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The Rise of the Planet of the Creatives

In 2005, Etsy made a splash, allowing anyone with knitting needles to reach an audience, and MySpace helped musicians like Adele get their big breaks. While the internet has long aided creators trying to get the word out, things have come further in recent years. Targeted platforms like Kickstarter, hitRECord, 20x200, and Of a Kind have emerged, catering to full-time creative professionals looking to market, distribute, and find funding to fuel their careers. At the same time, creative-leaning social media channels like Tumblr and Behance have flourished, allowing makers to build followings. Providing access to marketing and distribution channels, these sites are helping more and more creatives make a living. This panel brings together founders of e-commerce platforms, a social-media director of product, and a photographer who has utilized these tools to discuss and debate this class of independent creative professionals, what’s working now, what’s missing, and where to go from here.


  1. How do you define the “independent creative professional”—and how does someone make what could be a side gig into a living?
  2. How can an independent creative professional use web resources to turn “fans” into “evangelists?”
  3. What role does forging an emotional connection between consumer/user and creator/product play?
  4. What lessons can creatives trying to sell their work learn from e-commerce giants, and what is missing from the super-business model that the smaller players can capitalize on?
  5. What communities are being underserved? What creative fields are in desperate need of disruption?



Erica Cerulo, Co-founder and President, Of a Kind

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