Creative Productivity: Build a Brief to Boost Your Passion Project | Lauren Hom | Skillshare

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Creative Productivity: Build a Brief to Boost Your Passion Project

teacher avatar Lauren Hom, Letterer, Designer, Cheeto Lover

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Be Your Own Client


    • 3.

      Build Your Roadmap


    • 4.

      Gather Ideas


    • 5.

      Choose Your Idea


    • 6.

      Scope Your Project


    • 7.

      Explore Your Style


    • 8.

      Lauren's Creative Kitchen


    • 9.

      Develop Your Style


    • 10.

      Plan Your Launch


    • 11.

      You’re Ready!


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Discover a fail-proof formula for jump-starting your next creative project!

Illustrator Lauren Hom has a serious passion for passion projects, and for good reason. Many of her passion projects have led to valuable client work and even viral internet stardom. Follow along as she shares her time-tested process for getting creative projects off of the shelf and out into the world. Leading by example, Lauren kicks off the planning of a brand-new project and demystifies all the groundwork you’ll need to build a solid creative brief and ensure all the actionable steps to success are clear and ready to go.

Jump into creative action with lessons like:

  • Gathering ideas and picking the best one
  • Building a list of deliverables
  • Exploring and developing your style
  • Planning your launch

Plus, join Lauren in her kitchen and get an exclusive peek as she begins to develop her next passion project, live in class. 

Whether you're a working creative looking for a refresh or an aspiring artist embarking on your first passion project, this class will leave you with the perfect formula for strengthening and flexing your creative muscles. You’ll breakthrough creative overwhelm, end inaction, and set yourself up for creative success!


This class is intended for creatives of all skill levels who are looking to hone their creative process. If you have a project you’ve been staring down—or even if you’re starting from scratch— download Lauren’s worksheets to kick off a project of your own!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lauren Hom

Letterer, Designer, Cheeto Lover


Lauren Hom is a designer, letterer, and educator. A self-proclaimed "artist with a business brain", she picked up hand lettering as a hobby while studying advertising at the School of Visual Arts. Over the next few years (and thanks to the power of the internet), she leveraged a few clever passion projects into a thriving design career.

Known for her bright color palettes, playful letterforms, and quirky copywriting, Lauren has created work for clients like Vans, Google, and Adobe. She loves sharing what she's learned with others through the Q&As she does on Instagram and her catalog of online courses on lettering, marketing, mural painting, and more.

