A Future For Creatives in the Northern Rivers
Last year, at age 26, I decided to move home to the Northern Rivers region to reconnect with my family and the town I grew up in, Lennox Head. Having left the Northern Rivers at 17 to pursue university and career opportunities in domestic and international cities, when reflecting on spending almost 10 years away, the fear of not having access to, or missing out on, urban opportunities has proved a barrier to my return.
As an aspiring writer, any opportunity to connect with local and global markets while living on the coast is valuable. I’d like to stay but this will only be feasible if I can wrangle enough projects to keep me financially afloat. The development of the Northern Rivers Creative directory, which aims to connect our unique and largest regional creative community in Australia to metropolitan areas excites me. It’s a relief to be a part of a platform that makes it easier for rural creatives to be seen, heard and have access to broader networks.
Self-promotion isn’t easy, it’s daunting and time-consuming, so the marketing and promotional potential offered by Arts Northern Rivers’ new directory can be a lucrative resource. As a freelancer, I am in a perpetual state of hustling while trying to maintain a stable income and although it’s a wonderfully challenging process, having a go-to platform like NRC where potential clients or creative collaborators can find me is an asset. At times, and I know I am not alone in this experience, it can feel pretty dire trying to connect with long-term, well-paid gigs when you are limited to local business. NRC offers a new method for building connections, leveraging online traffic and showcasing my work in a way that was not accessible to me before. Who doesn’t want a low-maintenance, free, professional online portfolio that combats geographical, socio-economic and cultural barriers inhibiting creatives from accessing national and international audiences? It’s comforting to see the thoughtful design of NRC’s website and capability to support and nurture a viable ecosystem that keeps creatives like me, at home.