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iStock's Free the Creative survey: Is creativity under threat?

Chris Dickman Thu, 09/26/2013 - 08:50

That's the conclusion of the fourteen-year-old stock content site, which as part of the Getty Images empire dominates the microstock side of the royalty-free vector illustration, video, music and sound effect market. Released in conjunction with this week's Advertising Week 2013 in New York City, the survey is interesting although its conclusions should be taken with a grain of salt, since they're based on responses from an online survey completed by just 400 creative industry professionals in the US and UK, hardly representative of the world of global creatives.

Here's what we're told are some of the key findings. Creativity rarely happens in the workplace: Only one in three (34 percent) rate the workplace as one of their top three locations for creativity. During the commute (34 percent), in the shower or bath (25 percent) or during exercise (22 percent) are other favored places and times for inspiration. Technology offers an opportunity to unlock creativity: Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of creatives believe that new tools and technologies have enabled them to be more creative in the workplace. Creatives seek artistic opportunities outside of work: Half of those surveyed are photographers in their spare time, while nearly a third (30 percent) looks to writing, drawing or painting as a creative outlet.

In other news, water is wet. So while "creatives," whatever they are, no doubt have real concerns, iStock seems to have taken the lazy way out by not posing hard questions and restricting participation to a tiny US/UK group, ultimately rending the results of little interest. Oh well, the infographic looks nice enough and will no doubt get some social media exposure. Job done? Perhaps. But we expected more from a market leader like iStock.