When she's not working on client projects or teaching, you can find her learning how to make her favorite foods from scratc... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Passion projects are supposed to be fun and recreational. You get to have an idea created, just how you want to create it. That's the most empowering thing. [MUSIC] Hello. My name is Lauren Hom. I am a designer and hand lettering artist. I think I've always seen creativity as kind of an all you can eat buffet. If you're like me, you've probably got hundreds, if not thousands of pretty good ideas, but I'm going to show you my process for selecting the one to focus on right now. The time that I've invested in passion projects has been so worth it. They've landed me freelance job. They've gotten me featured on design blogs, they've grown my Instagram following. It's a great way to get your work out online and have people discover you. In this class, I'm going to be walking you through gathering all of your ideas, honing in on one that is right for you, for right now. You're going to get to follow along with me in real time as I put together my brief start to explore and after you've made a couple of those first pieces, launch this project out into the world. I think one of the biggest roadblock that I encounter as a creative person is bridging the gap between having ideas and then bringing them out and turning them into real projects. What I hope to do with this class is to help break down that overwhelm and push it aside so you can actually do what you love, which is making stuff. I'm so excited to have you in this class. Let's get started. [MUSIC] 2. Be Your Own Client: [MUSIC] I started my career in advertising and got a little bit disheartened after working for long hours on campaigns for bigger clients that I really had no personal connection to. When I branched off on my own and started applying those same creative marketing skills to myself, I realized that passion projects are like little ad campaigns for you as a creator, as a freelancer, as a small business owner, and they are really really powerful. My solution or strategy has been to be my own client. What I mean by this is instead of leaning on a client for the final word or the direction, you get to be the client and you get to design something that is something that you want to make. This is my philosophy behind passion projects, is what do I want to make and how can I make that happen? Which is where this class comes in, because figuring out what you want to make and then creating a brief or a game plan like you would have in a professional project is key to actually making that project a real thing. I love passion projects a lot. Passion projects have given me permission to share my work more freely. Passion projects have given me permission to explore new mediums that maybe aren't super related to what I'm doing now for work. Another analogy I've used is passion projects are like giving the Internet free samples of your work like a stand at a grocery store. I don't want to oversell them as this magical thing, but they are the backbone of my business and also my creative practice. What a passion project does for me is it gives me something to grab onto where it's like, okay, I'm going to have these parameters, I'm going to make five of these, and it gives me a little bit of focus to say, I'm just going to do five of these, it's going to be under this one umbrella idea and we can seen how it goes. For any of you who might be like most people and tend to overthink self-promotion, maybe you hate talking about your work or you feel like you're bothering people when you post on social media, you're not alone. Passion projects are a wonderful reason to talk about your work and to constantly remind people that, hey, I'm here. I'm making the stuff. You can hire me. Because instead of feeling like you're posting fragmented one-off things or re-posting old work over and over again, if you start feeling weird about that, there is nothing wrong about that, by the way. But a passion projects gives you a reason to keep posting about your work that people can follow along with. It gives it a central focus or idea. This class is perfect if you are a hobbyist just learning to explore a skill or wanting to develop it. It's also perfect for professionals who have very clear goals of what they want to accomplish. Whether it's landing a full-time job in a certain industry or landing a dream freelance client. Learning how to put together a brief for a personal project is going to serve you no matter what. By the end of this class, you'll have a creative brief for your passion project that will end the inaction, give you direction, calm the overwhelm, and keep you accountable. 3. Build Your Roadmap: This class isn't about the designing, the cooking, or the creating. It's all about the prep work. Like we've talked about, there usually isn't a lack of creativity or ideas. It's the overwhelm of, oh my gosh, there's so many. Where do I even begin? Which one do I choose? The way I like to think about it is before I start looking for all those bits and pieces of ideas that I could turn into a passion project or a little ad campaign for me. I like to know what I'm looking for. Just have a sense of what direction I might want to go in. You could think of it like making a shopping list before you go to the grocery store. It's a lot easier to know what's on your list, what you need right now. Maybe you have a dinner party later in the week. Maybe it's just you, maybe you've been craving this. Making a game plan for what you're looking for can help from you walking up and down every single aisle in the grocery store and getting overwhelmed and maybe not even coming home with all the stuff that you needed or wanted in the first place. Before we even begin to look at the bits and pieces of ideas and inspiration that we have laying around, I want to walk you through this exercise that I like doing. It's a pre-brainstorm where I'm asking myself some questions to give me a roadmap or guide towards what I should be looking for when I do go and peek through all the ideas I have laying around. You can think of this step as the first of many filters that we're using to hone down your ideas to get to that one that we're going to pick and commit to and pursue. The reason that we're doing these worksheets and I'm doing this visual exploration here too, is because if you're like me, you're probably a visual learner. Shout out to all my visual learners there. Getting the ideas and thoughts out of my head onto paper in front of me helps me to process all of it. I hope it can do the same for you. I'm going to divide my paper into different sections for each question and each bit of writing. You can find your accompanying worksheet of this exercise that I'm doing in the class resources. The first question I like to ask myself is, what do I want to say about my work? You can think of this question as, if you had to put up a billboard for your creative work right now, what do you want people to know? What do you want to say about it? The next question is, what direction do I want to take my work in? You don't need to have any specific place you want to get to. But these questions are open enough so you can just write down whatever comes to mind. The next question is, what have I been creatively craving lately? I like to use the word craving. One because I love food analogies, but two, because I think it perfectly sums up the vibe of this question that I'm trying to get to is, when you have a craving for a certain food, it's a gut feeling. You just know it for the most part. Even if you don't know the specific thing, you have an idea of spicy, sweet, pudding. Spicy, sweet, pudding sounds disgusting. But you have an idea of what you might want. Just jot down anything that sounds good. Then the final question that I like to ask myself is, if I had to pick just one, which would I focus on, creative exploration or career growth? I know this seems like an impossible decision to make. But this is the most important filter in my own work because most likely when you work on a passion project, you're going to get a little bit of both out of it. If you're exploring a new idea or medium, you are creatively growing, you're exploring, you're trying. But you also, if you share it online, are probably going to experience some sort of career growth from it, even if it's just a tiny bit, even Instagram followers could be classified under career growth. Picking just one will help to give you a lens as you're sifting through your ideas. You can ignore the ones that don't fit your priority right now because again, you're walking away from this class with one project that you're going to focus on and a game plan. A few examples of creative exploration might be trying a new style, exploring a new medium. Maybe you're testing something out that you might want to include in your business later. This is very much a, not quite sure what I'm going for but I want to focus on the creative aspect. Now with career growth, typically when I pick this one, it's with specific goals in mind. Maybe I want to get hired for editorial illustrations for a fashion magazine, something like that. If you have any goals like that that you're focused on, that you know you're already building towards, that can be a good indicator that maybe you want to prioritize career growth. If you don't really have any on your list, then maybe creative exploration makes more sense. I'm going to go in and answer these myself. What do I want to say about my work? I'm in a bit of a transitional extension period of my career because I am going to be going to culinary school very soon. What I want to say about my work, what I want people to know is, hey, I'm moving towards food. Because I don't have any specific idea of what I want to do after culinary school, my intention here is, I just want people to know that that's the direction that I'm going in. I also think it's important to mention that I'm not moving completely to food yet. Maybe like a year or two from now, I'll have different intentions. But I want people to know too that I'm still doing art, that's still my bread and butter. While I'm moving towards food, I don't want people to forget that I also do art. I still enjoy lettering and I'm available for freelance projects. I also want people to know that I'm in a period of transition. I'm not entirely sure what direction what I'm going in. I want people to know that because maybe they're also in that same space and they would resonate with whatever I am making. Now the next question, what direction do I want to take my work in? Again, GPS or compass. Which way do I want to go? I would like to incorporate more food into my work. That's certainly a direction I want to go in. I know that for sure. Another direction that I know I want to take my work in, or that seems interesting to me, is moving towards starting to share recipes. That's one area that has always intrigued me, but I'm going to culinary school so I can feel more well-versed in that and build the confidence to call myself a chef and to share more cooking expertise, even though I've been a home cook for a very long time. A direction I know I want to head in is, building up confidence to share recipes. Another direction I want to take my work in is expanding from lettering. Lettering has been my bread and butter for the last eight years. But I also know that the direction I want to go in is slightly away from it. But I answered in my first question, I still want people to know that that is a part of my work because it is. Probably towards the direction of more