Future of Creativity: What's Next and How to Stay Ahead
The creative industry is growing at an incredible pace, from new software, advancements in technology, plug-ins, and creative tools. If you don't continue to think towards the future and utilize these new tools available, you'll surely get left in the creative dust.
So we're constantly evolving and constantly teaching ourselves new things. It's fun to play anyways, isn't it?!
Here's a look at the future of creativity:
I'm James Grosch, and I'm a writer at Elevation. I've seen a lot of new technologies hit the market over the years, and AI-writing tools are no exception. As a professional writer, I'm always looking for ways to streamline my workflow and increase my productivity, so I'm always curious about new technologies that could help me achieve those goals.
When it comes to AI-writing tools, I'm both excited and apprehensive. On one hand, I'm intrigued by the idea of having access to an unlimited pool of ideas, and the potential for AI-writing tools to help me craft compelling stories and content faster. On the other hand, I worry that AI-writing tools could become a crutch, and that relying on them could lead to a decrease in the quality of my work.
Ultimately, I think the key is to use AI-writing tools as a supplement to my skills as a writer, rather than a replacement. AI-writing tools can be a great resource for helping me come up with ideas, but I need to be able to put my own spin on them and make them my own. I also need to be mindful of the fact that AI-writing tools are far from perfect, and I need to be willing to make corrections and edits when necessary.
All in all, I'm cautiously optimistic about the potential for AI-writing tools. I'm excited to see what the future holds, and I'm ready to embrace this technology as a powerful weapon in my writing arsenal.
Header Image — Midjourney: "A giant computer screen with an AI face towering over a writer at their desk trying to...Read more
This post written by Elevation's Director of Strategy, Brett Rakestraw, was originally published on The Daily Brief.
When thinking about the future, I often consider these words from design legend, Brian Collins.“Future-proofing is silly. It’s like waterproofing. Why would you protect against the future? Don’t talk about future-proofing, talk about future-making.” At Elevation, we imagine the future through a similar lens, one where we follow our mantra to “outdare gravity.” Gravity is our antagonist. It represents the things that get us down or hold us back—antiquated ideas, fear of uncertainty or the “just get it done” attitude. Our purpose is not to eliminate or detach from gravity, but it is instead to outdare it – to tilt the balance a little towards the side of creative freedom, adventure and lightness of spirit.
With this in mind, we at Elevation have encountered some recent concerns in the artistic world over the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). So we thought it was worth discussing, and to explain why we, as a creative company, see AI as an extension of our ever-growing curiosity, and all of the ways it can enhance our and our clients’ creative experiences.
AI has been subtly influencing our creative work for years through technical tools such as automated photo retouching. But this is different. A new generation of AI text-to-image generators has arrived with two platforms – DALL•E and Midjourney – recently getting a lot of attention. They’ve been making...Read more
Any definition of the eventual metaverse includes the emergence of 3D modeled virtual world platforms to explore. While plenty of virtual worlds already exist in the gaming community, there are a smaller set of new players using the blockchain to add digital ownership rights and more interoperable features that will help bring the metaverse into reality.
We recently wrote about Decentraland, one of the first virtual world platforms on the blockchain. Today, we’ll cover The Sandbox, a newer entry into the market with significant hype and high hopes for success.While Decentraland was conceived in 2017 with the initial rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchains, The Sandbox has a slightly different history. The Sandbox was initially created in 2012 as a mobile game, and claims over 40 million downloads of the original application. But in 2018, right around the time of Decentraland’s launch, development began on a blockchain version of the Sandbox ecosystem. In early 2020 public “LAND” sales began in waves with each parcel represented by an NFT. At the time of writing, The Sandbox has sold roughly 67% of the 166,464 total LAND parcels on the primary market, opening up new sections for sale each quarter.
The Sandbox map overview
While land parcels in Decentraland are scaled around the size of a typical residential land parcel, about 65ft x 65ft, the land parcels in The Sandbox are roughly 5x larger at about 315ft x 315ft. This is more conducive to a game play environment where a...Read more
The first question that comes up when discussing the metaverse is generally, “what is the metaverse?” Right now, that’s not an easy question to answer. Depending on who you ask, the metaverse may just be a buzzword that never materializes or it may be a future virtual world with an economy rivaling the physical world. Others say we are already in the metaverse, and ubiquitous connectivity tools like Zoom are representations as such.One of the more hotly debated topics swirls around the idea that the metaverse is, or will be, a system of interconnected virtual world platforms that we spend our days immersed in through VR headsets. And, there are loads of companies, large and small, all clamoring to build the virtual cities of our fully digital future. Major players like Roblox and Fortnite are sometimes cited here, but while they claim many millions of highly engaged users, they currently lack much of the open infrastructure that metaverse proponents are pushing for. On the other hand, new platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland offer more open access and some levels of interoperability that could serve as foundational models for the eventual metaverse.
