2020 has been a tough year but I believe it is setting the stage for a creative boom in 2021.
As challenging as the COVID-19 lockdowns have been, they forced many of us to slow down a bit. That quiet time is likely to spark a lot of creativity in the months to come. I anticipate that many creatives will look back at this period as an incubation period for big ideas that will shape the work they do in the next few years.
Many of us have become far more adept in using technology since the pandemic out of necessity. I believe we’re going to see a lot of creativity in the coming year on this front, especially in using tools for videoconferencing and communicating remotely. The Zoom events we saw at the beginning of the pandemic were a lot different from those we’ve been seeing now. People keep experimenting with how to make them better. Imagine how much more interesting and entertaining they’ll be in a few months, as the organizers try to stay five steps ahead of “Zoom fatigue.”
There’s another trend I think will be significant for creatives: An entrepreneurial boom. With the workplace in flux, Americans have been starting businesses at a record pace. I believe that trend is going to be very pronounced in creative fields in 2021. Many people who worked on staff at big agencies have built confidence in their own capacity to work remotely since the lockdowns. Some are going to realize they will have more flexibility and earning capacity in their own freelance business or agency and leave the 9-to-5 behind. Others may respond to downsizing at their company by starting a business, rather than trying to look for a job in the crazy business environment we’re in right now. Some of these new businesses may end up serving other small businesses that are launching in the pandemic. That’ll be good for the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
With vaccines for the Coronavirus around the corner, I’m optimistic that the world will open back up again in 2021. Once that happens, we’re going to see an explosion of pent-up energy. I can’t wait to see how the creative industry puts that to work.