making stuff with my hands. What have I been creatively craving lately? Again, think of this like your food cravings. This may as well be, what is your gut telling you or what have you been curious about? What have you been drawn towards? Think back to anything maybe you have saved in an Instagram folder or saved on your desktop, or pinned on Pinterest. You can look for clues as to what you've been craving. You can also think of this too as what are you trying to attract as well. For me, lately I've been craving in my own life the company of people who are also in a growth phase, who are exploring and learning new things and maybe redefining themselves. I've also definitely been craving working off of the computer more and working more with my hands. Back to what I said earlier about looking for clues as to what you might be craving creatively. I have been listening to an increased number of self-help podcasts lately and been enjoying those. Now the moment of truth picking one, creative exploration or career growth. Based on my answers to the previous questions, maybe you can already guess, but for me, creative exploration takes priority over career growth. Like I said, you're probably going to want both of them a little bit. But one should win out over the other so you have a specific lens to look for your ideas through. Because you can try to do both, but you will, at least for me, I get just as overwhelmed when I'm trying to do too many things. It's a two-in-one shampoo conditioner. They work but not as well as they could. Let's just commit to one. This is honestly the first baby step into committing to a direction. Throughout this process, we're going to be making decisions and not looking back on them because it's just a passion project. It's not the end of the world if it's not the perfect one because let me tell you a secret. There is no perfect one. I hope that's liberating for some of you because it is for me. Creative exploration. Now I also want to mention, if you had chosen career growth, it would be a good idea to list out some of those specific career goals. Things that you would like to happen. Whether it's, I want to add more portrait photography to my portfolio so I can book more sessions or I want to do food packaging so I can land an internship at an agency. Things like that, good to list out here because most of the answers to my other questions tie into my creative exploration. I would just be repeating myself, so I'm not going to fill that in here. Now that I have everything laid out in front of me, what I like to do is review my answers and circle or highlight any words that you see repeated over and over again or things upon a second pass that stick out to you that get you excited or that resonate with you and you're like, okay, that's definitely important. This will help us get closer to what we're looking for. Foods certainly one. Recipes, I know that's pretty high up on my list of something that I've been wanting to explore but haven't quite built up the confidence to. Maybe that's going to be important. Anytime a word shows up more than two or three times probably a good sign to circle it. I see tactile, working more with my hands, exploring. Personal development feels important. Then creative exploration. I think that this is a good shortlist. I did happen to write down lettering twice and so I am going to circle it. But I know that it's because it's not the main direction that I'm taking my work in. I'll probably prioritize food a little bit higher up. What you can do, either you can leave it as is or you can create a little grocery list of sorts of just a little checklist or shortlist of what you're looking for before we go and actually gather our ideas. You can always refer back to your bigger brainstorm. But this is what we're going to take with us when we go to look for the bits and pieces of creativity that have been lingering around us so we can put together the beginnings of an idea we might want to work on. 4. Gather Ideas: [MUSIC] We've done our brainstorming. We've got our first filter, our first guide towards what we're looking for. There usually isn't a shortage of ideas. Even if you feel like you don't have any good ideas, it's like that classic, like you have a closet full of clothes, but you feel like you have nothing to wear. That's exactly the same thing when it comes to ideas. I promise you, you have way more to work with than you think. Inspiration can come from so many different places. Often times we think of it as the standard. I should go to a museum or I should go on Pinterest and look for inspiration. But my favorite places to look for inspiration are actually just the regular bits of everyday life, so things like what I already have laying around. Maybe I have books in the studio. Maybe I am looking through all the little bits and pieces on my notes app on my phone, little notes I've left to myself over the years. Maybe I am looking through old sketchbooks. Another place I love to look is looking through my own Instagram feed to see if any of my past work really sticks out to me or anything that I still resonate with. Sometimes I like to look in my group texts with my girlfriends just to see if there are any starting points like funny conversations inside jokes. The stuff that you discussed with people who are close to you is probably some of the stuff that your ideal clients or audience members are also thinking about. If you put that into your work, you're more likely to attract them into your circle. We're just going to go pick through all the clues we've left ourselves. You can pick up the half-baked ideas, you can pick up fully formed ones, I've got anything and everything in-between. But this is where this first brainstorm really comes in handy because anything that doesn't quite fit into these categories or it doesn't relate to these categories that we've filtered down to you in our first grocery list, just don't make the cut, don't sweat it even if you like the idea again, shiny object syndrome. This is the lens that you're looking for ideas through already. I've got my list here I'm going to take it off to go to my own store. [NOISE] I've got my basket to collect ideas. Let's go idea gathering. [MUSIC] I know it's in here somewhere. Here we go. This idea is a poster that says, "Do you sell this as a print? I would totally buy it." [LAUGHTER] I remember this idea. I had it after realizing that when you post an illustration on Instagram, a bunch of people will comment saying that they want to buy it, and then when you go through the trouble of making it, usually very few people buy it. I've had this inside joke with a bunch of other artist friends of mine. Now, I love this idea. I think it's funny. However, when we think back to our idea list of what we're shopping for, this doesn't really check any of the boxes. Even though I like it, I'm actually going to put it back and save it for later. [MUSIC] Now one of my brightest. This is an idea I had long time ago. I thought of a project called amaze balls where I just wrote the word amaze on gumballs and maybe turn that into a product. This is the tiniest bit related to food, but again, with my checklist, there's nothing related to a recipe. It's a dumb idea. I thought this paper pile was going to have something. I think I'm just going to put it back. [MUSIC] We're always on our computer, so there's got to be some good ideas hidden in here somewhere. Whether it is your desktop, maybe it's just a text document, maybe it's Trello, Asana. Wherever you store your ideas or bits and pieces of interesting things you find, there are bound to be some good ideas in here. I'm looking through my Trello board of like my idea dump to see what I find. This is jumping out at me. It is a quote that I saved and it says, "I would rather flirt with failure than never dance with joy." This is a Wes Moore quote. When I'm thinking back to my idea list, what I'm looking for, this definitely fits into the personal development category. I remember this actually specifically from a Super Soul with Oprah and there's something about this that I'm interested in, so you know what? It's going to go in the basket. [MUSIC] Let's take a look at my bookshelf to see if there are any bits of inspiration hidden in these books. This is interesting. Here's some salt lettering I had marked down. This is an old Morton's ad. This one seems to check the boxes. It's got lettering, it's got some food, salt goes in most recipes, so I'm going to say yes to this one. Into the basket, you go. [MUSIC] Here it is. Fortune cookies for freelancers, I remember having this idea. I thought it'd be funny to make fortune cookies and put realistic fortunes inside like your invoice will be paid on time. Maybe because I'm a freelancer and I recently saw a recipe on how to make fortune cookies. I think that this one is going to make the cut, it's going to go in the basket. [MUSIC] Old sketchbooks are another place I love to look for ideas. You never know what was scribbled in the margins or there's anything tucked away in here. [MUSIC] Well, I didn't quite find anything in this one but never hurts to look, oh well. We also spend a lot of time on our phones and it's one of my favorite places to look for inspiration as well. One of my favorite places actually is looking through group text messages with my close friends because they're chock-full of inside jokes and just interesting conversations. Because the things we talk about with our friends are likely little things we're interested in and other people who are like us would be too. Scrolling through a group text that I have with some of my artist friends and there's an inside joke about soup that has been making us laugh for a couple of weeks now. I think I like that one. I'm going to write it down. [LAUGHTER] [MUSIC] Before I forget, Instagram is also a great place to look for inspiration. I'm not just talking about things you've saved, I'm talking about your own Instagram feed, so work that you've already done. I like to consider this, looking back at part work that passed me has done and maybe collaborating with my past self. What I like to do is to scroll through and see if there are any pieces of work that resonate with me and could also fit in what I'm looking for right now. Maybe I can update it, tweak it, use it as inspiration. There's nothing wrong with using yourself as inspiration. In fact, I think it's the best source. Often times I find that seeing what other people are interested in, in my work can be a good indicator of what I might want to try next or continue pursuing and if something lines up here about food. It looks like this soup lettering that I did a couple of years ago has consistently performed well and you know what? That fits with what I'm interested in right now, I can see something starting to happen there, there's some art, there's some food, there's a motivational quote. I think I like that, so I'm going to take this one too. [MUSIC] I think we've gathered enough ideas. We definitely do not want to overwhelm ourselves. I think I'm feeling good about this mix. It's time to pick from this batch and choose an idea. [MUSIC] 5. Choose Your Idea: Now that we have gone shopping for ideas and these ones have passed our first filter and are related to the things on my idea list. Now we're going to give it a second pass and see which of these we can build out into a workable project that makes the most sense for me right now. Again, maybe there are some good ones in here, but if they don't quite fit the parameters that we've set, we can always set them aside and work on them another time. Let's get filtering. Because I'm a visual