Power to the Creatives

Whose Time is Now.

Over a decade ago Richard Florida (author of The Rise of the Creative Class) and eight years ago Daniel Pink (author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future) made the case for why creative people are the power players of the 21st Century, as their book titles suggest. Their power continues to be fueled by the tools and platforms developed for creatives to run businesses (think Etsy or even Indiegogo). Creatives can more easily make their dreams come true today more than in decades past when business was driven by MBA’s and ad men; these traditional business types instead are creating the platforms upon which creatives thrive. Today, those with the creative talents can simply say, “Let me create!,” and be in business.

  • The emergence of artistic, literary magazines are just one example of creatives having tools at their disposal to create communications and lifestyle groups without the need to sell through big conglomerates. Today with digital printing technology one can create small run print magazines with services such as Blurb (blurb.com/magazine) that become platforms for multidimensional businesses.
    • Take Sweet Paul created by Paul Lowe. Inspired by his blog, this former food and props stylist created his own Martha Stewart-esque magazine featuring food and crafts complemented with his beautiful photography, mouthwatering recipes, and clever projects.
    • Kinfolk was founded by a like-minded group in Portland, Oregon. Kinfolk is a lifestyle magazine celebrating small gatherings, making, and doing, which has spawned additional projects from dining events, a cookbook, films, and new fashion retail outlets in the U.S. and Japan. They say the magazine “appeals to a young, photography-intensive audience full of artists and food enthusiasts….” and is “a blueprint for a balanced, intentional lifestyle.
    • Hole & Corner and Gather are similar to Kinfolk, each taking a lifestyle positioning that guides their issues. Gather is focused on food and cooking, while Hole & Corner focuses on doers, celebrating “craft, beauty, passion, and skill.”
    • From around the globe, we find magazines such as Mood (sources articles from writers around the globe on music and food topics), Popeye (from Japan targeted to city-living men), and Cereal (from the U.K. offering travel and lifestyle features).
  • Business platforms such as eBay or Etsy are other venues for creatives to find their way into business. Sophia Amoruso’s vintage fashion shop on eBay turned into a global retail brand, Nasty Girl, and has turned her into a celebrity in her own right, now out with a book that shares secrets of her success.
  • SF Made in San Francisco not only champions local manufacturing, but also makes it easy for anyone with a vision to bring his product idea to life. For free, the organization can tell a creative-type just where to get something manufactured taking a sketch and turning it into a 3-D reality. Then, there are plenty of e-commerce platforms to sell that product to the world, such as Shopify, Volusion, and Square Market. A creative can be up and running in no time.

Consumer Forecast: Help fuel creative power.


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