Creative Wellbeing Insights

How creative minds manage stress and thrive in the creative industry

In 2024, a report on creative wellbeing was published by Emmi Salonen from Studio Emmi, creator of the Creative Ecosystem – a model designed to nurture and sustain creative wellbeing. She conducted research and published a report that presents findings from a survey gathering perspectives from people working in the creative industry. Below you can find the summary of her report and with some unique and relevant insights. 

The challenges of creative minds


Creative hurdles

The study establishes that designers face challenges in 4 main areas which are: motivation, management, innovation time and pay. The most prominent issue among the creatives turned out to be the lack of motivation which can be opposed either by external challenges of facing the difficulty of staying inspired in self-initiated endeavours. As many designers in one shape or form act as freelancers, it can be extremely difficult to find or create projects that can be initiated and completed efficiently. Working solo on projects can often put a restraint on innovation, pushing boundaries and exploring ideas. This is also paired with the lack of time and resources to start projects over in case of unsuccessful explorations.

“What I find most challenging is the competition present in the industry and the complexity of defining myself as a creative professional in a field in constant flux.”

The pressure to create on demand, coupled with unclear briefs, poor communication, irregular work hours, and project management issues, makes managing creative projects complex. Added to this, there’s often a lack of appreciation for creative work.

Negative stories

The research dives into how creatives perceive themselves in the work-creative environment. As found out, the large majority struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Many shared their personal experiences with self-doubt, fearing they were too slow, lacking creativity, or feeling out of touch. 

Despite these overwhelming feelings, some individuals have found solace in positive affirmations, transforming negativity by understanding its roots. For instance, what was once perceived as laziness was recognised as valuable thinking, resting, and daydreaming. Adopting such positive mantras has helped some to combat debilitating self-doubt and could be a small change and piece of encouragement that can help to build workplace confidence. 

It’s essential to become comfortable with challenging thoughts and feelings, acknowledging that most of us face similar internal conflicts. Finding a way to accept the doubt and feelings is what takes designers one step closer to finding the confidence and comfort in discomfort.

Finding the remedies to challenges

  • Define success

We yearn to be recognized for our efforts, and ultimately, we need to feel connected to others, our work and our selves, to be happy – and therefore successful. As long as our work supports us, and we feel happy and inspired in what we do, we can say we are succeeding.

  • Stay connected

Maintaining relationships and connections is vital for creativity as it exposes us to diverse perspectives and ideas, fosters collaboration, and provides emotional support, all of which are essential for stimulating creative thinking and generating innovative solutions.

  • Maintain inspiration

In order to grow and get inspired it’s vital to keep an open mind, continually learn, and share your thoughts, inspirations, and influences with others.

  • Create habits

Bringing awareness to oneself and making deliberate choices through reframing, changing, adding or stopping habits can have a profound impact on your happiness and contentment. Whether it’s swimming, spending time in nature, or even taking a brief moment to acknowledge the clouds above, these moments can bring balance, mindfulness, and rejuvenation.


To read more examples of other creatives and to find out all the ways to feel better and more comfortable among the creative industry, read the entire report by Emmi here!


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