person, I'm going to lay out the ideas that have made it through the first pass just so I can see them altogether. Because maybe there are bits and pieces from one or another that could be combined, they could go together. You only know once you lay them all out. Once we have our ideas laid out, here is the second filter that I like to pass things through. The first question I like to ask myself is, what do I actually have the time for? I love this question because it's less subjective like time. You only have much time and working backwards from what you actually have room for in your schedule can be a super important filter because then it's not personal. If you have a project that maybe it's going to be too labor-intensive or time-intensive, it's just not the right project for right now. Time is one of my favorite filters. The next question I like to ask myself is, does this idea excite me? How do I feel about it? On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited am I about this? The third question is, can this idea be extended into multiple pieces? Now the multiple pieces is something that I'm personally a big fan of because like I've said, it has to do with creating a bunch of different pieces under one theme. If you have a larger body of work for your portfolio, it's a more impressive piece. One professional thing is when art directors can see, or clients can see multiple pieces in your portfolio, it demonstrates that you can work on an entire campaign or a series of book covers and you're more likely to attract bigger projects, it looks more professional. Doing things in a series is a little productivity tip. I always like to add in there because if possible, it's less work if you don't have to think of a brand new idea every time you sit down to make something. Now, looking at all of these laid out, I definitely see a through-line here of soup popping up, the advice lettered out of sauce. This one, I'm not entirely sure about. Salt lettering is interesting but again when we're looking at these, thinking about maybe how we can combine them. Maybe when we pass them through this. With the salt lettering, for example, can it be extended into multiple pieces? Maybe, but there's only much that I personally can say about salt. Again, on the scale of 1 to 10, excitement ticking too many boxes for me. But it would definitely fit into what I have time for. This one is the first one I like to address because it can help focus me. When I think of my realistic schedule, what do I have time for? For me, I work Monday through Friday during the week on client projects. Fridays are my half-day to do ceramics, which has been fun. Again, many creative hobbies. Saturdays are reserved for me and my partner to spend quality time together. It seems like Sunday is the biggest open block for me. I'm going to say, and I like to sleep in. Let's say I have six hours. This is just good to know because maybe if you are working on something that's a little more time-intensive, but you know you have this parameter of time, then you can just go ahead and break out your workflow into longer stretches. Maybe if you were doing a series and each piece took 12 hours, then you just post one every two weeks. This is my realistic amount of time and I want to share some stories too of times where I have not gone through this step and gotten maybe too excited about an idea that I actually didn't have the bandwidth for and it's bitten me in the butt. There was this project that I started a couple of years ago that no one is ever seen because I got so excited about this idea, only ended up making two pieces after realizing each piece took like 20 hours and then completely fell off the bandwagon because I couldn't keep the excitement or momentum up. I didn't do any of this leg work ahead of time and I ended up crashing and burning. I don't want that to happen to you. With the salt lettering like I said, time probably, when I saw it in the book, it's tabletop surface, dry ingredients, should be easy enough. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited am I? Not super excited. Since this one stops here. This one's going to be a no. Now looking at these two funny texts from the group text about soup. This one on its own is just a starter of an idea that's not really a fully formed thing there. Whenever I have these bits and pieces totally fine, look through the other ideas that made it through your idea gathering phase and see if you can apply them to anything else. We've got humor about soup, maybe it can relate to this motivational soup lettering, can't really combine soup and fortune cookies as far as I know. This one is still a piece. I'm going to just keep this here for now and pair it with the soup. Now we've got fortune cookies for freelancers. Let's pass through the filter. What do I have time for? Fortune cookies? I've never made fortune cookies before, but I'm guessing I could probably make them in six hours. On a scale of 1 to 10, not super excited about them, maybe like a five. When I'm looking at again, my idea list too, remember, we wrote down food, recipes, lettering, exploration, made by hand, and personal development. I'm trying to think how I might be able to tie in recipes to fortune cookies here and I'm just not seeing it. Maybe because I'm not a fortune cookie aficionado, I don't think I'm that excited about cooking them and the topic is just. Let's put this one over here too. Now, maybe we go down to advice lettered out of sauce. Let's see, six hours per week. I've made a couple of sauces in my lifetime. I'm going to keep this one for now because it's maybe. This quote again, piece of an idea as well. I love Super Soul with Oprah, love Oprah and I would love to figure out a way to incorporate this into the remaining ideas. Maybe there's a way I could combine this quote since there was already a quote on my Instagram with soup. Perhaps if we combined these two, I could see this being an extension of my past work. Now that I'm thinking about this, the two food things that are left here on my idea board are sauce and soup. When I think about, do I want to do lettering about sauce or soup? Both of them probably fit within the six hours. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited am I? Seven on the sauce. With the soup, there's something interesting happening here because soup is a natural canvas and that's intriguing to me. I'm going to say that this one is higher. Let's go nine. If it showed up in my group text too, maybe there's something there. Can this idea be extended into multiple pieces or a series? Let's say for the sauce, it could be pasta sauces, it could be dipping sauces, there's so many different kinds. In terms of advice, I know I had originally thought of this when I think of sauce, I think of the word sassy, it's like sassy advice. I'm thinking that the sauces should be on the zesty side. Maybe it's like barbecue, maybe there's hot sauce. In terms of the quotes, I'm thinking that maybe these are a little bit more in your face like just do it kind of a vibe. Yes, this one can definitely be extended into a series. In terms of soup, I'm trying to think off the top of my head. Now that I'm seeing this all laid out, you can see which ones are weighing a little bit more heavily on the yes side. I'm going to say that this one is probably the winner. Taking a piece that I've done in the past, which is the soup art, and adding a new spin with these specific Super Soul quotes. I also like the little bit of wordplay going on with soup and super. That's telling me something too, it's an easier to grasp onto idea than the sauce one. I think this one is the one that we should start developing. Again, you can download the worksheet from the class resources. But as you see this all in front of you, you can start to have an idea of what this might look like and that's what we're going to be exploring in the upcoming lessons where we figure out, we've got the basis of an idea. What's it going to look like? How can we start to develop this visual language? Now that we've got an idea to work with, let's start scoping our project. 6. Scope Your Project: [MUSIC] We did it, we picked an idea, honestly, the hardest part is over. Now that we have an idea that we're going to run with and develop a brief for, the heavy lifting has been done and now we're just setting a game plan. If you think about a professional client brief, if a client came to you and gave you no brief to start with, you probably wouldn't even start the project. I take a similar approach to passion projects where now I don't begin my project until I have all of my things laid out and documented and I have a game plan, so I'm ready to go and do what I actually enjoy doing, which is creating, not planning, or scheduling, or things like that. We're going to do all of that legwork right here by building out a creative brief. Now, this is where if you've already had ideas for a name for your project, you could put it up here, we'll call it Soup-er Soul. I've laid this out into six different categories, so these are the six categories we'll be talking about to determine the brief. The first one is, what is the goal we're trying to achieve with this project? Like a little mission statement. Then the next one we will use is what timeline are we working with? In the last lesson we talked about how much time that you have per week, but in this lesson, we're going to be scoping out a little bit more of how long do we want this project to span? We know how much we want to dedicate per week and so we can build a timeline out from there. The next thing we're going to talk about in our brief are the skills we're going to be showcasing. Now, this might seem obvious, but I like to add this here because it helps to keep me on track, so my creative brain doesn't run wild and try to add a bunch of different bells and whistles to this project that weren't actually in the original intention. Now, this next one is very important. This is the number of pieces that are going to be in the series. You can think of this section as if you were getting hired to photograph and add campaign. How many photographs are you required to deliver? How many illustrations for an assignment are you supposed to deliver? This is going to be helpful in terms of figuring out the body of work. Down here too, once we figure out how many pieces we want to commit to, we can also do a stretch goal. A stretch goal is basically optimistic number of if this goes really well, I'm really feeling it, l have some time. Maybe my audiences are responding well to it. What would be the ideal goal that I tried to reach if I put a little extra juice into this project? The next section is taking inventory of what resources you already have available to you. This brief for this project shouldn't cause you more stress. Again, we're trying to take away the overwhelm. I'm a big fan of using resources that you already have available to you, whether it's art supplies that are already in your studio or workspace, enlisting help from friends. You don't necessarily need to go out and buy a whole new set of suppliers unless you really feel like it. I like to list out the resources that I have that are relevant to this project just so I know what's in my back pocket. Then the final section is to list out the deliverables. That's the combination of everything that we've written out ahead of it. This is what the final assets will be. I find that having this written out helps me stay on track and not veer too far off course. Again, treating this as if it were a professional project. What is the goal for this project? My goal for this project, when I think