students’ takeover pages (15–22).

But producing enriching artistic activities at scale, for the greater good, requires a nurturing civic environment – and cash flow. 

Most of the creatives in this issue (including the publishers of this very magazine) are entrepreneurs too – managing finance, logistics, marketing and suppliers – as well as their artistic work. Recent statistics from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, reveal that almost 50% of creatives are self-employed and freelancers.

With cultural events currently being cancelled across the board due to Covid-19, a huge number of creative professionals won’t be able earn a living in the coming months and an awful lot of small organisations and charities are at risk of going under.

So if you’ve paid for tickets to see a show, gig or exhibition that has had to be postponed, consider not asking for a refund, if you can afford to, or even make a donation to help the organisers stay afloat until the event can be rescheduled.

And if your anxiety is rising with every news bulletin, take refuge in creativity, as individuals facing hardship have done throughout history. Stay safe.

Maria Reeves
Guest Editor

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