T-Shirts and Suits: a Guide to the Business of Creativity
By David Parrish
Merseyside ACME pound;9.95. Order at www.t-shirtsandsuits.com
A head, smartly dressed in a suit, once showed me round his big comprehensive. It was a traditional, orderly place; children and teachers got to their feet as we entered their classrooms. Then we came to the art room. Loud music was playing, children milled happily about, and, yes, the teacher had a T-shirt visible under an unbuttoned top. The artwork on display was wonderful, and as we left the head smiled indulgently and said, "Every school needs one of those". It's that sort of compartmentalisation that David Parrish tackles here. As an adviser to people in the "creative"
sector - music, photography, art, fashion - who aspire to earn a living from their skills, his message is that creativity can feed the inventiveness, problem-solving and vision that any organisation needs. The publisher, Merseyside Acme (arts, culture, media, enterprise), is a regional development agency for the creative industries.
There are case studies - a photographic artist, two brothers running a student club night, web designers who used their student loan as start-up capital - that are worth the attention of any teacher or parent whose first instinct might be to pour cold water on such ambitions.
"This book," Parrish writes, "is about combining the best ideas of both 'T-shirts' and 'suits'." My comprehensive head might have been even more successful had he thought a little more about what was actually happening in the art room.