When SXSW was canceled in March, no one had any idea what was going to happen. Soon after, the pandemic became a reality and everything changed completely. Freelancers were out of work, campaigns and internships were canceled, agencies scaled back their teams and those fortunate enough to have work had to adjust to a new routine full of pressure, uncertainty and never-ending Zoom meetings.
The good news is that in the midst of it all, some people found an opportunity during isolation to do something that would help the creative community deal with whatever was happening. Learn about the ten projects that have fought hard to do a little less in 2020, from an award for young people from the periphery of Sao Paulo to a public mental health portfolio to a two-week promotional contest for students studying in Getting stuck indoors is difficult for industry and for many creatives around the world.
1. Our silent partner
In the midst of isolation, talking about mental health became an important but sensitive topic in the creative community. However, many people and authorities have difficulty talking about mental health. Founded in May, Our Silent Partner is an anonymous crowd-sourced creative portfolio that expresses what it’s like to live and work as a creative with mental health problems. It was created by Victoria Roselli, Art Director at FCB Chicago, and Laurel Stark Akman, Freelance Copywriter / Creative Director, who forged their careers in the fight against anxiety, attention deficit and eating disorders.
Many agencies and executives have problems recruiting color talent. Many cite the excuses “we can’t find them” and “there aren’t enough of them”. Over the summer, New York-based Sr. Copywriter Chelsea Curry launched c0ffe3 – a fake company designed to help people with color get real jobs by increasing their visibility with recruiters and hiring managers. Anyone looking for color talent can add “c0ffe3” (ie, “c0ffe3 Sr. Copywriter”) to their search to identify color talent they have identified. If you are a colored person, just add c0ffe3 to your Linkedin profile as a previous employer to be seen. C0ffe3’s Linkedin page currently employs more than 530 people.
3. My link is your link
In June of this year, three Brazilian creatives, Bernardo Tavares, Rodrigo Rocha and André Mezzomo, came up with an answer to the job losses and network complications caused by the pandemic. The team created My Link Is Your Link, a tool that gives job seekers visibility using simple HTML code. The code forwards portfolios from people who already have a job to those who don’t. To join the project and forward your portfolio to someone looking for work, all you have to do is go to their website and follow the instructions that will allow you to insert the forwarding into the “Code Injection” session on your website platform. Weeks after its launch, My Link is Your Link has already donated more than 50,000 page views.
4. A school
Everyone knows that advertising has a diversity problem. What most agency directors don’t realize is that part of it is due to systemic biases in the hiring process, while another part is simply that the cost of 2 years at a top portfolio school can run up to $ 40,000 can. These barriers and lack of representation often prevent blacks from pursuing careers in the industry. In July, Spotify Creative Director Oriel Davis-Lyons, in partnership with The One Club, launched One School: a free 16-week online portfolio school for black creatives. With a maximum of 15 students per class, 30 young people have so far been selected to take part. New classes will return in spring 2021. Follow the initiative on Instagram to be the first to know when applications open.