1st Edition

Creative Women in Ireland Not Your Muse

By Aileen O'Driscoll Copyright 2023

    Through the contributions of women working in the creative industries, this timely book explores the role of creativity in their lives, the experiences that have positively contributed to and supported their creativity and their work, as well as how gendered considerations intersect with their involvement in the cultural sphere.

    Spanning psychology, cultural and media studies, and the philosophy of art, it builds on existing research by offering examples of the abundance of creativity residing in women working in film and television, architecture, design, music, theatre, and the performing and visual arts in Ireland. Their reflections offer a valuable counter perspective to the assumption that women are more naturally the ‘muse’ than the creator. From these conversations, some common, although at times diverging, experiences in childhood, early career and approaches to their creative work offer important insights into the nature and practice of creativity and the conditions that may best nurture and support creativity in girls and women.

    Providing original observations into gendered understandings of creativity, this book will be essential reading for researchers, advanced students and practitioners seeking contemporary insights on creativity, feminism and gender.

    1. Introduction: Examining the intersection of gender and creativity

    2. Childhood and Adolescence: Experiences that foster creativity in girls

    3. Further Education and Early Career: Encouragement as vital to building creative confidence

    4. Creative Work: Exploring resilience, work ethic, and motherhood

    5. Creative Identities: Integrating creativity into sense of self and life satisfaction

    6. Conclusions: Insights derived from creative women in Ireland


    Dr Aileen O’Driscoll is Assistant Professor in Media and Communications at the School of Communications, Dublin City University. Her current research interests include the Creative and Cultural Industries; Women’s Studies and feminist theory; and the involvement, role and representation of women in the media industries.

    "The notion of creativity in the arts and creative industries remains poorly analyzed and fraught with unproven assumptions about gender and artistic temperament. O'Driscoll's analysis of the concept of creativity is matched with her valuable interviews with women in diverse areas of artistic practice, persuasively countering the presumption that women possess inferior creative capacities." Carolyn Korsmeyer, author of Gender and Aesthetics: An Introduction

    "...engaging,  accessible  and  academically  rigorous..." Ariana  MalthanerThe Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society