Introducing the Creatively Class of 2020

We don’t know what the job market will look like in the coming year, but we do know that creatives need every possible advantage right now—especially if they’re just getting started. This week, Creatively is partnering with notable art, architecture, design and film schools to spotlight some of this year’s best and most creative graduates in the inaugural Creatively Class of 2020. Our mission is simple: help them find jobs.

This year’s class is made up of more than 45 incredibly talented graduates. We’re proud to be partnering with Academy of Art University, Bronx Community College, The City College of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, The University of Cincinnati College of DAAP, and the Yale School of Architecture.

Throughout the week, we’ll be spotlighting work from the Creatively Class of 2020 on our website and app, as well as on Instagram, so follow along at @hellocreatively. Plus, we’ll be offering an exclusive selection of work available for download here—so you can add a spectacular background to your phone, desktop, or Zoom. (You’re welcome. 😉) 

Here, inspiring leaders from several of our partner schools answer the questions we know graduates (and our entire community) are asking.

We’re living through some of the most uncertain times in the past century—from a global pandemic to an economic recession to a nation in protest. What gives you hope for graduates right now?

“What makes me hopeful is that graduates are realizing the importance of being political. Everything is political (except politics, which are personal).” —Christopher Chan Roberson, NYU Tisch School of the Arts 

“I believe our graduates for the Class 2020 are used to an uphill climb. They are resilient, motivated, and persistent. ” —Yeny Ferreras, Bronx Community College

“Challenging and uncertain times force you to study your intention; graduates right now are being given a time to self-reflect and face their own role in the world, which I believe will yield more passionate and dynamic creative work.” —Claire McKinney, Pratt Institute

How can creativity make an impact during times like these?

“Creativity, by definition, is the ability to transcend traditional patterns or rules to create meaningful new ideas. In times like these, when things don’t precisely go our way, new ideas are needed to make positives out of the myriad negatives we are faced with. I always tell my students that hard times call for flexible minds.” —Gerardo Blumenkrantz, The City College of New York

“Ultimately science and medicine will cure us, but art will be what heals us. Through our creative endeavors, we will build bridges and connect with people in ways both profound and spiritual.  What we can’t say with our words, we’ll express with images and music.” —Christopher Chan Roberson, NYU Tisch School of the Arts 

“Fashion is an instrument where we create the reality we want. People want a new reality in the world. One of equality, responsibility and dignity for all. Fashion can reflect that, fashion has to reflect that. And new voices coming up with how these realities can look or how they are constructed, these new voices have an opportunity to be heard.” —Benjamin Ellis, Academy of Art University

How do you think the graduates of 2020 differ from your own graduating class?

“The class of 2020 is stepping out into a different playing field than when I graduated. And that was only four years ago! Our workplaces are different, the ways in which we communicate and share information are different, and our values are different. I think the environment is in some ways more welcoming for fresh ideas because of our changing scenarios.” —Benjamin Ellis, Academy of Art University

“This class was thrown a curveball right at the hardest, final stretch of their last year. Switching from onsite to online in a heartbeat, developing a portfolio and all was a titanic feat that made our students extra resilient. In a few years we will be able to see that resilience turned into creative achievements we are not able to visualize just now.” —Gerardo Blumenkrantz, The City College of New York

“I graduated from college in 1998 […] There are so many great (and free) opportunities to share work right now. It’s very exciting to be an artist in 2020.” —Christopher Chan Roberson, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

What’s your biggest piece of advice for 2020 graduates?

“Building your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Sustain momentum, chip away at your long-term goals, be thoughtful and patient.” —Claire McKinney, Pratt Institute 

“The expression, ‘may you live in interesting times’ is widely cited as a curse. But while these are certainly ‘interesting’ times, any crisis comes with plenty of opportunities for those who see things differently, and our graduates were actually trained to do just that. So my advice would be to apply their creativity not only to their industry of choice but also to their own lives. That’s how they’ll turn negatives into positives and thus seize hidden, golden opportunities.” —Gerardo Blumenkrantz, The City College of New York

“Be yourself, and don’t stop now.” —Benjamin Ellis, Academy of Art University

“Surround yourself with positivity, always be resilient and never stop following your dreams.” —Yeny Ferreras, Bronx Community College

“Do what you love.” —Christopher Chan Roberson, NYU Tisch School of the Arts 

Check out the Class of 2020’s Projects

Questions or feedback? Email us at