about it, is to build the confidence to start sharing some recipes. I think that soup could be a really good way to test the water with that. It's not too complicated, it's like a one-pot situation. My goal with this project is to develop a series of soup recipes and style and photograph them with Soup-er Soul quotes on top of the soup. Our timeline, kickoff around the time of the Skillshare class launch plus about two months afterwards. I think that again, practically this makes sense because it will launch with the class and there'll be more buzz around there, so I think that this timeline sounds good to me. Now, skills, what are the skills that I'm going to be showcasing with this project? When you get a brief from a client, it's pretty clear the skills that they're hiring you for and you come in and you're the expert and you do that thing, and that's very much the approach I've taken to my own creative career. I like to list out the skills here just to keep us on track. The skills are; recipe development, food styling, lettering, and photography. Now, the number of pieces and again, now that I'm seeing this, so it's like this would be nice to have this project run for at least two months. If that was like one per week, that's eight. But, like I said, don't bite off more than you can chew. I'm actually going to tailor that back to six knowing that I have a tendency towards optimism and thinking I can get way more done in a specific amount of time that I actually can. I'm going to err on the side of caution and say six photographs. Now, the stretch goal is where you get a little bit ambitious. Let's say the stretch goal is going to be 10, and this is just a nice to have. Another thing I want to add to my stretch goal too is if I end up having time, it could be nice to snap a couple of behind-the-scenes photos. But I don't want to commit to that just yet because until I do the exploration of my first piece, I won't really know how long it takes, so we'll say for the stretch goal, maybe there's behind the scenes. Not going to overwhelm ourselves. The whole [LAUGHTER] point of the brief is to sit down, get the work done, execute an idea, not to get overly ambitious at this stage. Now, when we think about our resources, because this is a fairly simple project, we're creating some soup and then we're photographing at tabletop, so I already have a camera. It could be a DSLR or an iPhone. Honestly, knowing my tendencies and seeing this all laid out, I'm leaning towards iPhone just for the ease, the setup and everything. We've got a blender, my vegetable garden, kitchen utensils/props, bowls. We also have different colored background boards. Now you see the resources that I listed out, these are all simple. We don't want to go above and beyond because we don't want to add more to our to-do list. If the barrier to entry to starting this project is to go on a big shopping trip or run around town or source supplies, it could be a little more difficult, so my best advice is to use what you already have. If anything, you get to flex your creative muscles too because oftentimes limitations can lead to more creative solutions plus, you can save money because you already have your stuff. I'm a big believer that passion projects do not have to be expensive. Now that we've seen all of this together, we've got a brief for Soup-er Soul. We're going to develop a series of super recipes and style and photograph them with super soul quotes on top of the soup. In terms of the deliverables, this is the final stuff that we are delivering. Since there are six photographs and they have super soup quotes and they're going to be soup recipes, we're going to need six super soul quotes that are short enough to fit in a bowl of soup. That's one of the boundaries or one of the limitations we're setting, that will help to dictate which quotes that I choose. Again, we're using these filters, so it makes our decision-making process a little bit easier knowing that we're only working with maybe an eight-inch bowl. We're going to need six recipes for soups. We're going to want a variety, and I'll have to workshop what that looks like, whether they're clear, breathy soups or thicker blended soups. Lots of different color spectrum that'll be fun to explore, and we will need six layouts or prop stylings and six finished photographs. These are the things that we'll have to get together in order for the project to be completed. Well, I've got my creative brief and my deliverables, and I've got my work cut out for me. I can already see the project starting to come together, even though these are just words on paper. That's the beauty of a creative brief. If you complete your creative brief, please share it in the project gallery. I would love to see what you're up to you and I'm sure your classmates with too. Now it's time to visually explore and develop the style that will be continued throughout your project. Can't wait. [MUSIC] 7. Explore Your Style : [MUSIC] The first step in developing a visual style that I like to use is building out a mood board. Just having, again, one visual place in front of you where you can see what the direction of the project is going to be. This is going to look different for everybody, but I'm going to use stuff that I already have. Like I said, we want to keep this as easy as possible. I dug through my drawers and I found some mailers I've gotten from different home brands that I've somehow kept, some cooking magazines. I also found my collection of different kinds of paint chips that I've gotten from the hardware store over the years. Every time I go into the store, I'll always take the little sampler books. These actually really come in handy for figuring out a color mood and a palette, just to give you an idea of where things are going to go. They don't have to be the exact colors we're using. We'll start to piece together a mood. Let's start with the soups because that is the main thing we're working with. I've already cut out a couple of images that I like. I'm going to be flipping through and looking at what photography styles look nice. Maybe I will cut out things that I really like the styling of and I can make little notes. Maybe I like the layout of the photo or the lighting that they're using. You can see that this photograph is top-down, whereas this one is more from a little bit of an angle. Any publications, magazines, like old books, anything that you don't mind cutting up. I do like physical mood boards. [NOISE] That's pretty. Now I like this napkin running underneath here, so I'm going to cut this one out. [NOISE] Maybe we have something like this. Here are some of the other images that I had cut out before. I really loved the styling and color of this one. I can already see elements that I like where it's like, they've layered something underneath the bowl, whether it's a plate or some kind of cloth. I really loved the effect of the oil on top of this thicker opaque soup here. I really liked the styling of the herbs underneath this. This actually is too big for my mood board, but I really liked the way that the ingredients sat on top of this one. I really like some of these textures going on here, and because this is a creative exploration type of project, that's the priority over a career growth because I don't know which direction I'm going with food per se, I am really liking some of these patterns. So most of these photos that I've pulled here all have a solid background. Maybe it would be interesting to try some patterns. I'm going to cut some of these out and just add them to my board. Seeing these patterns too makes me think that I can combine my food skills and art skills where maybe I paint some little pattern or illustration in the background and that compliments the food photograph. Now let's give some colors a shot. We've got some nice photos. We've got a couple of these artistic elements that I pulled. Let's search through some of these colors to see if we can start pulling together a mood. Lately I've been gravitating towards, for the first time in my life, greens and yellows and oranges and reds. I actually have been gravitating towards this because I was reading a book about the art of like Japanese food plating and they always use black, green, red, yellow in their compositions because the red, green, and yellow are colors that are found in nature in food already. I'm feeling this burnt orange color. Actually, I just happened to put this here, but this is already starting to form some color story for me. No on pastels, not super into cobalt. This one is nice. Feeling pretty good about this. What I'm going to do now is take these down and add notes of the things that I liked about each piece. The texture, those droplets are so nice. Illustration as backdrop. Maybe patterns. Contrast of the green garnish. Plate under bowl. Well, now that we have our mood board and have explored the visual style for our project, it's time to actually develop it and see what this project is actually going to look like. I'll meet you in the kitchen. [MUSIC]. 8. Lauren's Creative Kitchen: Hello, welcome to my creative kitchen and my real kitchen. Now that we've explored our visual style, it's actually time to develop it. I've got my mood board here with all of my inspiration images and colors. I have got my ingredients, I've got a bowl, and I have made some soup. The first soup I decided to tackle was tomato soup. I adapted a recipe that I found on the New York Times cooking website. It's delicious. I had it for dinner the other night. What I'm going to do now is just try to walk through the process of making one of these so I know how long it takes, know what's going to go into it, see if any roadblocks come up or things I want to change. Let's jump into it. This is a little food styling trick if you don't want to fill the whole bowl of soup because it's just for a photograph and I want to save some soup for later. You can just put a plate or some other shallow dish in here and just fill it up so you don't have to use as much soup. I'm trying to think if I should take the thing out now because maybe it'll just be better if I have a shallower bowl of soup. Let's see what happens. My plastic cup idea totally did not work. Turns out it's too high for this bowl and I'm just going to scrap it. In the first couple minutes of starting this project, I've already learned something new and I know for future reference if I'm ever going to use this bowl again, that this size mason jar is going to fill it up this high, so I want it to be fuller. I need to make a little bit more soup. Now that I have a smooth surface, it is going to be time to experiment with the lettering. What I have here, I have some sour cream that I've put into a little squeezy bottle. Because I had done that prior soup lettering piece with the butternut squash soup, the motivational one, I already have an idea of what it was like. But because this is a creative exploration and I'm trying to lean more into the cooking than the lettering, I want to be a little bit more experimental with it. I want this one to be a little bit more food-focused and feel it could almost be like a real soup that someone could serve you. I earlier did a couple of little samples. These are just little dishes that I put a little amount of soup into to do some tests of how the sour cream would sit on top of the soup. What happened was the squeezy bottles got clogged up, but it made this really cool pillow dollopy effect. I really loved that. This next one, you can see these faint lines here. I tried using some creamer. It wasn't as opaque and I didn't like it as much. Then with the C, I ended up dragging a