This week, we are happy to present you not one but two creators: Nadia (nadinevash) and Vira (veravashtext)! These twin sisters are very active on eyeka, and together, they have won almost 10 prizes. That’s awesome! When we asked them about their favorite quote, here is what they answered: “We are our choices”, from Jean-Paul Sartre. And that says a lot about them! But surely not enough, so let’s read more about them.
Tell us a bit more about yourself.
We’re twin sisters, both 18 years old. As for now, we live in Ukraine and study at the University here. For a major, we chose Advertising and Public Relations - needless to say, our creative experience on eyeka has heavily contributed to this decision.
While most young people that pursue advertising consider joining agencies or in-house departments, the business side of advertising is not as appealing to us. For us advertising is, to begin with, a mean of storytelling. We feel that ads could be similarly creative and impactful as movies are - yet, their creative value is often neglected among companies.
Our yet biggest ambition is to start a production agency capable of taking on small-scale and large-scale projects - ads, movie production, music videos. The experience of presenting ideas, writing scripts, and laying out storyboards we get on eyeka is priceless to such an extent that we often consider the platform our second university.
How did you find out about eyeka?
In 2016, we were looking for creative contests for advertisers, writers, and filmmakers. eyeka immediately stood out with its friendliness and freedom. Firstly, we were in it mostly for portfolio and money rewards, so, naturally, we picked a contest with the highest budget in pursuit of these goals. We gathered a creative team from our classmates (they were kind enough to wake up at 4 AM and go shoot a horrible script with us). The idea of a video was bad, so we never uploaded it - but it was fun.
After that, we put our eyeka participation on hold, and came back a year later, in 2017. At that point, we already knew that we want to pursue scriptwriting, creating concepts and scripts for advertising. So, eyeka, again, was a perfect playground. We uploaded our first entry, and while the original concept of that entry still seems great, the visuals were horrible. Of course, we didn’t win.
However, we got luckier with our second contest and got a second prize (it’s still remembered as one of the best days of our creative life). When your work receives recognition, you get a strong motivation to continue. Later, we started exploring product design - and it turned out to be very rewarding as well.
Do you have a creative process? If so, can you share a bit of your secret with our community? Where do you look for inspiration? How is a creative process with a twin sister?
We have often struggled to create a ‘winning entry algorithm’ on eyeka - a set of rules that should help us estimate the entry’s shot at winning. Long story short, we failed. At first, it was even discouraging to not be able to predict what type of entry will win the next contest. Then, we realized the lack of strict rules gives us the freedom to explore as many thought currents as possible.
We usually read all briefs in the categories of ‘Creative Writing’ - we’re yet to master design, and the community has a strong pool of designers with whom it’d be unreasonable to compete. Then, no matter if we ‘feel’ the brief or not, we do quick research on market trends. Then close the laptop and wander off to watch an episode of a favorite TV show absentmindedly thinking about the idea.
A few hours later (possibly, the next day), we run a quick brainstorming session writing all ideas down in the mobile notepad. We have no idea how other creators manage to define the worth of an idea - we prioritize them by the amount of time and effort needed for execution - start with those that are straightforward and well-outlined leaving more complex and challenging ones for later.
We always upload 3-4 entries per contest exploring various facets of the brief. For the contest on Elderly Mobility solutions, we uploaded over 5 entries that would be both small-scale and large scale, governmentally backed or local. Seeing how we got the second prize for one of those entries, exploring the brief from different angles has become our permanent strategy.
We’re not too disciplined when it comes to uploading new entries - in fact, last-minute uploads are certainly in our book. None of our last-minute entries have won - that’s why taking your time and uploading with a head start is a way, way better approach.
Duffer Brothers, the executive producers of Stranger Things and screenwriters, talked at a great length about how working with a twin feels - and we relate so much. In particular, they said that it’s a great pleasure to work with a sibling because you can shut down each other’s ideas in the worst fashion ever - and still work together. But we also understand each other’s idea without saying and often arrive at the same concept simultaneously - this looks like some advanced telepathy to others.
But it’s pretty cool because each of us can count on someone with the same creative vision, yet the perspective will still be somewhat different. Playing the devil’s advocate when nitpicking each other’s ideas is also pretty helpful since it leads to a more detailed understanding of the concept.
When submitting an entry, how do you keep positive if it is rejected or not selected as a winning entry?
The answer is simple: we really don’t. We doubt ourselves a lot - especially lately we had a bunch of entries that we never uploaded because we felt like they don’t adhere to our inner standards. That’s, actually, a terrible practice because creators hardly can evaluate their work properly at the moment (you need time and perspective).
But yeah, self-doubt is our worst enemy and it never really goes away. So, if the entry is rejected, we can be obsessing over it for a while, especially if we thought it to have winning potential. If it doesn’t win, we don’t feel that sad. The thing is, there is no entitlement about winning - each time when we get a prize or reward, we are genuinely surprised and humbled. There are just so many amazing creators on the platform that the idea of someone choosing our entry feels like an enormous privilege.
The first thing we do is check the entries of those who won in a feedback circle and understand how it adheres to the brief. However, it’s not the best idea to try to understand these things rationally. eyeka is always full of surprises, although quality and originality almost constantly play the key role.
What would you like to achieve (or have already achieved) with the prizes you will win/have won?
We save our prizes and occasionally travel. We don’t have a clear idea of what we would want to pursue - there are a lot of possibilities, opened for evaluation. So, until we figure out our next moves, we prefer to save all the prizes. This way, we will be able to invest them into a meaningful project - once we decide what that project would be.
If you had to describe eyeka in 3 words, what would they be?
Learning, enthusiasm, support
Finally, is there anything you would like to share with our creators (secret, tip…)?
Don’t be so harsh on procrastination. People are always urged to be productive but for creative ones, procrastination is often a fuel. A lot of our creative ideas were driven by TV shows, music, anime. Don’t obsess about always being efficient (we tend to do that a lot) - just chill. Also, make your work process as pleasant as possible. While we work, we listen to anime soundtracks (Death Note, Naruto, Madoka Magica), turn on Youtube videos and listen to them as podcasts. Just find your own habit that would turn work into play for you. This way, even if you fail, at least you had some fun.
And don’t doubt yourself. Be confident about your choices, even if everyone else is not.
Thank you so much Vira & Nadia!