We have a tendency to treat creativity as a case of have or have-not. From Hollywood actors, to UK rap artists, to Dutch design gurus, our reflex is to speak about creative people as if they were cut from a different cloth. But the truth is they started out like the rest of us, as students, unsure of who they were or where they were going. What sets these individuals apart is that they were inspired to chase their creative instincts at an early age.
At Adobe, we want to give young people access to creative role models they can relate to, which are in dangerously low supply in some communities.
Research conducted by Adobe found that more than half of German students want to pursue a creative profession but feel they don’t have mentors to help them. The same is true in France, where nearly half of students say the people in their lives actively dissuade them from chasing a creative career. And in an all-too-familiar refrain, the barrier is even higher for people from minority ethnic backgrounds, with two-thirds of BAME students saying they struggle to find role models in creative industries.
Here’s the thing, creative leaders want to help young people get over these roadblocks. Our research also revealed that 80 percent of professionals working in creative industries would happily dedicate time to upskilling the next generation of students pursuing a creative career.
Adobe believes in a world built on creativity for all. That’s why we launched our Love the Journey campaign with award-winning rapper, actor, and role model, Little Simz. To show young people that with the right mentors and tools at their disposal, a creative career is in everyone’s reach. In her exclusive film for Adobe, Little Simz pens a heart-warming letter to her mother, thanking her for the time and love she put into nurturing her creativity as a child.
I’m grateful to have this immense talent join Adobe on our mission, and she’s not the only one. Also taking part in our campaign is Samuel Douek, a music video director for Little Mix as well as David Guetta – who set aside years of higher education to pursue his filmmaking career – Derin Adetosoye, the acclaimed YouTube personality and presenter for the Formula E World Championship, and a growing list of talented individuals from around the world.
Don’t get me wrong, there is immense value in math, science, and traditional academia, and I encourage young people to pursue any career or passion that inspires them. But the reality is that creativity and the arts are often treated as an afterthought, and we at Adobe believe students should be exposed to a full spectrum of career possibilities at this crucial moment in their lives.
The beautiful thing about education is that it’s a lifelong process. If you’ll allow me a cliché, the journey is always more valuable than the destination. It’s the bumps and twists in the road that mark and shape us. This is especially true in the creative community, which tends to value constant evolution and the broadening of perspectives.
Creative inspiration matters today more than ever. A notion we celebrated last week with our global creative conference Adobe MAX. The pandemic has been a blow to young people, forcing them to deal with an interruption to their education and creative journey at a seminal moment in their lives. Rather than seeing this as an insurmountable barrier, let’s show them what it really is: a perfect opportunity to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and start a creative journey they will love every step of the way.