How many of you do projects on the side or are involved in more things that you think you can handle? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably drowning in side projects. But I’m here today to tell you to keep side projecting, embrace the drowning and keep doing what you’re doing as long as you’re having fun. That’s the only requirement to side projects.
Here’s why I think side projects are THE BEST:
1- The people you meet while side projecting:
Gosh, I met so many amazing people I would’ve never dreamed of meeting if I wasn’t involved in side projects. These people became my mentors, my best friends, my bosses… You just never know who you’ll meet next. I hear people say that they’re too busy to do anything else but guess what, when you’re ready for your next job, do you think your future boss will hire you or the person he’s worked with already? Get out there.
2- The freedom to be as creative are you want to be:
We all know that in advertising, ideas don’t always make it to the finish line and it’s frustrating. The cool thing about doing side projects, whether it’s freelance work spec work and pro bono work, is that you’re kind of your own boss, you can be as creative as you want! To me, that’s exciting and scary at the same time, but if you learn to embrace it you’ll start doing cool work that you’re proud of.
Also, if you have an idea, do it! Make it happen! What do you have to lose? Here’s what: Nothing, Nada, Zilch. Trust me on this, if you have an idea that makes your heart beat fast, just figure out a way to make it happen, even if it’s just sketching it and putting it in your portfolio. I’ve had ideas in the past that I realized later someone else had done them AFTER I thought of them… worst feeling ever. Bring your ideas to life, you owe it to yourself.
3- Stay involved
It’s really important to me to give back and help others… hence this blog. One way to give back is to get involved in organizations who do give back. What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, I’m sure there’s an organization that specializes in that and if there isn’t, well create one, it’s not that hard. If you care enough you’ll make it happen. As an Art Director, copywriter or marketing person in general, you have the ability to make brands shine and lots of small organizations could use your help so why not put your skills to good use?
4- You can never get bored
As creatives, we tend to hit what they call a “creative block”. Sometimes, my brain fucks with me and says: you can stare at the brief all you want, I got no ideas for you. Then I realized, the idea is not there, your brain needs time and activities to process it. If you feel like you hit a creative block or if you’re bored with what you’re working on, there’s nothing better than to work on something else. It’ll keep your brain busy on other things while it’s processing that brief. Point is, if you have side projects, you’ll never get bored working on one brief or one client, you’ll always have other projects to keep your brain entertained.
I apologize for the cheesy reference but it’s true; you only live once. You can’t make all your dreams come true if you don’t multitask. We’re all gonna die one day, so make it count. Get out there, innovate, meet people, do stuff, get involved, FAIL and do it again. It’s what life is about. The most creative people in the world are the ones who dare to do more than what they’re “supposed to”.