Kollaboration is a country-wide non-profit organization that strives to promote talent in the Asian-American community. They have yearly showcases which people can audition to be a part of, and the winners get recording time, professional career advice, and a chance to compete in a nationwide competition with all the other winners in the 14 cities Kollaboration is located in throughout the U.S.
I got involved with Kollaboration Chicago via the General Director and Community Relations staff at the time, who were both personal friends. They needed someone to assist the Creative Director for the 2016 season with social media and print materials. I assisted with the creative work throughout the year, and took over the majority of the work for 2017 when the Creative Director stepped down. I chose to remain off the board and did not take the Creative Director position officially, as I felt it should belong to an Asian-American designer. I also took over the majority of photography for promotional and showcase purposes.
Despite not being an Asian-American, I love the purpose of Kollaboration. It promotes a nationality that is often invisible in the music industry. So many of the contestants and people who perform at the open mic nights are incredibly talented, and deserve recognition.
I had never really worked with social media before working with Kollaboration, so it was a new experience. I enjoyed the challenge, as designing for social media has a lot of size and placement restrictions, especially in Facebook, where the recommended image size and layout for cover images is almost constantly changing.
It’s a new media, where you have to convey a message with as little copy as possible, while keeping it eye-catching and informative. While I had some room to work around, maintaining the branding was always important, as well.
I also haven’t done much print work as a designer, so working on programs and booklets for Kollaboration Chicago was a new challenge as well. The majority of the work consisted of booklets, as I was responsible for updating and creating sponsorship booklets to give to prospective sponsors, as well as the program books for the 2016 and 2017 showcases. This year, I also got to create the flyers and posters used to promote the showcase. I assisted in putting up posters around Chicago, as well as handing out half size flyers at local events. I also got to create the posters that were used for autographs at the meet and greet for the showcase.
For me, photography is more a hobby than a career. I do it mostly for fun, and I absolutely had a great time getting to photograph for Kollaboration Chicago.
The initial photo shoots (second slideshow), were for promotional materials. They were used in social media, print, as well as on the website for bio’s. Due to scheduling, we broke it down to 2 contestants per photo shoot, so I ended up doing 3 different ones, all in the same location. The first slideshow is from the actual showcase.