We’ll give you a hint: it’s everywhere and comes in many forms!

A little while ago we spoke about what a creative career might look like, but never delved into the more common models for working within the creative industries. Creative individuals often find themselves deploying their skills in a variety of different ways (over time or simultaneously) and creating what might be referred to as a ‘portfolio career’. That is, a career that is made up of several moving parts. 

We’ve compiled a list to help outline some of the more common styles of work within the creative industries, to show how similar creative skills may be employed in a wide variety of different ways.


Put simply, freelancing is solo entrepreneurship where an individual offers their services to a client with a contractual agreement. Freelancers are considered to be self-employed and can work in virtually any field. They are able to set their own hours and negotiate their own terms on a per-client basis. Typically, a freelance job would be a short-term project with a fast turnaround.
Some common creative examples of freelancing could include: 

  • a graphic designer making a logo for a business, 

  • a session musician offering their skills to a recording artist, 

  • an animator or film maker creating a tv commercial.

  • A freelance event producer planning a festival


Similarly to freelancing, contracts (or fixed-term contracts) are short-to-medium term jobs where a creative professional is employed for an explicit length of time. Depending on the employer or the nature of the role, a contract might last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Some common creative examples of contracting could include: 

  • a music festival coordinator working through the festival season,

  • an actor accepting a role in a stage production or film,

  • a television producer creating a TV series.


An agency is a business which provides specific services to clients, kind of like a freelancer hive. Creative professionals are employed by agencies to provide their skills to a portfolio of clients, who have engaged with the agency and not the creative employees directly. Jobs within agencies are typically full or part-time roles, with fixed-term contracts also regularly offered during busy periods.
Some common creative examples of agency work could include: 

  • Creative producers, animators or designers working at an advertising agency

  • a music publicist working at a PR agency,

  • a media buyer working at a media agency,

  • event producers and coordinators working at an event agency.


If an agency offers a service, then a studio produces a product. Creative studios are similar to agencies, although usually with a smaller amount of team members. A studio could produce creative work or provide a service for a client, or in some cases create and sell their own product directly to the public.
Some common creative examples of studio work could include: 

  • a design studio creating a new style of furniture

  • a game studio developing a video game

  • an special effects studio providing video effects to a new film


Any company, and we mean any company has the ability to employ their own in-house creative team to work to serve its specific company needs - and trust us, they are needed and in demand. You’d be stretched to find a mid sized company that doesn’t have their own In-house creative team. These creative professionals are typically employed full-time by the company to provide their skills as needed (typically within a marketing or communications team).
Some common creative examples of company work could include: 

  • an in-house graphic designer who produces company marketing and branded collateral,

  • a videographer that creates original videos for the company,

  • an in-house audio engineer working at an entertainment venue

  • an event manager who plans and coordinates company events.

  • a social media coordinator who can produce organic content and tell stories, online

  • An in-house copywriter or journalist writing news stories or develops wording for emails, the website or for advertising channels

In the vast and colourful realm of creative industries, the scope of what work “is'' serves as a true reflection of the many possible avenues a creative professional might take. Even when creative work may not look like a typical 9-5, it is no less valid or less rewarding. We've explored some common models for working within this creative tapestry, from freelancing, where solo adventurers craft logos, compose music, or orchestrate events, to contractual commitments for festivals, plays, and TV series. In every iteration of these working styles, creativity takes centre stage. In bustling agencies, creative producers and animators collaborate, while studios, with their smaller teams, birth innovative designs, video games, and visual effects. In this world of possibilities, whether freelancing, contracting, agency, studio, or company work, the constant melody is creativity, painting diverse career pathways with boundless hues of imagination.

Explore Your Creative Career Possibilities