Over the last eight weeks, Pixel Agency has transformed. This experience has taught me about time management, networking skills, how to build a portfolio for yourself, teamwork skills and to be consistent with content through a common theme whilst building my own brand.
My role within Pixel Agency has been as part of the editorial team, which is a role that jumped out to me when receiving the brief. This is because I love writing content and sharing my views with the world via a creative platform. I also knew that the editorial team would take on a lot of the content and therefore have the most fulfilling experience for me, with opportunities to collaborate, curate shoots and see what is going on within London right now.
At first, the project was daunting to us all. It had a short time frame and a lot of responsibility. Through amazing guest lecturers guidance and help from my peers, I learnt something very important. That creative confidence is a key factor in getting your dream career. This project has helped me build on that, think deeply about my passions, my aspirations not only in this project but in my degree as a whole. Teaching me to understand the importance of having a realised, developed brand for myself.
In the first two weeks, we faced the challenge of getting our heads around the project requirements, immersing into it in order to live, breathe and be Pixel Agency. To create the best content of our ability, we needed to root ourselves into what we stand for, want to get out of our agency and how we will use it to get ourselves new career opportunities.
I spent a lot of time researching into millennial and generation Z trends via LSN: Global and other research platforms. I looked into Pentland Co, our partnership, and found a passion for the company by discovering all of the amazing things they do with brands and charity, for example, the donations they give to communities in order for young people to do more sports and activities. After doing some SWOT analysis on both the previous Pixel campaigns and Pentland, I was ready to make some positive and ambitious changes.
Once in my editorial group, I reflect upon what job role I could be most beneficial in. As an extroverted and business savvy character, my initial instinct was to step up as a team leader. However, having learnt from my past mistakes I realised that I can be overly controlling, unapologetic and scatterbrained within a leadership role and chose to vote my peer and amazing creative Keiran to take that responsibility – this way I could still give as many creative ideas, content and skill sets to the project without social anxieties and time management troubles getting in my way.
When coming up with a dossier for Pixel, I contributed largely with the idea development. Taking every opportunity I had to fearlessly suggest campaign ideas, manifestos drafts and design suggestions to my group. Taking and giving constructive feedback was a skill I already possess and discovered was something very beneficial when collaborating with other creatives.
For the presentation and dossier, I created unique and minimal illustrations via Adobe Illustrator. Which, as a more hand-drawn illustrator, was an interesting and rewarding challenge for me – teaching myself skills I hadn’t yet taken the time to learn. I also wrote up about 5 different drafts for the Manifesto and Campaign Proposal. Each of these was read by my peers, voted on and edited down. Learning to write less is with more impact rather than more with too much detail was a skill I picked up through this process.
Once the Dossiers were voted upon and combined to create the ultimate outcome – we jumped straight into brainstorming and thinking about ideas for content. There were some communication errors at first, with confusion as a whole on how much of Ellesse we needed to promote and how we were going to promote Pixel Agency. As a group, I suggest that we made huge mindmaps covering all angles and helping us idea generate with freedom but having it all in one place in order to connect and have consistency throughout. We wrote down all of the influencers, creatives and celebrities that work inspired us, we talked about our political views, we considered what it means to be a young creative in today’s society – all with intent to help individuals ‘change – unite – create’, our tagline which the editorial group came up with.
When it came to presentations, I felt a lot of anxiety which showed me I had a real passion for our dossier and wanted it to go well. We were very prepared and had come in on many occasions out of lectures, in order to practice together – this gave my team confidence over the other groups. I have confidence in my presenting skills as it is something I’ve had to learn to do since I started Ravensbourne 4 years ago. With a background in theatre performance and improvisation, I suggest to the others that I will be the scapegoat if any unexpected questions came up or any mishaps occurred.
Firstly we planned a photo shoot that we were going to do as a group and then from that spurred other content ideas and separate responsibilities. This main focus shoot was for Ellesse, having recently become a yoga fanatic, I suggest that else take a more minimal and self-care approach to sportswear, focusing on the current fashion trends of athleisure. Having read into many articles on how millennials are passionate about looking after themselves, via spirituality and mindfulness, I urged the research team to find some solid statistics to back up our idea.
Diving into this, a goal I had set myself was to be more fearless in networking and asking for collaborations, especially with people in the industry. So without hesitation, I started emailing Yoga studios around London, asking them to collaborate with Pixel, let us use their studios for photo shoots and/or attending our event with any expertise they can provide. I got a few responses but with no budget it deemed difficult.
I also started communicating with models and influencers on Instagram, asking them to collaborate with Pixel, promote us and model for us in our shoot. I booked and communicate with two female models, a non-binary model and a male model. However, a lesson I learnt is that models are not reliable. This is why having back up plans, a time management plan and solid job roles is fundamental for a successful shoot.
After reaching a halfway point in the project it was important to create much content as possible to get on the website, the social media and other promotion. Before the main Ellesse shoot, I decided to do a shoot by myself at home, as a test for the main shoot and for further Pixel content. Due to weather and location issues, this shoot did not go as well as planned but also helped me to learn about photography, planning and lighting. I picked up new skills by editing photos on Adobe Lightroom.
I also created some hand-drawn illustrated zines, as this is something I love to do and I had a lot to say based on the theme of ‘self-care’. These zines got a great response on social media and have to lead me to start creating my own brand that will sell my illustrations via zines, t-shirts and postcards.
I wrote around 5 articles on exhibitions I’ve attended over the past 8 weeks, mindfulness and meditation, books I’ve read and general knowledge. These have all contributed to the online blog that I take very seriously and wish to use as a platform for my creative voice. I only have 30 followers currently but with my socials becoming more popular I hope to make it grow.
Over the last few weeks, I learnt that some things I want to create will take more time and planning. Prioritising tasks was something I learnt over this project in order to help this. I am currently reading ‘Don’t Read This Book’ by Donald Roos. This is teaching me about prioritsing my creative tasks and spending less time on the more important tasks – rather than more time on many smaller tasks. This is a key to being the most productive and having the best creative outcome. In order to do this, I write a to-do list of all the ideas or tasks I have and then number them in priority, I then cross out anything lower than 1,2 and 3. This enables me to focus on these with a more visualised end goal, and the things I’ve crossed out on the ‘TO DON’T list‘ will become a priority after the initial tasks are completed.
What could I have improved upon?:
I could have improved upon my networking skills by utilising the guest lecturers to not only communicate with but ask for advice relating to my own brand and how I should think about pushing it forward in the future.
In what way did I develop my on/offline profile?:
I developed my online profile by refining what I stand for and presenting myself as the ‘Charlie greening brand’ via my blog, Instagram and LinkedIn. My following is increasing which I am happy about but I have plans for the summer to develop a podcast, a more consistent blog and a twitter account all with the main focus on getting my journalism skills recognised and solid brand identity.
Offline I have networked with many other creatives, discussing internship opportunities, courses and skill development goals. I wish to secure placement over the summer with a company that shares my passions and respects me as a creative.
If this was a job role in the future?:
If Pixel Agency were a professionally run business, I believe my best assets are with people. I have many skills in communicating and helping others to reach their needs. However, during this project, a lot of my input has been with various creative content and writing – leaving me to think that being a Creative Writer/ Journalist paid an annual income of say £25k would be ideal.
WORD COUNT: 1700 WORDS