HOW I CREATE OPPORTUNITIES

Zenja Fokin for VW Baltic

Zenja Fokin for VW Baltic

I have always been a big dreamer and somebody who believed deep down that I will be successful. From a young age I have had this self - belief that it is just a matter of time when it happens. By successful I mean - financial freedom, living authentically though the heart, having inspiring and fulfilling circle of friends and relationships. Knowing this has given me an optimistic mindset on how I approach situations and thoughts which come my way. I am very interested in exploring potential and how far can we all go collectively in achieving our dreams. Potential is a big word and to make it more manageable for myself I have constructed it down to scale. Let me explain. Almost all of the projects I have done in the previous five years have had a very similar strategy. I reach out to a brand or a person (or they reach me) to share my inspiration why I would like to collaborate. After the first interaction I always think about the future and how could we make a bigger impactful while benefiting both sides. Maybe it is natural to everyone, for me this thought pattern definitely applies.




Juhani Särglep for VW Baltic

Juhani Särglep for VW Baltic

Living and working in Tallinn, Estonia a city with 425K people, most of the brands have only a small section of their business in our region, compared to the international scale. It comes naturally to me while working with the Estonian branch for example to be thinking about more globally and wanting to grow our projects to reach markets overseas.

Tanel Veenre for VW Baltic

Tanel Veenre for VW Baltic

The spring of 2018 I did a project with five people about their most meaningful location in Estonia. The idea was to go there, talk about what makes it special and to take images while spending time on that sacred ground. Since locations varied from all over the country I needed some sort of transportation. One option was to use the rental service, second option was to put together a pitch which stated my project and the ways I can provide value to a cars dealership. I chose the second one. I created a separate page on my website stating all the valuable points I could come up. The idea was to get a car with fuel for a month to cover all the driving for this project while creating visual material for the brand. Once I felt confident about what I had put together I started to send it to different brands. I got many answers saying '' We are not interested '' but I kept fine tuning the project and stayed persistent. I knew that there was somebody who would be interested. I just needed to find that person. After countless attempts I was pretty much ready to quit with this concept when a person close to me said: '' Just try one more time ''. After that last batch of emails I managed to book three meetings with respectable car brands which made me feel nervous and excited! Before going into the last meeting I had one '' Yes '' in the bag so I felt more confident. I managed to get a deal with Volvo and I was stoked! I remember feeling great about the achievement and gratitude for having this opportunity. Around the end of the collaboration while driving around I imagined how to make this partnership continue and make it bigger and more impactful for both. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to continue with Volvo but that didn’t pause me. At this point I had decent visual material to back up my new thoughts and promises to do things on a bigger scale. Like previously I put together a separate page to showcase my ideas but this time it was about creating visual content directly for the brand. Volkswagen got back to me and accepted the offer which was a big step up from the previous project. As the stakes got bigger so do the emotions which come with it. I remember visualising this Volkswagen deal coming through while laying down on the carpet. Once it finally did I felt this huge wave of energy coming into my body and tremendous joy for this great step ahead. At the moment of writing this we have been working together for over a year creating content for the Baltic VW based on their brand values.

Marii Heleen Penu for VW Baltic

Marii Heleen Penu for VW Baltic

I wanted to write about this topic for a long time because I have been practising the art of asking since I was 16. I remember when I naively wrote to Nikon when I was about this age to purpose a partnership. Not understanding the aspect of provide more value than you ask - my wish didn’t go through. After that I just kept asking with more confidence and better understanding about human nature. There are times when an artist has to reach out and create opportunities for him or her. I have had to do it many times for myself. When you do it is extremely satisfying to execute an idea the way you imagined. Besides growing and building my portfolio, this feeling of creating your own way is definitely something which is addictive and brings me back to play. Thats one of the reasons why I create - to breathe life into my ideas and perspectives.

I believe that each and every one of us deserves the best in life and we shouldn’t fear to reach for it.

FIRST 6 MONTHS AS A FREELANCER