A talented Bristol-based cartoonist is the first recipient of a new round of grants for creative freelancers from the West of England Combined Authority led by Dan Norris.

Cartoonist Camille Aubrey showed the metro mayor her skills as a live illustrator as she sketches Dan and his dog Angel in real time.

Based at the Pervasive Media Studio, Camille is hired to work at conferences, seminars, concerts, meetings and presentations to take notes through the medium of art.

But like many other freelancers the Covid pandemic hit her hard.

A study into the UK’s freelance economy by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed has found that two-thirds of the sector’s workers were negatively impacted by the pandemic. They also suffered from a disproportionate lack of government support with thousands of self-employed West of England residents excluded from any Government support.

Camille is one of 60 freelancers and workers in creative businesses across the West of England set to get a cash boost of between £3,000 and £6,000.

The Metro Mayor has done everything he can to support local self-employed people throughout the pandemic, including his first funding decision on his election to increase support by a million pounds to creative freelancers.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Creative freelancers across the West of England have had a tough time during the pandemic with many falling through the gaps in Government support. But they are vital to the success of our world-class creative industries. This new funding underlines my commitment to actors, fashion designers, artists, animators and many others to recover from the pandemic and grow.

More than ever, we must do all we can to safeguard creativity as we rebuild our economy.”

Credit: Camille Aubry, resident of Water’s Pervasive Media Studio

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