Today, we’ll take a look at Decentraland, what it offers, what it’s missing, and how brands are taking advantage of the platform for activations in the nascent metaverse and web3.
Decentraland was first pitched in 2017 as a virtual world platform on the blockchain. The founders set out to build a democratized platform...Read more
When I saw the early tests for AI image generation using text prompts, I was both excited and underwhelmed. These early experiments generated very low-res, mainly fuzzy shapes and blobs of color that could be just about anything if you squint hard enough. But, just a few years later, those fuzzy blobs began to take true form.
It was early 2021, when OpenAI’s DALL•E text-to-image generator was announced. OpenAI first made waves with an impressive natural language text generator called GPT-3. That tool generates text so convincing, it’s hard to tell it apart from human-generated content. Case in point, GPT-3 wrote the end of that last sentence for me. The team at OpenAI used a modified version of the GPT model to explore image creation in what would become DALL•E. And, very much like GPT-3, news of DALL•E turned a lot of heads. The results of some of OpenAI’s prompts, although admittedly cherry-picked, were beyond anything I could’ve imagined to that point. You might’ve seen a group of images depicting an “armchair in the shape of an avocado” that quickly went viral, not just because the images looked like real photos, but because there were dozens of unique avocado shaped chair designs that didn’t even exist in the real world.
The idea of creating convincing images with basic text inputs was quite compelling, especially for those of us whose jobs revolve around constant creative output. Immediate use cases came to mind for storyboarding and scene building. The problem?...Read more
When the NFT craze began to take off in the spring of 2021, most people didn’t know that NFTs had been quietly trading for years already. So, most people had never heard of CryptoKitties, a sort of NFT trading card game, and one of the first ‘hit’ NFT projects.Originally released in November of 2017, CryptoKitties took the tight-knit Ethereum community by storm, becoming one of the most popular NFT projects across that blockchain in 2018 and launching some of the NFT smart contract standards that we use today. The CryptoKitties team spun out in 2018 to form Dapper Labs, the company behind the very successful NBA Top Shot marketplace that helped spark the 2021 NFT explosion. One particular CryptoKitties super fan was Jordan Castro, known online as Poopie, the eventual co-founder of Doodles. Castro’s love of CryptoKitties led him to co-create a community tool for CryptoKitties traders that ultimately landed him a job at Dapper Labs on the CryptoKitties team. While working on CryptoKitties, Castro met his eventual co-founder, Evan Kearst.
An idea emerges
By early 2021, Castro and Kearst were outlining ideas for a DAO NFT project, giving the community complete control from the beginning. However, evolving conversations would lead them down a slightly different path.While working on a consulting job, Kearst met the illustrator and NFT creator, Burnt Toast, aka Scott Martin. Kearst loved the unique style and pastel colors represented in Martin’s work and soon enough, Martin was...Read more
It’s been just over a year since the digital artist known as Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million dollars. While some saw this as a sign of the future, others questioned the idea of a future full of overpriced jpegs. But the truth is, both the ridiculous price and the jpeg itself are misdirections here. The NFT represents an entirely new way for people to connect with, invest in, and rally behind the things they love. And guess what? Brands need people to love them.
Beeple Everydays: The First 5000 Days - Photo Source: Christie's
When the Beeple NFT sale happened, most brand managers had probably never heard of NFTs, but then again, most brands aren’t Taco Bell. Maybe they were gathering intel from the late night drive-thru chatter, but Taco Bell actually launched their first NFT series just before Beeple broke the blogosphere. While some might accuse Taco Bell of trying to get a quick PR hit, they managed to call dibs on being the first major brand in the NFT world. Since then, several brands have tested the NFT waters with varying degrees of success, and occasionally, abject failure. But, the brands that are getting it right are the ones that understand the bigger implications of NFTs and how they will change marketing, brand building, and even brand ownership in the future. Here’s how brands are getting NFTs right.
