The COVID-19 crisis has jolted almost all business sectors, and the creative industry was not granted an exemption from it. The entire creative value chain was directly impacted. The pandemic has become critical especially for the freelance professionals and micro-businesses whose projects and events were either cancelled or at a standstill. The blowback on revenue losses, potential income or earnings and lost opportunities is magnifying and is hitting every creative artist’s financial condition. While the workforce innovates to survive, the creative community on a global scale now calls for government support to help them rebound to recovery in terms of business continuity policies and measures that will allow them reshape their business and navigate the new normal economy.
The Creative World
For some strands of the creative sector, photography, fashion designing, styling, hair/makeup artistry, and event planning services have become a resurgence of interest for the past innumerable years. Trends are set in every mien of human culture, and these sectors under the cultural and related domains of the creative industry have not only introduced a nuanced and pliable approach to arts, but have also created a curve to move the economy forward in the past years.
Regardless of demographic factors, people want to stay relevant especially in today’s social media platforms where people are free-spoken and spirited. This is where the role of trends in clothing, photography, hair-makeup, production and event planning services are weighed in a scale of relevance. The products and services offered by the creative industry are now becoming an agenda for self-expression both for the consumers and the creative enterprises. This is the reason why people pay attention to this type of industry, and how social media has fueled the growth of creative economies.
While there is a paradox that it is for some more of an art, a passion rather than a revenue, there is undeniably a potential amount of economic opportunity that is realizable in terms of capitalizing on the trends set by each segment. Even the idea of promoting our social values and cultural heritage based on the type of art created by each sector would make a way for an artist to monetize his or her creativity or artistry.
Art is an annex of every artist’s trade name and blends amply with business. Capitalizing on the trends through artistic creations is a way to diversify revenue streams. Indeed, the opportunity for the creative workforce has boosted the top line and artists have their fingers on the pulse of market trends. In the Philippines, artists are springing up not only in its densely commercial capital Manila, but also in provinces like Pampanga, were artists have introduced their own segment of market. Some of whom are now highly recognized not only in their own local trading area, but also regionally even globally in significant cluster.
The creative class has both commercial and cultural value. It matters more than ever. In fact, governments worldwide, including Philippines through an interest from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), have recognized this dual worth and urged the government to prioritize developing their creative economies as an economic diversification strategy. This aims to boost the country’s economic growth and to promote its cultural identity and heritage. This remains a high expectation for the creative sector as it hopes for a significant design, recovery or development policies from the government that will help alleviate the adverse impact and identify new opportunities.
With the change in situational context, the creative workforce meantime continue to capitalize on their talents, collaborating with other segments and setting new normal trends in the market that will help them revamp their business and enrich their creativity.
Creative industry connects people
In this time of confinement and isolation, it is the innovation of the creative professionals that helps connect people. The cultural and creative contents produced by each player have become a coping method and a form of communication contributing to the mental health and well-being of people affected by the sanitary crisis. It enriches the society with information and influences those who need bracing, changes one’s perspective in life, helps reduce the stigma and stress caused by the pandemic. Lest it be overlooked that the creative industry is a sector significant not only in terms of economic contribution, but also in cultural promotion and as a source of knowledge, social values & integration.
Relevantly, Philippines ranked among Asia’s Top 10 fastest growing economies. The creative industry may not be the major growth economic driver, but has become an interesting strategic segment that has jacked up other sectors of the economy. The beauty or cosmetic sector amounts to Usd5.676m last year and was forecasted to post a “healthy” compounded annual growth rate of 2.4% for the next five years (CAGR 2019-2023)
The revenue in Clothing Fashion is expected to generate an annual rate of 9.9% that would result in a market volume of Usd334m by 2023; growth in Hotels is estimated to post a revenue of Usd663m Year-On-Year (YOY) with an annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 12.5% resulting in a market volume of Usd1.060m by 2023; Visual Arts (Cultural Domain) which includes Photography amounts to Usd37m in revenue in 2019 and is expected to score an annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 11.2% resulting in a market volume of Usd56m by 2023; other Creative Services such as Event Planning or Interior Designing is enabling the progress of new markets.
With COVID-19 put those affected in economic quagmire, these core forecasts may change what was supposed to be an interesting, potential financial and reputational growth in the creative industry. While the current crisis has changed our collective calculus of uncertainty, it will always be significant to consider that the matrix for economic expansion shall still come from industries intensive in creativity, innovation, talent, and education. Of course, this glosses why the creative sector has been pooled for promotion by investing countries who see that there is future economic and cultural value on it.
//Data Sources : Global Data Consumer Research and Analysis; Statista Global Consumer Survey; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco); Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy