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Teens have talent but creativity crumbles with age

Authored by Mary
Posted: Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 20:31

Seventeen-years-old is the age when our creativity peaks, according to a survey out today by BIC®, the leading stationery brand in Europe, similarly those in Plymouth think that their creativity also peaks at 17-years-old.  After this, British adults let their creativity die with a staggering 63% of over 30s claiming their talents have fallen by the wayside.

However, of those surveyed in Plymouth, nearly a third of people argued that they are still very much creative.

Researchers took a detailed look into the nation’s creative talents, aspirations and regrets – and revealed one in five Brits over the age of 30 had a talent as a youngster that they now regret not pursuing into adulthood. Only 11% admitted they weren’t that talented even as a child. Of those surveyed in Plymouth, people were divided with 29% saying that they had a creative talent which they definitely regretted pursuing and 29% claiming that their creativity is still going strong. 42% of people felt that they had a creative talent that they didn’t pursue but accepted that it was something that happens when you grow up.

Furthermore 77% of people in Plymouth admitted that they had never pursued a creative career, however if they had, nearly a fifth of those surveyed would have chosen to be a photographer, unlike Cambridge where 19% of people would have chosen to be a songwriter.

Of the 1,500 people questioned, 17% said they excelled at drama and dancing and 34% still dream of treading the boards as performer. Nearly a quarter (24%), cited strong story-writing and artistic skills as two of the talents Brits have failed to develop. 21% boasted they used to be able to play a musical instrument to a high standard or possessed a great singing voice.

Comparatively, nearly a quarter of people in Plymouth said that they had a fantastic singing voice, unlike 26% of those from Cardiff who boasted that they could play a musical instrument to a high standard.

Busy lives, hectic schedules (26%), and family commitments (20%) were hailed as the main excuses for not pursuing a creative career. Over a third felt they just weren’t good at it anymore, the poll by BIC® found.

Advances in technology might also play a role, with a staggering 85% saying they are much more likely to reach for their phone or tablet than pick up a pen to sketch or write.

Of those surveyed in Plymouth, the figure was slightly higher with 87% reaching for their phone. The age group where this was most clear in was 18-44 years in Britain, with only 12% picking up a pen in favour of a Smart device.

Joanna Hollins, Head of Marketing for BIC® who conducted the research commented: “It’s a shame that so many adults who harboured talents as youngsters haven’t pursued them in to adulthood. We believe it’s really important to support the next generation of writers and artists, which is why we launched the BIC® Write and Shine competition, to give a young songwriter a foot in the door of the music industry.”

The BIC® Write and Shine competition asked budding songwriters aged 13 to 24 to hand write their own original song and received hundreds of entries.

18-year-old Lily Finlay from West Yorkshire took the prize – which included working with platinum-selling music producer, Andy Whitmore (whose previous collaborations include Elton John and Atomic Kitten) and performing on the main stage at The Big Feastival on Saturday 26 August - with a song she wrote aged 13, two weeks after getting her first guitar and teaching herself to play.

“Lily will need to nurture her talent if our research is anything to go by, but it was encouraging to see hundreds of youngsters aged between 13-24 years old, picking up a pen and letting their creativity shine,” Joanna Hollins continued.

Of those questioned in Plymouth who had children, 90% felt it’s very important to let their children express themselves creatively and only 10% admitted they don’t currently encourage their kids’ creativity, but could push them to do more.

Joanna Hollins concluded: “Whilst it’s easy to understand how the daily grind and our busy lives take over, if you genuinely have a gift for writing songs or stories, drawing or playing an instrument, it should be encouraged. It would be great to see more than 28% of the population trying to pursue a career that cultivates their talent.”


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