Gen Z’s quest for equilibrium in the creative industry

Foster an ecosystem that values creative authenticity over trends

As someone deeply embedded in the creative industry (and as a keen observer of my generation’s experiences) I’ve witnessed a fascinating and concerning phenomenon. It revolves around this question: When Gen Z are thrust into the world of the creative industry, can maintain equilibrium whilst navigating this terrain?

A balancing act…

The creative industry is renowned for its rapid pace, where innovation, inspiration, and ingenuity converge to produce (hopefully) ground-breaking work. As we see a surge in young talent leveraging platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube (to showcase their skills) it’s evident they’re embracing this dynamic realm. These platforms offer them a stage to showcase their visions to the world, inviting praise and scrutiny, all whilst in pursuit of the next viral hit.

However, this whirlwind journey raises the question: can they maintain balance in this industry? An industry where deadlines loom, visions clash, and success can be as fleeting as the latest social trend. And although they have problems with fast-paced platforms, LinkedIn seems to be overflowing with Gen Z.

Burnout and the need to produce

Digital platforms have revolutionised the way artists showcase their talent, find collaborators, and build their careers. Yet this presents a dual challenge: on one hand it empowers Gen Z, giving them unparalleled opportunities to express their creativity and reach audiences. On the other it subjects them to the relentless pressures of success. Consider ‘burnout’, which often plagues creative professionals. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram demand a steady stream of content to maintain relevance. Artists may find themselves grappling with the incessant need to produce, often at the expense of their mental and emotional well-being.

Gratification and viral art

In this industry the pursuit of artistic expression treads a fine line between innovation and conformity. Social media is rife with trends that can catapult an artist to stardom overnight. And whilst they provide an opportunity for visibility, they can also stifle that authentic creative voice that defines an artist’s identity. Take, for instance, the challenge of ‘viral art.’ Young artists may feel compelled to create content tailored to trends, to maximise reach and engagement. However this pursuit of instant gratification can lead to a loss of integrity, and a disconnect from their true essence.

In the pursuit of a successful career Gen Z, in particular, face the challenge of preserving their artistic integrity while navigating the pace and demands of the digital age. It’s crucial to encourage them to find an equilibrium that allows for artistic exploration, growth, and innovation, whilst remaining true to their roots. One possible solution lies in fostering a supportive ecosystem that values creative authenticity over fleeting trends.

By embracing balance we can empower young artists to harness the opportunities of the digital age without sacrificing anything.

Nurturing the journey

As we observe my generation’s journey into the fast-paced world of the creative industry, it’s clear that maintaining balance is not just a personal challenge, but a collective endeavour. In this domain, the race to not fall behind need not mean rushing to create or conform to trends. Instead, we can foster an environment that cherishes artistic authenticity, innovation, and the pursuit of equilibrium in the pursuit of creative excellence.

Featured image: Mike Von / Unsplash

Said Onyemauwa, Gen Z Consultant, Imagen Insights

Digital marketing student in Birmingham from Austria, currently studying in the UK. Keen to work in UX/UI design and social media management after graduation. Enjoys volleyball and play for my university team (UCB)

All articles