Monica Davidson is an award-winning expert on the creative industries, who has infamously never had a ‘proper job’. She began her creative life as a freelance journalist and filmmaker before starting a production company in the early 1990s. Her experience highlighted how unprepared creative people can be for a life of entrepreneurship. As she learned the basics, Monica started offering informal advice and running workshops to help other creatives with their freelance work. As her expertise grew she continued to work with creative practitioners, and more than 25 years later Monica is a renowned and award-winning expert in the fields of freelancing, creative industries and arts entrepreneurship. Through her social enterprise Creative Plus Business Group, Monica helps creatives at all stages of their careers to improve their business skills.
Monica runs workshops and masterclasses, delivers keynotes and webinars, and regularly provides her expertise to panel discussions and the media. She is a guest lecturer on creative entrepreneurialism at various prestigious institutions including AFTRS and NIDA. Her educational focus is on increasing self-efficacy for creative practitioners, and through Creative Plus Business she and the team have created arts business training, professional development and mentoring programs for a wide range of creative clients. The Creative Plus Business programs focus on goal setting, business and strategic planning, financial literacy, marketing – and having fun.
Monica wrote the Australian version of Freelancing for Dummies in 2008, and was appointed as Australia’s first Creative Industries Business Advisor by the NSW Small Business Commissioner in 2013. The following year she completed her Masters in Screen Arts and Business at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. In 2014 Monica was named as one of the Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence for her work in the creative industries, and in 2019 Monica was awarded the inaugural Creative Trailblazer Award at the QUT Creative Enterprise Australia awards, recognition for “an individual who creates enterprises and opportunities and who advocates, mentors, educates and advises within Australia’s creative economy.” In 2020 Monica was a recipient of the prestigious AMP Tomorrow Fund to help develop more programs to assist creative start-ups.
Monica continues to juggle her creative practice with her business. She is passionate about movies (making them and watching them), and her feature documentary film Handbag was released on LGBTQ+ streaming service OUTtv and Amazon Prime in North America and the UK in 2021. She also enjoys hanging out with her boisterous family of creative practitioners, long walks with her elderly dog Carter, and drinking pink champagne while indulging in the gentle art of karaoke.