toothpick through it and it just softened out some of those bumpy areas in the sour cream. I think I'm going to go with that, but because of the nature of the sour cream and food, I want it to look a little bit imperfect. The last time I attempted a piece like this, I actually took a little toothpick and sketched the artwork into the soup. It took such a long time. Because this product is going to be more food-focused, I'm actually just going to freehand it because I already have my existing lettering skillset. The quote that we're going to be using is from Oprah. It is, "You can have it all just not all at once," which I absolutely loved. I thought it was going to be short enough to fit in a bowl of this size because I've done one piece like this before. In case this quote starts to feel a little bit squished. All know for future pieces that okay, maybe I need to use a shorter quote and that'll just be good information as I continue the series. In terms of a time constraint or a set amount of time you should spend exploring, I really think it depends on what your project is and what your creative style is. Like I mentioned, I'm a little bit more in depth with my explorations. But let's say you do an exploration and it's a little bit quicker and you get to a point where you really like it sooner rather than later. That's totally fine too. You don't have to spend a whole day or even a half-day exploring if you get to a place where you totally knocked it out of the park on the first try. For me maybe it's a couple of hours for some projects, maybe it is a whole day. If it's something you're trying for the first time, I can say confidently that you'll probably spend a little bit more time exploring. But since I've done this before, I don't think it's going to take quite as long. The reason I wanted to explore free handing this too, was I really only have six hours to work on this if I'm going to do, let's say one per week. Keeping that in mind, I can't have this take too long. If the style I initially develop is a little bit looser, it'll allow me to work a little bit more quickly. We've done the soup. Now it's time to style, another integral part of this project. Taking inspiration from the mood board that I already put together, I really thought that those patterns that I pulled would be good to incorporate here. I wanted to try them out because I was like, oh, I can bring my art background into food by painting backdrops. I have this swirly red and white background here. I was inspired by this image here where the background was a similar-ish color to the soup. Then just in case, this one was a little bit too busy, I also created a more subtle one. I still wanted a little bit of texture in there just to give a little bit of visual interest. This is a perfect reason why we do this test run because I'm painting two versions now, so I can then just paint one version for each one moving forward. Let's put the soup in. I'll put up the bowl placement and I'm thinking it could be cool to have it not completely straight on. I'm liking this. I think that the color of the bowl breaks up the soup from the background, so I'm feeling that. I was inspired by the red swatch that I pulled in the palette. Just for good measure, I want to see what it looks like on the more simple background. This is just a wooden board I had laying around the studio from a hardware store. I just painted it with regular house paint. Actually, it wasn't even house paint, it was just acrylic paint I had around. Let's put this in here now. You know, I instantly like the busier one better because now that I'm seeing this, I think that the texture that I painted here is too subtle and it competes with the soup a little bit too much. I would like to soup to be the one solid red. That decision was easy. I got some plates that I already had in the cupboard. In my inspiration board, I really liked how there were plates underneath the bowls. I want to give that a shot here. Thinking that this blue and green compete a little bit too much with each other so I'm going to try the other one. I actually really loving the extra blue that the plate extends from the bowl. I actually think even though there's a lot going on, it visually adds a layer of interest, but also gives the eye a rest because of that extra buffer. I'm going to keep this plate in here. I really liked that. Referencing my mood board once again, I loved how this parsley was styled underneath the bowl. I'm going to give that a try. Now to pull this all together, I'm thinking I want to add a little bit of chopped parsley sprinkled throughout. This is just getting into the nitty-gritty art direction things, but that's my happy place. Now, I'm going to be very delicate with this. I don't want to add too much. I'm just going to be sprinkling this in any of the negative space, trying not to overlap it with any of the letters, but a little bit is okay. Happy accident. I'm cool with that overlap. I think that's looking good. Now, I've got some dishtowels that I had. I'm torn. Looking at this waffle print towel on top of this, I think it's already a little bit too busy. I also brought some tomatoes, but now that I'm seeing it, I think they're going to compete with the background. This is why we do the exploration. I think that the patterned backgrounds can pretty much be most of the visual interest for the photograph. That means I don't have to style a ton of objects around it, which makes my life a lot easier. I did bring some croutons just as a little extra garnish. Part of the inside joke about the soup in that group text that was part of the inspiration for this, was that soup doesn't have enough texture. Someone had mentioned crouton. Here I am with croutons. I'm happy with this, and what I'm more happy about is how little time this took me. I'm very into that. Again, wherever we set the bar with this first experiment is where the rest of the project will go. If I set the bar here because I know that the actual styling of it isn't going to take as long as I thought, which means I can pour in a little extra love into learning the new skill or developing the new skill that I'm really interested in, which is starting to test and write recipes. That's exciting. Now what I'm going to do is go ahead and take some different photographs on my phone. I'm not going to use my fancy camera for this because again, trying to keep this easy, not overwhelming. Going to take a couple of different photographs, different compositions and see what we like. One that's a little closer in, so there's less of the wave around it. I found the one. What I'm going to do now is just to brighten it up ever so slightly. Now, I officially have my MVP, my minimum viable product for my passion project. This whole process wasn't just so we can have one nice thing to share online and call it a day. This is basically deliverable number one out of the six that I've committed to. We've now developed a visual style and language that we can continue throughout our entire series. Well, I've got my MVP, but of course, not everybody's projects are going to be happening in the kitchen. I want to walk you through a couple of other examples of what your visual exploration might look like. 9. Develop Your Style: [MUSIC] We are back from the kitchen. That was fun. But of course, not everybody's passion project is going to involve cooking and food styling. I wanted to walk you through a couple other examples of how your passion project visual exploration might come together. I'm going to show you one of my very first passion projects, daily dishonesty. This one was a hand lettering project. I was just getting into lettering, it was a new hobby. This visual exploration was me discovering a style for this project with no prior experience. You can see just pen and ink doing some explorations. I had no idea what I was doing, so I scanned this into the computer. Then I brought it up in Photoshop and just played around with colors, added maybe some shadows. That was the exploration. The beauty of being your own client with a passion project is you don't have to show multiple rounds of sketches or revisions. You are the client and you are the creative. You just get to sit there and toy around, fiddle with things. Once you get it to a point you like, you are ready to go. With this project in particular, because it was one of my first and I didn't have this passion project brief or formula set down. I wanted to show you that with this product, I'm going to go into the archive right here. You can actually see starting well, October 2012, that from the very beginning, there's not really a cohesive style because I didn't have this framework. It took me about a dozen or so posts to really come into my own. I was experimenting with a lot of different color palettes. The one thing I did have going for me with this project though is that I did decide on a canvas size. I had a tabloid size that was horizontal and then I had a vertical version too. What I learned over the years is just pick one, that's the easiest, but I wanted the variety at the time. I don't blame myself. This is another project I worked on. I had gone through a bad breakup so I had an idea to create a drinking glass with the phrase ex-boyfriend tears on it. I want to show you the very first visual exploration. This is really just, again, as simple as possible. I took some fonts and put them on these little outlines of a glass that I made. This is all in Adobe Illustrator and worked with the formattings. I realized that maybe a font isn't going to quite cut it for this. I ended up taking it to the next level, exploring some kind of custom lettering, trying out different kind of ligatures and different lockups until I finally landed on one that I liked. Then I mocked it up on photographs of products and then figured out which ones I was going to produce. Your process can look different depending on the medium, your style. It can be as in-depth or as simple as you'd like it to be. These could be just thumbnail sketches. These could be full-on mockups. I prefer to go a little bit more in-depth with mine because it brings me a little bit more peace before I move forward with any other pieces. The other one I wanted to show you is one of my most recent passion projects. This is a project called Taking back sundae, S-U-N- D-A-E, another food projects. This is in line with the Super soul project that I'm doing. But this one had no cooking involved. This was just to flex my food styling skills. With this one, what I wanted to do was recreate my favorite emo pop punk album covers from high school, middle school, and turn them into ice cream sundaes. What I did was I pulled up, obviously, the album cover, as you can see here. Then I did a quick sketch on my iPad. You can see how rough this is just to get placement, what the background I wanted it to be was. Then we did a test shoot to see how the process would be. We ended up with just different images. We used real ice cream for this. I'm so glad that I did this exploration because what I learned from it is real ice cream is incredibly difficult to style and work with. I was super rushed while it was all melting, the hot fudge wouldn't stick to the top. From this experience, I realized that I needed to use fake ice cream if I really wanted this project to be as enjoyable as possible. Because remember, your passion projects should be enjoyable for you. What I did was I ended up googling how to make fake ice cream. Turns out it's just powdered sugar and frosting you buy from the store. You make this paste and it scoops just like real ice cream. I learned something. This is something I wouldn't have