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The blurred line between being a creative and an influencer

As a generation of creative freelancers and artists come of age on social media, the lines between being a creative and an influencer are increasingly blurring. There is a new wave of creatives raised from the era of Instagram, YouTube and TikTok that are just as comfortable in front of the camera as behind it, redefining experience and credentials beyond the ordinary portfolio or creative degree. In this newsletter we’ll talk about how embracing the influencer mindset can open more doors to creative opportunities. 

Creators with a high social media following (often derived as ‘creative celebrities’) are nothing new, but there’s been a major shift in the way they portray and market their profiles. Take Ines Alpha, a 3D and AR makeup artist specialising in surreal facial digital artwork with a portfolio of brand collaborations including Burberry, Selfridges, Dior and more. What makes their creativity so ‘cutting-edge’ not only comes from the talent and craft alone, but from the followings and consciously curated social media feeds that convey personality and charm. These creative celebrities are the Disney Channel kids of this industry. 

The pandemic, however, only superseded creatives to look at platforms like TikTok and YouTube as an evolution to their career. Content has moved on from the early days of process shots, adjusted portfolios and exhibition shorts to a space where people gravitate as much to the creators as their work. That’s not to say a lot of their work isn’t good – much of it definitely is. 

However, if you’re looking to get hired to work on projects with the likes of Nike, Burberry, Balenciaga and other brands currently ruling social media, you might want to consider the possibility of becoming more visible on social media (especially TikTok). We have seen Emilyzugay go viral after companies fell in love with her intentionally “ugly” logo designs that defy convention. Whilst her success lends to her charm, you don’t necessarily have to use humour to attract those opportunities, but something that shows an intention to reinvent the wheel. We now see many creatives re-shooting videos or redesigning packaging which is grabbing the attention of these companies. 

The majority of creatives who become influencers understand this as a gateway towards extra income. When you become an influencer, you can increase your earnings through methods such as: affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, speaking at events, starting your own courses/books… the possibilities are endless. 

Yet, even if you’re just starting to grow your influence, you can still start maximising your earnings through the alternative income sources listed with affiliate marketing being a particular example of growing your revenue even with limited reach.

Influencing has gone beyond the stereotypical norms of trend following instagram discount codes, but as opportunities to lend your art to newer heights, revenues and opportunities all whilst letting us all see the face behind the craft. 

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