Surface Family

With more time on our hands because of coronavirus restrictions, one in five Brits have explored a new interest or passion area in 2020 according to new research released by Microsoft Surface, yet almost half of the UK population admit that they’ve held themselves back from pursuing certain interests, passions or business ideas because they don’t think that they have enough creative skills.

The research also reveals that we have widely contrasting ideas and views of what exactly creativity is and whether creativity is a case of nature or nurture. Nearly a third of Brits say creativity is a skill that you are born with, while a quarter of the gen-z generation define creativity as a profession, such as an artist, a performer or designer.

To inspire Brits nationwide to take a look at the world with fresh eyes, pursue new passions, hobbies and interests – regardless of whether they consider themselves to be creative or not – Microsoft Surface has teamed up with paper artist and photographer, Paperboyo, to launch a brand new content series called #BeneathTheSurface.

Now boasting almost half a million Instagram followers, Rich McCor, aka Paperboyo, would have never reached the position he is in today if it wasn’t for him uncovering a passion for a new artform – allowing him to rethink a production role at the BBC and overall, his career. However, in this journey, Rich says he also had to overcome a feeling that perhaps he ‘wasn’t creative enough’ to truly pursue his passion.

“From a young age I have battled with the notion that ‘I’m not creative enough’ to chase after or invest in certain interests or hobbies. However, I truly believe creativity shows up in many different forms and we are all inherently creative just in different expressions of the word. For me, it boils down to giving yourself the chance to follow your interests, chase your curiosities – whatever they may be – so that you can unlock the things in life that bring you meaning, joy, challenge and excitement. For some that may be turning a passion into a career but for others it may mean finding a new hobby or a passion that allows you to have fun or find meaning.”

“This is exactly what we explore in the new content series, #BeneathTheSurface which I’ve co-created with Microsoft Surface. I tell my own story of pursuing my passion, but I also meet with two other incredible Brits who share their unique perspectives and how when they started using that perspective, their lives changed. Sometimes in small ways and sometimes in pretty big ways.”

Kate Wright, Director of Microsoft Surface, UK and Ireland says:

“The insights gleaned from the research has been an incredible eye opener to the barriers that we collectively face when it comes to exploring our interests and passions – whether its a feeling that we don’t have the creative skills we need to succeed or a fear of judgement from family and friends about our chosen interest – it’s clear that for some, there are challenges to overcome. Our ambition as a brand is to help every person be empowered to unlock their imagination, explore their creativity, and ultimately achieve their ambitions. This is why we co-curated the #BeneathTheSurface series with Paperboyo which is designed to empower, inspire and also equip people right across the nation to take a look at the world around them with fresh eyes and see opportunity in new places in the hope that we can help people find the things that brings them fulfilment.”

Each Friday in November, Paperboyo will launch a new #BeneathTheSurface episode on his Instagram channel. Paperboyo will also meet with other British entrepreneurs – Anna Murray of PATTERNITY and Dominic Cools-Lartigue, co-founder of Street Feast London, A Plate for London and most recently The Tramshed Project – to learn about their journey as an entrepreneur and uncover the way that they see the world.

The #BeneathTheSurface series has been developed with Microsoft Surface – a range of devices designed to help anyone unlock their imagination, explore their creativity and ultimately achieve their ambitions. Whether you’re using it to learn, dream, explore, create or communicate there’s a Surface for everyone.

Visit to view the series and for more information about Microsoft Surface and its range of devices.