The Value Of A Passion Project

One thing that I am a HUGE advocate for is Passion Projects. Whether you’ve made a painting, performance, film or blanket – I think you’re brilliant! I believe having a passion project is so overwhelmingly positive for employees and employers in any industry or field – and that everyone in a company from the Intern to the CEO should have one on the go.

I think all employers should encourage them. Here’s why:

Creative Experimentation

A passion project is the perfect place to experiment. It’s something you create purely for yourself – you don’t have to share it anywhere, or with anyone. It’s a time to experiment with something risky while you test some new techniques or explore a new style.

You can’t always do what you want when you have a client. Everything you make has to satisfy their needs and, in some way, or another has input from their side. Whether you’re looking to Maximise ROI, hit their KPI’s, or show off their brand values – you’re using their money, to complete your work, to achieve their goals.

So, take a moment to step out of this results-focused cycle and make something wacky purely for the joy of the creation process!

Fulfilment - Scratch That Creativity Itch

I don’t know about you, but as a creative – every so often I get this ‘creativity itch’ that I simply can’t scratch. It’s a mixture of elation and excitement for some wild idea I have, and a mixture of disappointment/guilt for not chasing it down. Possibly the most productive way of scratching that itch, I find, is to make a personal project.

Don’t look to rely on anyone else. Don’t include cast, crew, assistants or models – just go and create something that you can do entirely by yourself, for yourself. Something you can start tonight and tinker over a few hours in a week. It’ll scratch that itch and give you that sense of fulfilment you’ve been craving!

Between the Lines | Passion Project |Paris Photographs 2
Between the Lines | Passion Project | Paris Photographs 1
Between the Lines | Passion Project | Paris Photographs 3

Career Advancements

From an employer’s perspective, assigning your time to making something outside the box can be seen as an unnecessary risk. But if you take your own personal time to create a proof of concept and show how successful it was to your employer, then they’re much more likely to allow you to attempt something similar in the future.

 

Whether it’s a film project, painting or meme. If you spend the time creating it yourself and show the worth of it to your fellow colleges and boss, then they might see the wider positive impact of your project and encourage you to create it during work hours.

 

Furthermore, if you’re stuck in a role that you don’t necessarily enjoy and want to make a career change into another department. Creating something that gives evidence of your passion and the skillset that you’ve been developing outside of work hours – will give you a great discussion point for an interview.

 

From my experience in Recruitment for the ONQOR Media team, you’d honestly be surprised at how many of our strongest applicants had one or two previous careers they moved on from. This is because applicants with these altering career experiences often have an unmatched appreciation and hunger for the career path that they now feel is right for them – which in turn has fuelled them to create exciting, excellent work.

Regain Your Passion

As I mentioned further up, creating work for clients is amazing. Although, creatively-speaking, sometimes there are a number of guidelines you have to adhere to.

 

Of course, that’s fine, normal even. If you’re lucky enough to be paid to use your creative skills, then you’re winning! But I think it’s safe to say that when you first started developing that creative skillset you weren’t being paid from day one. In fact, like many, I think it’s fair to assume that most people pursuing a career in filmmaking, photography design, website creation, painting or content creation – weren’t paid at all for those first few projects.

 

In a passion project there are no KPI’s, no brand values or any value expectations. You can create whatever you like, however you like, in whatever shape or form you choose.

Shareable

OKAY – this one just for the employers. But an employee’s passion project is such a bloody good piece of creative content for your companies’ social media account! It shows that your company is different, it shows that you care about your employees and value them as a person. Not to mention, it also looks awesome on your social media feed! If you’re normally just posting formal, corporate content, the occasional odd post about something fun and creative might surprise your typical audience and get them engaging more with your companies’ social media channels.

The Perfect Weekend - A Short Film

Here’s a recent project I’ve been working on which is soon to be revealed on ONQOR’s social media.

 

Conclusion

RIGHT – that’s it! My top five reasons why you should create and encourage passion projects! I hope you found it inciteful, and that it’s given you a bit more energy to go out and create something.

 

If this was successful and you are planning on going out to make something awesome. It would mean the world to me if you sent me the project you created; I promise I won’t share it anywhere I’d just love to see it! You can find me on LinkedIn or on Instagram.