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Press Release | 01 Apr 2021

Calling all illustrators – VOXI launches competition to give young UK talent the chance to get ‘Eyes On’ their work, win cash prizes, mentorship and art commissions

Calling all illustrators – VOXI launches competition to give young UK talent the chance to get ‘Eyes On’ their work, win cash prizes, mentorship and art commissions

Eyes On initiative launches as new research reveals 51% of aspiring young creatives worry there are now fewer opportunities in the creative industries due to the impact of COVID-19.

  • VOXI launches ‘Eyes On’, offering up-and-coming illustrators their big break with a selection of career-changing opportunities.
  • Initiative comes as new research reveals 51% of aspiring young creatives worry there are now fewer opportunities in the creative industries due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Findings also point to the important role played by social media in the new art world – nearly half of aspiring artists (48%) feel they will generate the most income from selling their work via social platforms and 77% think social media is important for building a successful brand and career.
  • VOXI’s offer of Endless Social Media gives aspiring artists unlimited use of social apps to reach new audiences, without eating in to their data.

30 March 2021: 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.

image of artist Manjit Thapp
Mixed media artist Manjit Thapp.

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.

image of artist Super Freak
Super Freak, artist.

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!.

– ENDS –

Notes to editors

Eyes On launches on 31 March and is calling on illustrators to design a 1×1 digital wallpaper inspired by VOXI’s brand identity: Be Endless. The initiative is open to 16 – 30-year-olds living in the UK , and entrants must have less than 10,000 followers on Instagram to be eligible to apply. Applicants without a formal arts qualification can apply. Applicants can apply online  until the end of April.

Survey conducted by 3Gem with 2,000 16-24 year olds in March 2021.

About VOXI
VOXI by Vodafone, the mobile network for young people, offers plans that let you use selected social apps and websites as much as you like, without eating in to your general data allowance. These apps are Facebook & Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter. Customers also have unlimited calls and texts along with free roaming in 48 European destinations at no extra cost. VOXI SIM-only plans work on a flexible monthly subscription with no contract; you’re free to change, pause or cancel your plan whenever you like.

About Fy!
Fy!
is a next gen home, living and lifestyle retail platform for millennial consumers. Fy! uses a combination of social content, machine learning and deep understanding of their products and suppliers to create a personalised experience for each shopper using the site and app.

Fy! was launched in 2017 by Tom Beverley and Jonathan Thompson with a mission to make the world of design discoverable, affordable and instantly accessible through social commerce. The four-sided marketplace connects an incredible global community of independent artists, brands, shoppers and content creators, operating on proprietary platform technology.

Fy! partners with more than 2,500 brands and artists and enables them to sell their home & living products to customers around the world, shipping to more than 30 countries with free and easy delivery.

Follow @VodafoneUKNews on Twitter.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of June 2021, we have 5G in 340 locations across Europe – 100 in the UK and 240 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

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