iStock’s ‘Free the Creative’ study reveals (what?!) a decline in creativity
No time, little money: Study finds that half of professional creatives believe creativity is stagnating or declining in their profession
Creative professionals are struggling to produce inventive and effective campaigns in an increasingly stressful work environment, according to a survey released today from iStock by Getty Images.
One in two (48 percent) creatives believes levels of creativity in their industry have stagnated or declined in the last decade and nearly one quarter (23 percent) of creatives spend less than two hours of their day doing “creative” work, according to the study’s findings.
iStock, the web’s original resource for crowd-sourced royalty-free stock images, media and design elements, commissioned KRC Research to conduct its first ever Free the Creative survey of more than 400 creative industry professionals – ranging from art directors to graphic designers in the US and UK – about the state of creativity in their profession.
The research, released during Advertising Week 2013 in New York City, revealed that too many responsibilities and a lack of time and funding are the three main barriers to creativity in a creative’s job:
- The majority (60 percent) of creatives said that they have had “great ideas” in the last year but not enough time or support at work to achieve what they wanted.
- Nearly three quarters (70 percent) of respondents said they want more “creative time” and 63 percent said they do not have the time they need for “creative reflection and inspiration.”
The link between time and creativity has been well researched in academia: one of the largest studies, Creativity Under The Gun by Teresa Amabile, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, found that people were least creative when they were fighting the clock – and that when people are working under great pressure, their creativity reduces not only on that day but the next two as well.
“Our research raises questions around the state of creativity today in industries vital to the global economy,” said Ellen Desmarais, General Manager at iStock. “When you consider that global revenues last year in the advertising industry alone were nearly half a trillion dollars*, declining creativity is cause for alarm and should prompt an industry-wide discussion. The bottom line is: We need to free the creative.
“While the creative industry has always been dynamic and fast-paced, rising pressures from increasing workloads, ever-tighter deadlines and constrained budgets are wearing creatives down. iStock aims to act as a creative partner, making it easier for creatives to find what they’re looking for: unique, inspired content at the right price.”
Other key Free the Creative findings:
- Creativity rarely happens in the workplace: Only one in three (34 percent) rate the workplace as one of their top three locations for creativity. During the commute (34 percent), in the shower or bath (25 percent) or during exercise (22 percent) are other favored places and times for inspiration.
- Technology offers an opportunity to unlock creativity: Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of creatives believe that new tools and technologies have enabled them to be more creative in the workplace.
- Creatives seek artistic opportunities outside of work: Half of those surveyed are photographers in their spare time, while nearly a third (30 percent) looks to writing, drawing or painting as a creative outlet.
Find more on the Free the Creative study and view our infographic here.