known had I not done this kind of test exploration. The next step from that was to go ahead and figure out color grading. We had a warmer version and then a cooler version, which I liked better. I thought it matched the album cover. Here is the final piece that we ended up with. Those are just a couple examples of different projects that I've done and how the visual exploration came together, some things I learned. Remember, this process is going to look different for everybody. Do whatever you need to do to explore this visual style for your project, whatever makes you feel comfortable. Like I mentioned, I like to go all the way through the whole process to make sure I've learned the ins and outs of what making each piece is going to entail. I can go ahead and get to work on my project. Next up, we'll start planning our lunch. [MUSIC] 10. Plan Your Launch: Now that we have developed our visual style and ideally after you've made a couple of those first pieces of your project, it is time to launch this project out into the world. If you are someone who gets a little bit overwhelmed with marketing your work or self-promotion, this is the lesson for you. I promise that when you plan it out ahead of time, it makes the launch more like copy and pasting and pressing some buttons versus sitting there with your Instagram open trying to write a caption in real-time. Let me tell you what goes into a successful launch. When it comes to the day that you launch your project, you can technically go live whenever you want and again, creative autonomy, you're in the driver's seat. However, I have found that being a little bit strategic if possible, about when you launch can really add a little bit of extra fuel to your project and get it circulating around the web or just get it in front of more people. The first thing we're going to ask ourselves is, when is an opportune time to launch my project? Basically what you're trying to do is find a time where people are already talking about a thing related to your project and launch it then, because that's when people are buzzing about it. Maybe a public figure's birthday, maybe it's like one of those national fill-in-the-blank days, like National Ice Cream Day or National Teachers Day, or maybe it's a month where they dedicated to something like March is Women's Month. That could be if it relates to your project, a good time to launch. When I was looking around the time of launching this project, when this class was coming out, I actually noticed that in the month of February there was a National Homemade Soup Day, I kid you not, it was just happened to be perfect timing, so things like that and if that isn't the case, then you can just go ahead look at your calendar and commit to a day, that you want to launch on. You could go into your Instagram analytics and see like, if you were going to post this on Instagram, when your audience is most active, that little bit of fine tuning, you can take it or leave it, it depends on what social media user you are. But this is what I want to think about when we're thinking about a launch plan is, is there an opportunity to get a little bit more juice for this project? The next question you want to ask yourself is, who am I going to tell about this project? What network is available to me? Where am I going to blast this out to and how am I going to get it in front of the people who I think would really enjoy this project or support my work already. Now you may be thinking, I don't know anybody, I don't have an Instagram following. I don't have a big, I'm not a household name, who am I even going to launch this project to? What I want to say to that is, everybody has a network of people, even if it's just like your family group texts that you share this with. I really think a huge part of me building the career that I have today was the ability to just put the work out there, see what happens and get it in front of people, some people might like it, some people might not, but you never know and you can't build that following or that audience or that loyal client base without putting yourself out there first. Maybe you have friends and family or colleagues who you know have an interest in the theme of your project. For me, it's cooking and soup, but based on the idea gathering and me finding that group text from my artist friends when we were talking about soup and it became an inside joke, I'm definitely going to share it with them first because there's already a connection there. You want to think about your project and who you already know who might enjoy it. Word of mouth marketing is still by far my favorite marketing because it's coming from a trusted source and people are more likely to engage with it or look at it if it's coming from someone they trust, so send it to people that you trust or you think would like this and it's more likely to spread. Now the third and final part of the launch plan is to figure out your launch announcement, which is basically a press release, which is basically a short description of what the project is and the texts that you're going to use to send the project into the world. A launch announcement has a couple of key parts. For this, you're going to want to really think about the name of your project now, so if you haven't thought about it yet, this would be a good time to sit down and figure out a name for your project. We've got name, something short, maybe a little witty like mine, doesn't have to be though, that just describes what the project is and gives people something to remember. Then the what, so the what is a one or two sentence summary of what the project is. Then I also like to include a why, oftentimes people like to hear a little bit about the backstory of a project or why the person made it. I often think that it humanizes the project and gives it a little bit more interest, so I always like to include the why did I make this? Then the final part of a launch announcement is the CTA, also known as the call to action. What this is, is the sign-off for your announcement basically telling people, this is what you can do to support me, so follow this hashtag, just follow along with the project, go to my website to see updates for the project. You want to give people a clear direction on how they can stay engaged with the project and see more of it, so that's what a CTA is. Now I'm going to go through and fill this up. When is an opportune time to launch my project? Well, since I am trying to coordinate it with around the time that this class comes out, I looked at the calendar and I saw that National Homemade Soup Day is actually in the same month as this class is supposed to come out, so I can't think of a better national holiday even if it's made up to launch this project on, so I'm going to write that down here. Now that I've picked this, what I might do next is look at maybe what some other people or brands have posted around this day. Are there any hashtags that people use for National Homemade Soup Day? Do a little bit of research, you don't have to go super deep, but just see if there's any band wagons you can jump on. Who am I going to announce this project to? Who in my network would enjoy this? I would definitely announce this to my artist friends who were in that group text about the soup. I am probably going to share it with my friends who I know are home cooks and really enjoy soup. Another little tip I'll tell you with friends or colleagues that you know share the same niche interests that I've tried from my last project and it worked well is, if you're sharing this on Instagram and you want to make a special announcement, what you could do is, let's say I have 20 friends who I know love soup or cold weather food. What you can do is go and add them to your close friends on Instagram, so when you do post in your story and it pops up, it'll have that little special green circle, or I think it's still a green circle and it'll be pushed to the front of the story so people are more likely to see it. You can do little things like that. You basically just want to get your project in front of the right people who are going to love this project. Then you can also think about what platforms are you already on. For me, I'm definitely going to share this on Instagram, maybe I would share it on Facebook. I definitely would send an email out about this to my email newsletter. If you have a newsletter, this is a great thing to consider adding to this announcement list, because people are more likely to see things via email than they are on social media. I think that that sounds like a pretty solid list of people to blast it out to when I'm ready to launch my soup project. Now the launch announcement, again, the name, mine is going to be Super Soul because the word, the words happen to work out well. If you can't think of a witty name that works or it's a bit of a stretch, always just go for something that's simple and describes your project. One little tip I can give you is alliteration works wonders, so if the first letters of the words in your project name are the same, it just rolls off the tongue nicely, so that's one thing maybe rhymes, literary devices tend to be a little stickier in the mind. My project name is Super Soul. What is it? This is the one to two sentence summary of what your project is. This is series of recipes for soup that are photographed and styled with Super Soul quotes on them. The why, why did I make this project? You can go back and refer to your first exploration of what are you looking for? What direction do you want to go in? Look through those answers and you can probably piece together and answer from that. For me is, I want to flex my food styling muscles, I want to position myself as a food artist in preparation to go to culinary school, I want to basically expand my work deeper down this food route because I'm expanding my business and creative practice. This would be a great time for me to mention too, that this is the first time ever that I'm sharing a proper recipe that I've created. That's a big step for me and people love to celebrate big steps for people or big steps, small wins, anything in between. Don't be afraid to be honest about why you're creating this project. If the project is being created so you can land a dream job, say it out loud because you never know who's going to see that and go, oh, I know a person who'd like this and then put it in front of them. Now my call to action. What do I want people to do? In this case, this is a great place to think about how you're going to be rolling out this project, so do you want people to go to your website? Do you want people to follow along with the hashtag? Do you want people to share? Don't be shy about asking people to share with any other soup lovers or whatever your project is about. Because oftentimes I know it can feel contracted to be like, please share this please and asking for it but at the same time, sometimes people need that little nudge to know what you want. For me, I would like people to follow along with my hashtag. Maybe it's hashtag, Super Soul. I want people to share with friends who love soup slash food in general. Maybe I'll ask people as well. If your call to action can have a couple of different points, I would say no more than three, one is probably ideal because it's most distinct. But either just me brainstorming what I might ask people to do. I also think maybe it would be nice to ask people what they might want to see. Like what soup? What quote? Maybe it's like your favorite thought leader, plus your favorite soup recipe, that might be a fun way to engage with people. We've got some launch planning done. Even if my entire project isn't done, I'm already feeling more at ease knowing that this is how we're going to roll it out. The same way that with a client project, oftentimes it gets done because there's the deadline that you're working towards. What I do love about picking a date that's anchored to something that you can't move, like a holiday or someone's birthday or just some celebration day, that is, this is the date, it holds you accountable to finishing the project and launching it by that date. We're pretty much good to go. I'm ready to follow along with this project at this point. 