VOXI by Vodafone, the mobile network for young people, has today launched Eyes On, a new competition to find the nation’s hottest new artists and give them their big break. The initiative follows new research which shows over half (51%) of aspiring young creatives are worried about a lack of opportunities in the creative industries due to the impact of the pandemic.
Illustrators across the UK can apply to VOXI Eyes On from today, giving one lucky winner the chance to collaborate with VOXI and have their work featured on its social channels, website and T-shirt merch. They will also have their work sold on home, living and lifestyle retail platform Fy! for six months and receive a £2,000 cash prize.
In addition, they will win one-to-one mentoring with illustrator Manjit Thapp, and Jimmy Lee, Creative Product Lead at Instagram and an expert in platform growth, to help build their brand and following on social.
VOXI is also offering three finalists the chance to have their work promoted on its social media and online platforms, win a £1,000 cash prize, and have the opportunity for future collaborations with VOXI.
The research, commissioned by VOXI and surveying 16–24-year-olds, indicates that with fewer job opportunities available in 2021, 77% of Gen Z now think social media plays a crucial role in building a successful brand and career, and are using social platforms for their creative ventures. 35% of young people are posting creative work online or on social media and one third (33%) have an online side hustle (an online activity outside of a day job that helps you make more money).
In addition, half of aspiring artists (48%) think they would generate the most income from selling their work on social media. Three-in-10 (31%) young people are looking to set up their own business in the future, and nearly two thirds (64%) of them say they are more likely to do this on social media, rather than through traditional methods like hiring premises and opening a physical shop.
With over one third (37%) of Gen Z now saying they would like a career in the creative industries, VOXI is offering young creators an important kickstart in the industry and social exposure with its Eyes On illustrators initiative.
Scott Currie, Head of VOXI, said: “We know it has been an incredibly difficult year, especially for the creative industry and for the many young people looking to start their career as an illustrator. By launching Eyes On and offering Endless data across social media platforms, we hope we can encourage young people across the UK to showcase their talent and help them to find the inspiration and support they need to thrive in a sector they love.”
Molly Pusey, Vice-President of Supply at Fy!, said: “We are passionate about supporting artists, enabling them to monetise their passions and generate revenue from their creativity by selling to a global audience through Fy!.
“Our team is always on the lookout for exciting artistic talent that our customers will love and we’re so excited to be able to discover some new talent through this competition with VOXI. We can’t wait to see what these aspiring young creatives come up with and give them the opportunity to see their works for sale on the Fy! platform.”
To get involved, young artists will have to submit a digital wallpaper design inspired by VOXI’s brand identity: Be Endless. Their artworks will be reviewed by some of the top names in illustration, including creative hybrid Jonny Costello, founder of Adult Art Club, which has created artwork for figures such as Ed Sheeran and One Direction; mixed media artist Manjit Thapp; quirky and bright SuperFreak; peaceful and positive Poppy Crew; and Molly Pusey at home, living and lifestyle retail platform Fy!.
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