The promises of freelancing: an examination of work in Singapore’s creative industries
Freelancing in the creative industries has in recent times drawn attention as a compelling model of work that promises to nurture our passions and offer a self-directed life. However, freelance work appears to be rife with numerous challenges and uncertainties, with freelancers’ financial precarity being of foremost concern. The central assumption is that financial stability is exchanged for creative fulfilment, yet that too appears to be uncertain. Although there is a growing awareness of the challenges of freelancing, research into the working conditions of Singaporean creative freelancers is still lacking.
This research paper examines the capacity of freelance work within the creative industries to provide the creative fulfilment and autonomy often associated with it. A sequential mixed methodology that combines qualitative literature and quantitative data gathered via a survey. The survey was then disseminated among Singaporean freelancers within the creative industries using snowball sampling. The findings indicate that freelancing in the creative industries has tremendous potential to carry out its liberatory promise, yet is in practice, circumscribed by numerous factors outside of any individual’s conscious control. This suggests that more research can be done to understand how freelance work is structured, and the ramifications on qualities such as autonomy, financial compensation and access to work.
2019 – 2020