Research digest: Everyday creativity

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Research digest: Everyday creativity

Two people drawing together at a table. You can see their hands, holding pens. On the table there is a large sheet of paper with writing, a pencil case and a cup of coffee
© Skippko Arts Team. Photo by Nicki Taylor

By John Wright, Centre for Cultural Value


This everyday creativity research digest summarises current evidence relating to the many and diverse creative and cultural activities that people do at home or in their communities.

Specifically, it explores the value of activities facilitated by amateur or voluntary groups in shared community spaces and self-initiated activity that takes place at home. This review does not cover everyday creativity facilitated by professional artists.

The review explores what we already know in this area, including the complex factors that might affect or enable people’s access to, or participation or inclusion in, everyday creative experiences.

It also identifies what we know about:

  • the effects of everyday creativity on community building
  • the motivations for engaging with everyday creativity
  • the impact of everyday creativity on individual and collective wellbeing.

Read highlights from this research digest below, or download the research digest (PDF document) by clicking the button above.

Highlights from this research digest include:

  • Studies looking at people’s daily routines are important and show that participants do not always make clear distinctions between activities in the way that many arts professionals do. The value for participants is more intrinsic and is related to how cultural engagement makes them feel, as opposed to the specific output or product.
  • Creative self-expression is a key factor in individual everyday creativity. Studies cite participants’ strongest motivation as enjoyment. Crucially, they find a significant correlation between positive emotional states and everyday creativity.
  • Studies point to family time and capacity constraints as limiting factors in engaging in everyday cultural participation. These are particularly prevalent among families with caring responsibilities but are not exclusive to that group.
  • An obstacle to everyday creativity highlighted in several of the studies is conflicting access needs to shared public spaces or resources.
  • There is an important trend towards creative activity in the home being shared beyond the immediate social circle of its participants and producers.
  • We found that everyday creativity can and does inspire forms of cultural democracy at community, local and even regional levels.
  • Self-organised cultural activity by communities can lead to an increased sense of ownership by local people.
  • There is clearly a gap in both research and policy understanding of everyday creativity in the home.
  • The evidence suggests that a joined-up localised and personalised approach from policymakers, together with communities and individuals, can make a difference.
Published: 2022
Resource type: Research