11. You’re Ready!: By now you have created a full-on brief for your soon-to-be passion project. You've got a list of deliverables. You've got an MVP and a test piece. You are ready to make things happen and launch this project out into the world. Well, after almost a decade of launching my own projects this way, I can tell you that at this point, you can still get in your own way and start getting overwhelmed. I've learned a thing or two from doing this for so long and I want to walk you through some common end of projects close to launch roadblocks that I've encountered and how you can overcome them so you don't have to go through the same thing that I did. The biggest roadblock I've encountered when I'm getting ready to wrap up my couple of pieces and launch this project into the world is perfectionism. I don't consider myself a perfectionist, but oftentimes what I've noticed in my own process is that I'll start getting perfectionistic as a way to delay having to launch this project. What I can tell you is, if you notice yourself tinkering and finessing because it's part of your process and your craft and that really matters to you, then that's totally fine. But if you notice that you're doing it as a way to drag your feet to not actually have to send it out into the world, then I would encourage you to adopt the mindset that done is better than perfect when it comes to a passion project because there's no such thing as a perfect passion project because there's no such thing as a perfect creative project. Creativity is subjective and that's what makes it so wonderful. Knowing this and knowing that I've set my parameters to be going to make at least six pieces, that's all I'm committing to, it alleviates some of the pressure because you know that even if you're nervous and even if things don't go well, you only committed to six pieces and you're going to learn so much from it. I guarantee you that nothing good can happen if you keep your work hold up on your desktop or in your studio. You've got to share it with the world and see what happens. There's so much more good that can come from that. Another roadblock that I've encountered is falling off the bandwagon in terms of your production schedule. Sometimes life gets in the way, things get busy, something comes up and you start to fall behind schedule and that never feels good in a professional context and in a personal context. It's happened to me before. It's actually happened to me recently where I had a really strong start and I made a couple of pieces and then things just tapered off and I thought that it had been a couple of weeks and it had actually been a couple of months. Just to give you an example of how these things can spiral. If you do fall off track and you start to think, how can I like, when's a good time to pick it up again? Like how can I start? It's been so long. Have I lost momentum? My best advice to you is there's never a bad time to pick it back up. If you haven't launched yet, no one knows about it. No one even knows you're behind. It's only you. You can just go back in the process, pick a new launch date or timeline, reconfigure some things to make it work for you. Again, you're the client, you're the creative director, you are everybody in the supply chain or the process. You have control over that. Another roadblock that I've encountered is once you send your project out into the world, feeling disappointed that it didn't get the response that you thought it was going to get. I know we just talked about that as one of the worries that you have before you even launch your project. I'm going to be real with you. It can totally happen. You might hear crickets, you might not get the response that you thought you would. I want to talk you through just a couple of things that I wish I had known or could have told myself when I was going through this. When you share your project, the reason that we put so much effort ahead of time and preparing for this project, really figuring out if it's the right project for you is because at the end of the day, regardless of the response, how you feel about the project or how you felt about the project while you were making it and the direction that's going to be taking you in and what it's doing for you is the most important part. I've always told my students this, even if something completely flops on social media, you can always put it in your portfolio. It can live on your website forever and ever however long you want to keep it. You never know when that's going to create new opportunities for you. For example, I launched a passion project in 2015 maybe. I thought it was going to do super well and it didn't. I made physical pieces to sell and I only sold about three-quarters of them and I had to discount the rest or give them away. I was a little bit bummed because I thought it was such a good idea and it just didn't get the response. I put it in my portfolio and three years later, I got a project inquiry referencing that exact project, and it paid my rent for a year. Never underestimate the power of a personal project that you feel strongly about because it can still do work for you behind the scenes. I am reminded of this quote from my friend Adam J.K, who said, "Failure is just research unless you never try again." I think that that's super relevant to what I'm talking about here. Because maybe you try something out and it flops, then you just have a data point of if you feel strongly enough about it, you can continue doing it in another project or down the line. If you realize maybe you need to tweak some things to make it a little bit more engaging for the platform or wherever you're sharing it, then you just have some more feedback and you can tweak and make it better for next time. If you post your project on social media and it doesn't get the engagement that you wanted, so much of that is out of your control. Even as someone who has a large Instagram following, I'm pretty sure everything I post, even if it's like the most amazing thing I've ever made, only ever reaches about 15, 20 percent of my audience if I'm lucky. That actually is the beauty of the Passion Project series is that let's say the first post just catches a weird wave of algorithm and it's completely out of your hands. Maybe you posted at the wrong time of day or there's a bug, then you have a couple other pieces however many for me, it's going to be the first one plus at least five more. You have more pieces to keep sharing that series of work and hopefully, catch a good wave of algorithm or get it in front of someone. When they see that it's a series, they'll say, this is soup number three. There must be a one and two and they might go back in your feed. They might go back on your website to go see the rest of them. You might have noticed that we did a ton of prep work in this class, but we didn't focus on expectations in terms of what we wanted the project to absolutely accomplish like a 1000 likes or 100 shares or I want to generate this much money in client work because so much of this is out of our control and I never like to put that pressure on my passion projects because they're supposed to be fun and as enjoyable as possible. Of course, there might be ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it should be an overall net positive experience that is not too stressful, not too overwhelming. Just let whatever happens, happen. I've launched maybe a dozen personal projects at this point in my career and some of them have been a total hit. Like I mentioned before, my daily dishonesty project caught a good wave of internet, started circulating, landed me a bunch of freelance work, and basically launched my career, and is the reason I'm sitting here today talking to you lovely people. But I've also had projects that didn't really do much for me. They, like I said, they flopped on social media, put them in my portfolio, and maybe they've generated a project or two. But at the end of the day, I still like them and they're worthy of being in my portfolio and that is satisfying enough to me. Just know that there's never such thing as a passion project being a waste of time because you tried something new. You even practiced the skill of committing to an idea and learning how to filter down your ideas and getting in touch with your gut on what you should pursue next. That skill is so important. Once you complete the set number of pieces that you had committed to originally in your brief for your passion project, one, congratulations. But two, this is the time to take a little bit of pause and evaluate where you're at. You can look at the project, see how you feel about it. Take inventory of whether or not you want to reach your stretch goal and maybe continue the series. Maybe you feel like you've gotten what you need out of the project. You have a portfolio piece and you're already thinking about the next thing that you want to make, then that's perfectly fine too. Now you can take this exact same framework and do it again for your next passion project. When you are evaluating your passion project, I would encourage you to focus on how did it feel while making it? Is there anything you would change in the process for next time? Were there any parts that you absolutely loved? Were there any parts that you absolutely hated? Because then for your next project you can make sure not to include it. If for some reason while I was doing my project, I realized that I really hated making soup or food styling wasn't something that made me as happy as I thought it was going to, then maybe I could find another creative outlet still in the realm of food recipes. You can always redefine what you're aiming for, what you like, who you are. I guarantee you're going to learn something no matter how your project goes. Take your little notepad and tuck it away in your memory and take that with you to the next project. Everything that you do is just a stepping stone for the next project or the next creative endeavor. As evidenced by my projects and the trajectory of my creative career currently. 12. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] Oh my gosh, we made it. You completed this class. I'm so proud of you. We walked through the entire creative process of figuring out what we were looking for, gathering our bits and pieces of ideas, putting them together, filtering them down, committing to actually working on one, building out a beautiful creative brief for it. It's complete with deliverables of what you're going to make. You have everything you need to get started, not to mention a pre-written launch plan. Sharing your project out in the world is a breeze. The best part is this process can be replicated over and over again for any creative project in pretty much any medium you want to try in the future. I'm certainly going to be trying a ton of them. Please share your creative briefs or passion projects in the project gallery. I'm so curious to see what everyone made. Thanks again for joining me for this class. I'll see you in the next one. Happy passionate projecting. [MUSIC]