Resources to Help Makers Thrive & Stay Creative in 2021

Making sustainable livelihoods is core to all AAS activities and to help makers to access advice, information and inspiration we have curated 30 resources from our newsletters this year.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic AAS launched the ‘Rethinking our Rhythms’ programme with a new weekly newsletter, now fortnightly, with information on useful resources and creative inspiration.

Many of these resources are relevant throughout the year so we have gathered together a selection into this guide to make it easier to find advice, information and inspiration at any time.  The variety of topics highlights the wide range of knowledge and skills which makers need.

The information was collected by the AAS team from a range of organisations through their newsletters, websites and social media. The information provided below was correct at the time of publishing. Please follow the weblinks for full and the most up to date information.

If you don’t currently receive our newsletter you can subscribe via our website. Opportunities and resources are also shared by AAS on twitter and instagram.

This guide is divided into a range of topics to help makers with building their business and inspiration for staying creative and to keep enjoying making.

Covid-19 Guidance

Scottish Government‘s Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for creative studios and shared workspaces updated in line with the Covid local protection levels (tiers).

Crafts Council Information for craft businesses:  Resources and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic (update December 2020)

The ‘Seven Inclusive Principles for the arts in COVID19’ on Creative Scotland website offers practical guidance on supporting disabled artists, audiences, visitors, participants & employees.

Business Growth

Business Gateway Coronavirus Hub has daily updates with funding advice, guides, expert led articles, videos, webinars, links to our local offices/advisers & more to help your business with covid-19 related issues.

Women’s Enterprise is a new digital platform supported by RBS Business and provides gender-aware support for women starting up in business.

Free E-Learning programme by Just Enterprise to help social enterprises measure and demonstrate social impact.

Digital Working

A set of carefully-curated mutual aid resources, ideas and pathways for creative practitioners (including artists, makers, curators, designers etc) who find themselves needing to migrate their practice onto digital spaces and places.

Creative Informatics research team has compiled their thoughts on good practice for running online events in this guide.

Social Media
Dwynwen Hopcroft of Loch Ness Knitting shares five short tips on making your instagram account more meaningful to help you to reach the audience you know is out there. Transform your account from a pretty shop front to a productive business tool.

Selling Online
Sell Your Craft Online Resources from Craft Northern Ireland include recorded sessions with advice on Using video to tell the story of your brand & your creative process, Product Photography, Getting Found Online, Marketing Online for Free.

Scottish Enterprise business guide to ecommerce and the range of support available.

Business Gateway advice on Next steps once you’ve started selling online.

Marketing & PR

On Creative Boom, PR tips for independents: How to get your creative products featured in the press.

Crafts Council ‘Market for Craft’ report identifying & gauging the appetite for British craft in the last 10 years.


Creative Scotland Creating Safety – webpage about child protection & safeguarding guidance with links to online information about working virtually with participants when delivering online activities.

Factsheets from deafscotland on making Zoom more accessible for deaf people.

Recording of ‘What the Crafts Council is doing to erase racism & inequality in the craft sector’ event available online.

Environmental Sustainability

CAN (Circular Arts Network), a circular economy tool for the arts, a way to redistribute spare or unneeded resources and to find useful things affordably or for free.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation “Explore the Circular Economy” weekly show available on catch-up.

Work/Life Balance & Mental Health

The Leapers Little Guide to…working well from home under self-quarantine for Coronavirus, insights on how best to look after your mental health.


The Tate discusses Making Art in Isolation – explore how artists of past and present have been creative whilst in solitude.

Watch this beautiful short film by Angus Lee Forbes part of the Australian Design Centre touring exhibition Obsessed: Compelled to make and remember why you make ‘..when I have to down tools, I just don’t feel like I’m myself, I feel like I get a little bit lost..’.

View online the objects selected for Craft Council’s exhibition the Maker’s Eye. Thirteen craft makers were asked ‘What does craft mean to you?’ Each picked works from Crafts Council Collections to create a ‘visual answer’ in over 150 objects.

Explore the British Library oral history of crafts with 1267 items including Kate Malone on the peace of the space inside an empty pot & Peter Layton on the making of his Burano glass series.

A Special Edition of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit: The Transformational Power of Culture with free online films exploring culture, architecture, education, vibrant communities, and Covid-19 featuring leading voices from around the world.

Victoria and Albert Museum has an unrivalled collection of around 2,000 shoes spanning more than 3,000 years from different cultures around the globe.  Discover the history of shoe design by interactive timeline.

Jewellery exhibition Broken Beauty, which explores what is beauty, and was due to take place in Munich during Schmuck 2020, is available online. View the works.

Five short films take you on a personal tour with curator Anna Jackson of
V&A exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk providing an insight into the making of the show, exhibits and the history of the kimono.

Read this Sunday Times Bestseller Threads of Life by Clare Hunter.

Watch North Lands Creative Glass Lives Week online programme of films, interviews and gallery which explores the human relationship with glass making and material.

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