Purpose & Transparency
Consumers are looking more and more for their brands to stand behind a cause and build a culture of giving. Believe it or not, NFTs and...Read more
An airdrop, in the cryptocurrency world, is a marketing tactic that involves distributing coins or tokens to promote and raise awareness for a new virtual currency. This is similar to a giveaway to keep players involved and engaged, and in return, the players are usually asked to promote their service via social media. Could this be … the new influencer marketing?
Augmented reality combines the real world with the virtual world. It allows for real-time interaction and precise 3D registration of virtual and real objects. In the crypto world, augmented reality has an important relationship with NFTs. AR NFTs incorporate AR components, such as being able to see digital items in your surroundings or on your face/body.
An avatar is a digital representation of a user. The term PFP (or profile picture) can sometimes be used interchangeably when used in the context of a social media icon. In metaverse spaces, avatars can give a player or user a "body" in virtual worlds in order to interact with the virtual space around them
Blockchain is a type of immutable database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. They are best known for the role that they play in cryptocurrency, as they maintain a secure and decentralized record of transactions. Blockchains guarantee security of data, generating trust without the need for a third party.
Cryptocurrency, often called crypto, is an exchange medium that is digital,...Read more
For creatives, we may not be thinking about how the art we are creating or engaging with is having a direct impact on our life. And even for individuals who claim to be non-creative, art that you come in contact with is impacting you too. The connection between our brains and art leaves a more positive, powerful impact than we realize. Countless studies have been done regarding the link between mental health and creativity. Let’s dive in to understand the relationship between the two.
What Really is Creativity?
Creativity. In your head, you are probably thinking that you have an exact understanding of it, and words like painting, writing, and drawing are coming to mind. But, the definition and concept of creativity is a difficult thing to wrap your brain around. In sophisticated terms, creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods, or objects. Creativity is a skill that is specific and different for every individual. For some, this might come naturally, and for others it may not, but everyone has some sort of creative flair or edge. Second, creativity pushes the limits of the mainstream ways of thinking and acting. It breaks barriers and challenges those comfort zones. Lastly, it goes beyond these barriers and develops new ideas and things.
Saying that creativity may be one of the most important attributes to one’s life is not an overstatement. It might just be an understatement. Creativity...Read more
2021 has been the year of digital resilience. The global pandemic changed the advertising world as we know it, and the old-school rules no longer apply. Brands must prove to be digitally successful, have identity systems to provide customization at a large scale and have infrastructure set up to provide meaningful and relevant user experiences.
Consumers have always led the way, but this might prove to be true now more than ever. As our world shifts back to this “new normal” and we begin to shift outside of our homes again, consumer behavior will continue to change. The adoption of digital technologies by all generations was dramatically sped up by the pandemic. Budgets are being moved to digital devices in order to stay on top of the trends and in front of consumers. With this increasing growth of mobile use, grabbing consumers’ attention while they are using multiple devices at the same time will be important. Diversifying media types within campaigns will become a key part in engaging the consumer.
Let’s take a look into what we might expect to see in 2022:
Hybrids Events and Experiences
Online events might be here to stay, due to the fact that you can increase your reach and maximize the capacity of your event to its full potential. With a hybrid event, the mix of in-person and online guests makes this option the best of both worlds. Aside from reaching massive audiences, hybrid events also allow for lower costs, higher engagement, increased marketing and sponsorship...Read more
In part two of our series, we covered commerce in the metaverse. In part three, we talked about communities. In our final installment, we’re going to look at some of the brands that have already dipped their toes in the metaverse space and some that have fully embraced the new direction we are heading. But, how can brands know the best ways to enter into a space that hasn’t yet been fully defined? The short answer is that they can’t. In much the same way that brands had to learn to navigate the web in the early days, the same goes for the metaverse. Undoubtedly, some brands will make missteps and handle their early metaverse experiences poorly. Others will find great success with the right insights, and maybe a dash of luck to boot.
But, the brands that don’t engage early enough stand a chance to be left behind, not just by other traditional brands who get it right, but also by the wave of digitally native upstart brands that are firmly rooted in the ecosystem and have the ability to adapt quickly in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Let’s review some of the ways that brands have made an impact on the metaverse for better or for worse, and look at opportunities for brands to start getting involved now.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Tweets
As we’ve covered extensively in this series, NFTs are the property deeds of the metaverse. The whole idea of verifiable digital ownership, with built-in scarcity, is being developed through the proliferation of NFTs and they are setting the...Read more
The metaverse is here, and it is already making huge waves. From art to gaming to sports collectibles, several industries are seeing seismic shifts in how communities interact, how creators get paid, and how brands can engage with their fans and customers. Much like how the advent of both the internet and social media radically redefined our digital lives, the metaverse has the potential to have a similar impact on how we interface with each other.
