Big Ambitions for Creative Enterprise

Posted: 07 March 2022, in News

little living room is a new, award-winning female and LGBTQIA+ run publication and creative collective based in Edinburgh that spotlights Scottish and UK based creatives. We launched our first crowdfunder in winter 2020 and published our first issue January 2021. We have since been funded by UnLtd and Firstport to start our projects in 2021. Now in 2022, shortlisted for the Build It Award, we can see a lot of possibilities for our team and our creatives! It has been a very challenging year, one with very real burn out and mental health struggles, but one with so much growth and development. We start the year brightly by bringing on 3 new employees through the kickstart scheme. Our team have seen so much change since little living room first began, and we can see so much room for growth still. The social impact has been bold, with our employees and our collective members coming out of their shells and the progress is growing month to month. See below how you can help us do even more?! (Subscribe, become a member for a low low fee of 5 pounds, donate to our crowdfunder on our website, purchase, submit work, share, share, share)

The quality of the publication has come on leaps and bounds, our collective have blossomed with those wanting to grow their portfolios, publishing experience and income revenues and expand their experience in the professional creative industry. Little living room is about empowering young low income individuals to grow their skill base, income and experience  – not just by selling their artwork, but by encouraging them to do what they love, to meet more like minded individuals in a safe Queer space, to share their stories and to raise awareness for others who may be equally suffering due to financial and social inequality. We apply this to every area of little living room which is how we have acquired such a supportive and authentic team of individuals. 

We have highlighted the need for supporting the working class individuals, those who like we have been, are in the in-between where they may even have the qualifications, have the skills but haven’t had the break they needed to show the industry their skills, their capacity and their worthiness. We concentrate our energy on supporting these individuals on the outside, specifically the women and LGBTQIA+ individuals in this marginalised group, because they are the individuals who haven’t had enough access, they have suffered more in the low income bracket, due to lack of access to mental health support, advocacy and means. 

We believe in an equalitarian approach, where we platform our lesser-known creatives to the same esteem as our more well known creatives, not only because we value them to the same degree but to also share their platforms and access. (On this note we are looking for new or known queer artists for our 5th issue ‘self determination’ and a queer artist to illustrate this issues cover! so please submit work via our website to get your shot at being printed in this coming issue!)

As a social enterprise, we keep our ticket sales as low as possible and find ways to make workshops available for people who can’t afford them – but who need them the most; with all profits from the online shop and events going back into printing and investing in career development for more young people struggling to get into the professional creative industry.

Our online shop sells art prints, books, original artworks, stickers jewellery and decorations – all made by independent creatives from Scotland and the UK. We have now launched our workshops which are helping fellow social enterprises around Edinburgh including Blunt Knife and KIN Collective, we also run exhibitions, pop-up markets and events to raise awareness in further spaces throughout Scotland including Kafe Queer and OOTB Drill Hall.

Like so many other small businesses we have seen major set backs due to the pandemic, our December and January months have been hard going! We brought you our 4th issue ‘role play’ in January and we have in February launched our pride issue ‘self determination’ open call – so please share and submit your work!

We have big big plans for the coming months! With our workshops launching again in time for the sun coming out (yes purposeful) will we be ‘out’ and about at our pop ups and markets (watch our insta and website for dates) we have so many things planned for you to support us in! 

Little living room has a driving force behind it! True passion, dedication, leadership and skill! We share our knowledge with our team, our volunteers, our kickstart placements, our creative collective members and creatives who reach out to know more. We are creating a safe space for individuals to foster their skills and develop their career prospects – there are no silly questions.

If you are thinking that’s amazing! How do I help? What can I do now? Well, you can subscribe to our trip-annual publication! You can subscribe to our monthly 5 pound membership (you get discounts), you can donate any sum of money to our crowdfunder on our website! You can buy from our online shop, you can share on social media and share with everyone you know. The more people who know the more people can help us and the more people we can in turn help! Thank you for asking and thank you so much for helping us to help others!

Keep up to date on our website and socials for upcoming workshops, open mics, exhibitions, community projects and more lined up for 2022, keep an eye on @little.livingroom on social media to ensure you don’t miss out.

Becca Gallacher, Founder and CEO, little living room