Advice on Side Projects

“Find a very motivated friend to help spur you on to complete your side project”

Barbara Ryan, Art Director

My main side project has almost been going for almost a decade! I began BFR mag (embarrassingly, named after my initials) when I was 15. It was a way of channelling all my teenage confusion, angst and silliness into something tangible that I could pass to my friends and see if they were feeling the same. It wasn’t until my parents suggested putting some copies in my art foundation portfolio that I realised that the zine could be an art thing too.

Now it’s a fantastic excuse for me to collaborate with friends and approach people I admire to be contributors. I love the production side of it too – talking to printers, learning new processes and deciding all the details – something I don’t get to do at my job.

In my mind, side projects equal sanity. They mean I don’t feel really disheartened if a project at work goes a bit tits up or a client has something iffy in mind. Side projects definitely help me let off steam. You can also have total control over it, which often is never really the case working in an ad agency.

I advise finding a very motivated friend to help spur you on to complete your side project and discuss it with them. Mine is the brilliant, omni-talented Amelia Pemberton. We remind each other of projects we discussed years ago that haven’t been made due to one excuse or another. Despite living in different countries, just a quick glance at her Instagram is enough to make me up my side hustle activity. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition, eh?

Barbara Ryan is an art director at creative studio Cloudfactory in Amsterdam.

Posted 03 April 2017 Collection: Side Projects
Disciplines: Illustration, Advertising, Publishing
Mentions: Barbara Ryan, Amelia Pemberton

Side Projects

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