The event industry is a prime sector to see the positive impact of the metaverse in action. Here are a few ways we think the next wave of internet technology will have a transformative effect on events, both in-person and virtual.
Enhanced Virtual Events
As 3D digital spaces are a major component of the metaverse, virtual events leveraging the metaverse promise to be more engrossing and engaging. Rather than a series of streamed presentations and Zoom calls, virtual events can offer a space for attendees to explore and interact. This can mimic the experience of going to an event, and lead to more spontaneity for the event-goer. But, there’s so much more potential than recreating the experience of going to an expo hall. Virtual 3D spaces can give an event a unique presentation that would be impossible just through video streaming or financially impractical if done in the real world. A 60 foot tall Ariana Grande performing would definitely be out of scope of most events’ budgets. But it happened in her wildly popular Fortnite...Read more
Right now, we are building the infrastructure for the metaverse. Not just the hardware and software infrastructure, and not just the economic infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, we are building the cultural infrastructure. A new type of community is emerging through an ‘ownership economy’, where brands, celebrities, and fans commingle and share, sometimes equally, in the success of a project. A theme of decentralization is changing the way consumers think about the brands and entertainment that they love, where everyone has a chance to shape the story.If we are building the metaverse, these communities are its town squares, and it’s a good idea to jump into the conversation.
Is this the new social media?
Social media is generally considered the primary communication layer of the internet. If Web 1.0 gave us information, then Web 2.0 gave us communication. But, while early internet bulletin boards and chat rooms connected small groups of like-minded people, social media is a fire hose of information that sometimes struggles to generate real connections. Perhaps worse, there is no incentive for people to get along on social media. Of course, there are many social media groups that create a positive experience for their communities, but the overall social media landscape can be overwhelming and lacking in coherency to many.Before we get too far, it’s worth mentioning that the size of the NFT and metaverse community is still relatively small, so it will face many...Read more
The rise of the digital age has brought with it massive growth in countless industries and generated wealth for millions of people in its path, from software engineers to social media influencers. The e-commerce sector saw $4.2 trillion in retail sales last year, according to Statista. But, for as much time as we spend online, we don’t spend nearly as much money on digital goods. All of this is beginning to change. Technology advancements are accelerating. We’re just starting to get a picture of the next version of our digital selves, and this time, there’s a possibility for a massive digital economy to thrive. This is the metaverse. And, even though it’s in its infancy, it’s becoming more real by the day. I won’t claim to know what the mature metaverse will look like or what bumps, à la the dot com bust, it might face. But, the groundwork for the metaversal economy is taking form already, thanks to blockchains, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and gaming. If gaming is the only word that makes sense in that group, I’ve got you. Let’s talk about commerce in the metaverse.
Isn’t there a free version?
A lot of people over a certain age complain about paying $1.99 for a mobile app when they’ll pay $6 for a cup of coffee. I think this is in large part due to the fact that many digital goods are so freely available and copyable. In the Napster era, all music was free. Whether that was ethical, or good for artists, it didn’t matter, it was free. A lot of people under a certain age have...Read more
Welcome to the first installment in our 4 part series on the metaverse, and how it’s already affecting brands in some profound ways. If you’re sick of hearing about the Metaverse, I’d encourage you to find and replace all “metaverse” references in this article with Cat Cafe.
The reality is, a lot of people are talking about the metaverse these days. It seems we’re entering the metaverse era without fully understanding what it actually is. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the pace of innovation increase at such a rate that we are building a whole new digital world faster than we can even define it.
What is the Metaverse
The Metaverse isn’t a single platform, technology, or community. And, it won’t be built or owned by one company. Instead, it’s a somewhat loose concept that encompasses the latest and future innovations in computer hardware, internet connectivity, virtual platforms, digital currency, and content. Some might define it by the level of immersiveness in a VR virtual world - something like the virtual world and namesake for the Metaverse envisioned by Neil Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi novel, “Snow Crash.” Or, like the limitless Oasis from Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One.” Others would say we are already in the metaverse - that the amount of time we spend in the digital realm, from virtual meetings over Zoom to chasing around AR Pokemon characters in mobile games, is enough to classify us as metaverse residents today.I believe we’re somewhere in between....Read more