Future of Work Trends in Arts

by paradoxig

Depending on the region & definition, the creative sectors employ from
1% to 15% of the workforce – in South Africa was 6.7% in 2015,
10% in Brazil or US,
and 5% in EU. (OECD).
Obviously, these percentages were highly affected by Covid, with some industries suffering losses over 80% (theater and performative arts or music), with 31% losses across sectors at least in the EU. Like with any other industry, the effects of the pandemic will persist after the health crisis.
The tendency is for digitalization, digitalization, digitalization: with 3D digital game art, fashion technology, graphic design technology, jewelry and visual merchandising skills represented in the WorldSkills. And if you don’t believe that “digital is the way”, just take a look at the new crazy sales of digital arts and collectibles – a field considered once marginal, but now due to blockchain technology is able to generate huge revenues.

Due to the non-repetitive nature of work, experts estimate that the sectors will be less affected by automatization compared with others. But, there will be definitely two emerging trends: the need to show a diverse portfolio of skills, multidisciplinarity and versatility to adapt quickly and a rise in freelancers work and GIG economy
So, whatever you do, start upskilling, be prepared to do freelance, and network- as the golden rule of “who knows whom” will apply. And if is necessary, start shifting to new industries. In one article we talked with a ballerina that entered the tech field.
Caitlin Hafer, the co-founder of What the Hack, told us that ballet and tech have many facets in common and how she used her arty skills in the tech industry.

Other industry trends that are here or coming include:

Ethics and Sustainability

There is a general tendency to move away from a huge consumerist attitude to a more purpose-driven ethical branding.
So, in the future, the supply-chain for products will become more and more visible, and the business model will shift towards circular economies.
A bigger discussion on the topic of intersection between the circular economy, fashion, and technology, we had with Circular Fashion Detective Marije de Roos, founder of Positive Fibers.
Alongside the circular business model, special attention will be given to the use of sustainable fabrics.
As such, in the future, the fast fashion economy will transform into an ethically produce, slow fashion, with Zara already announced its plan to cut 1200 stores over the next two years. This entire transition to a more ethical market will definitely lead to new unknown creative roles.

Impact and Social Awareness

Impact Business is a trend requested, so, the creatives will not “escape”. Stories that focus on this dimension will definitely have Social engagement through stories with impact and creative arts can bring new ways to drive messages like social justice and sustainability.
For example, already a lot of creators support the UN Development Goals and purposefully include aspects of it in their work.
In the future, impactful stories such as Mi Sangre will be able to bring new modalities to reflect on our society.
On TechvangArt, we have highlighted some creators and the diversity of stories that they are bringing in:
imagining how AI will transform us (Anatola Araba, AI Algorithms),
how technology can impact history and stories (Hsin-Cheng Huang, Bodyless)
how to enter into mind of a person with autism (Sonja Bojic, Chocolate Milk)
or feel the wonderful world of people with synesthesia (Ola Pankratova, Synesthesia).


As technology evolves and it is made available to more and more people, it is easier than ever for anybody to become creative.
Apps such as Prisma or any other generative art app, make it easy to create nice-outstanding photos.
The risk of this emerging large creative class is the devaluation of professionals, that is why creatives are required to acquire future thinking skills in order to be able to navigate the changes that are coming.
As automation will replace hand skills tasks, creative roles transition to skilled use of tools to control robotics (e.g. fabric pattern cutting and pottery), software (e.g. audiovisual) or 3D printing craftwork.
New materials are used by architects, furniture and fashion designers, and knowledge of these will have a competitive advantage. AI-driven generative-technology will impact not only design and manufacturing, but also architecture. While in the gaming industry, more and more sophisticated AI will be used.

It is clear that the pandemic started a process of deep transformation of society, and the art, entertainment and creative industries will be transformed as well.
The post-Covid world will be a new world that will bring in the magic of technology, with new potential roles.
Nobody will be able to tell exactly the future, but it is clear, the all creatives will need to have a future-thinking attitude and to stay on the top of changes.

 For a more in details analysis about the future of work, we recommend:
The future of work after COVID-19 /Report by McKinsey & Company
Future Skills for the 2020s A New Hope /Report by  Global Education Futures & WorldSkills Russia support from WorldSkills International, and triggered by the COVID-19 crisis

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