Creating healthy and successful futures via creativity

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Creating healthy and successful futures via creativityCreating healthy and successful futures via creativity
Date13th Dec 2021AuthorChloe CombiCategoriesStudent Life

When people ask us why we set up Untitled by Talenthouse, the reasons are many; opportunities for young people, levelling the professional playing field, establishing a much-needed creative outlet, and setting up links between world-class brands and a community of young creatives are top of the list. But it was also a response to the mental health crisis our young people found themselves in. As a result of lack of opportunity and anxiety about the future, there is an epidemic of mental health issues - anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm - that are afflicting the nation’s young. But they are also tired of having their challenges reiterated and are keen for real-world, effective solutions. 

We hope that Untitled by Talenthouse will provide those solutions, actually tackling the biggest problems facing young people in the creative sector - the difficulty of getting meaningful work experience, making valuable professional connections, expanding and enriching one’s personal portfolio, and being noticed by major brands - whilst also putting creativity and the arts at the heart of our work. I work closely with a huge number of young people, and I’ve found the ‘why’ and ‘how’ approach to young people’s challenges is far more productive than constantly telling them that the planet is on fire or that they’ll never get a job, so what’s the point in trying? 

The modern focus on productivity and success probably doesn’t get as much attention as social media addiction or the cost of housing in explaining anxiety and depression in young people, but it is a huge and often missed factor. In just a few short few years, young people have been fed and have digested this notion that the only things that matter are how successful, productive, and wealthy they are going to be, and that if they want to be those things only a few subjects and career paths will lead them to the shiny, rich promised land. 

Education, and state education in particular (usually unwillingly), has started to reflect this hard, capitalist ideology and there have been brutal cuts to the arts, creative subjects, and pretty much anything that is seen as unlikely to create the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs. And this is insanity for several reasons; first and foremost, there are millions of brilliant young creatives who will never get to discover their creative gifts or passions because they’ve been terrorised into focusing on what I call the ‘money subjects.’ This in turn diminishes the future of our creative industries – theatre, music, literature, poetry, painting, sculpture, fashion, design – all industries we have a rich and proud tradition of in this country. 

Creativity and self-discovery are as essential to development as a good diet and love, and we are robbing entire future generations of those very things. In fact, we are now at a point where unless you or your parents have the money to seek out creative interests privately or you go to a school wealthy enough to be able to sustain creative and arts subjects, you may scarcely get a chance to pick up a paintbrush or walk on a stage. When you consider the magnitude of this, and what it means, the ‘why’ becomes an incredibly easy question – of course young people are stressed and sad! 

But saying all this doesn’t fix the problem and one must next ask ‘How do we fix this?’ Young people desperately want creativity, and they desperately want creative careers, but they also want to be able to survive and thrive and have the kind of confidence in a creative career path that might be offered by one in tech. The number of young people I’ve met in the last decade who’ve told me they’d like to be an actor or graphic designer, but worry about not just how they’ll be perceived, but whether they’ll be able to survive, is depressingly high. 

For over twelve years, Talenthouse has been creating career opportunities and partnerships for millions of adult creatives, which is why we created Untitled by Talenthouse. Untitled is the youth arm of Talenthouse, and its goals are clear: to reignite how seriously the Arts and creative subjects are taken, give as many young people as possible, irrespective of economic or social background, access to creative opportunity, and give young people access to and a first taste of creative industries that can be challenging to get into. There are so many huge global brands which recognise the importance of nurturing young, diverse talent and they often struggle to target young people, who might not always have the confidence to put themselves forward. So Untitled by Talenthouse will be working with these brands to develop creative briefs and simultaneously develop a broad and exciting community of young creatives who can put their work and themselves forward. 

No one idea or organisation can fix huge problems, but if we all try, we can start to come up with workable solutions, and Untitled by Talenthouse gives young people the chance to be creative in all kinds of exciting ways, and ways that might lead to a career path young people have been pressured into stop dreaming about or pursuing. 

Visit https://untitled.talenthouse.com/ for more information, and get in touch at hello.untitled@talenthouse.com.

Chloe Combi, author of this blog, is an ambassador for Untitled by Talenthouse, and an education writer, author of Generation Z: Their Voices, Their Lives.

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