Healthy Minds for Creatives

Location: Manchester
Address: The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY.
Event time: 2-4pm
Join us for an afternoon discussion about staying mentally healthy as a creative freelancer, hosted jointly with the Association of Illustrators. #HealthyMinds4Creatives

If you can't make this event in person, sign up for the live stream and also receive an audio recording after the event.

Please contact Anna Ganley with any event enquiries.

Event details

Join us to discuss how to keep on top of your mental health as a creative freelancer. #HealthyMinds4Creatives

It’s no secret that creative freelancers face huge pressures in their daily life: meeting and juggling deadlines, balancing financial or health constraints, submitting to agents, dealing with publishers and publication, chasing payments. Add to that the solitary nature of creating, and whether you're a writer, illustrator or translator, the tortured artist trope isn’t going away anytime soon. 

We're seeking to widen the conversation around mental health for creatives and so, continuing on from last month's blog during Mental Health Awareness Week, we've lined up a panel of speakers to talk about the pressures of being a creative freelance and the support that is available.

Chaired by Stewart Lucas from Mind in Greater Manchester, our panel includes SoA Council member and crime writer, Simon Brett; writer, blogger and anti-stigma campaigner, Lucy Nichol; and the illustrator and podcast host, Ben Tallon.

Our panel will share their approach to staying mentally healthy and the common triggers and conditions that challenge us. We'll also discuss coping mechanisms and what we do to look after our wellbeing.

After the panel discussion there will be time for informal discussion over tea and cakes.

This event is organised by the Society of Authors and the Association of Illustrators (AOI). All creative freelancers are welcome to attend.

1.45pm: Registration
2pm: Panel discussion
3.20-4pm: Informal discussion over tea, coffee and cakes

If you want to continue discussions after the event, we'll be heading to Gorilla bar for social drinks.

Information and resources to help you with your mental health, your work, your finances and your wellbeing are available on our resources page and the AOI website.

About the speakers

Simon Brett has published over a hundred books, many of them crime novels, including the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto & Twinks series. His stand-alone thriller, A Shock to the System, was made into a feature film, starring Michael Caine. Simon’s writing for radio and television includes After Henry, No Commitments and Smelling of Roses. Bill Nighy plays Charles Paris in the Radio 4 adaptations of his books. In 2014 Simon was presented with the Crime Writers’ Association’s top award, the Diamond Dagger, and he was made an O.B.E. in the 2016 New Year’s Honours ‘for services to literature’.

Stewart Lucas was CEO of Lancashire Mind until September 2017 where he successfully changed the way that Lancashire’s providers, commissioners and residents viewed mental health. During this time he brought National Mind and the Mind Network together in closer harmony. Stewart currently works with the five Greater Manchester Minds to develop a shared and collaborative way of working that responds to the opportunities provided by devolution. He sits on key strategic boards across Greater Manchester influencing the way that mental health is defined within the emerging infrastructure.

Lucy Nichol is a published author, blogger and freelance writer for a range of national media titles. She is a trustee for addiction recovery charity, The Road to Recovery Trust and a freelance script advisor for Mind, working on a wide range of TV soaps and dramas. Her first book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes was published in 2018. She's an active anti-stigma campaigner within the mental health community. Lucy has lived with the highs and lows of generalised and health anxiety for many years.

Ben Tallon is an illustrator with The Guardian, The Premier League and WWE. He is also author of Champagne and Wax Crayons: Riding the Madness of the Creative Industry and host of Arrest All Mimics: The Creative Innovation Podcast.

The Association of Illustrators (AOI) is the UK’s leading illustration body supporting and sustaining illustrators and the illustration industry. Established in 1973 the AOI offers members professional advice, online resources and a growing programme of events. The AOI has successfully campaigned to increase the standing of illustration as a profession and improve commercial and ethical conditions. With a membership that includes freelance illustrators, agents, students and colleges the AOI continues to support and educate future generations at every stage of their career.

Illustration credit: © BenStudioPRO / Adobe Stock‚Äč