At We Are Social, our teams work across a real range of clients and projects – from large, integrated campaigns for brands such as Adidas, Dr. Martens, YouTube, Audi, Stella Artois and Lego, to purely animated social assets. To do this, we have a brilliantly talented team of in-house designers, but we also collaborate a lot with external creatives with skill sets we don’t have in-house. That means I’m constantly looking through photography, video and illustration portfolios for creatives who are pushing the boundaries of visual expression and excellence.
Personality and passion can help you stand out
When looking through portfolios, what really excites me is seeing a personal project that someone has executed off their own back, with no other intention than to create. It’s great to see work for briefs, clients or brands, but more personal projects that show personality and passion are a great way of standing out.
Where a brand would have guidelines to inform the look of a piece of work, a personal project strips away all of those restrictions and guidelines. No brief, no client and no rules; a daunting but exciting blank canvas.
You never know where a passion project will take you
Sharing personal projects can also lead to paid work. In fact, a lot of client-based work can totally come from, and be inspired by, an unfiltered personal project.
For example, for our Dr. Martens AW19 Tough As You campaign, we collaborated with London-based photographer and director, Alex De Mora. I’d been aware of his portrait photography for a while, but what stood out for us was his experimental work – his off-the-cuff street and travel photography – which matched our art direction perfectly. This led to a brilliant collaboration and a visually dynamic campaign.