March 24, 2018

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Designer and Marketer Kimberly Gant Cultivates Her Creativity through Exploring, Capturing and Making

What are you working on—on the side?

I created my personal brand All That Is Kim where the goal is to document how I explore, capture and create. I accomplish this by creating content on my social media channels and taking on various freelance projects. One example is my video series “Kim In a Minute” where I take a minute with creatives, game-changers and entrepreneurs to get to know their authentic selves. I also recently started creating tutorial videos on YouTube to show how to take your creativity to the next level using social media.

Outside of my personal brand, I manage brand and digital strategy as the COO of Foolies, a lifestyle and apparel brand whose goal is to inspire black millennials to dream without limits. Through our content and apparel, we strive to not only encourage people to live out their dreams but also emphasize the power of intent and activation by doing the work.

I witness the power of activation firsthand as a partner of OCTO, a creative collective founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, that incubates and supercharges individual and collective creative talents for the betterment of the world. This past year, we created a workshop called The Cake Shop where we worked with creatives and entrepreneurs to take their ideas from half-baked to piece of cake.

As you see, I love to collaborate and create with others; however, I also take the time to continually build my own personal skill set in order to master my craft. Currently, I am focusing on product design, HTML, CSS and Data Visualization to incorporate into future projects that I have planned.

How do you manage to work on your side project(s)?

I have a lot of ideas that I write down, so it is easy for me to want to do everything at once. However, I try to set SMART goals by being self-aware and understanding my bandwidth at the time. I like to plan my year in quarters, so if I can complete 1–2 goals a quarter, then I feel accomplished. It can be a lot of work at times but creating to me is fun.

One thing I recently had to learn is that when it stops being fun due to occurrences in life that disrupt your creativity, don’t fret. It’s important to give yourself grace when needed, and it is OK to pick up that project again when you are ready.

Why have a side project?

I love to learn, so creating side projects gave me the opportunity to explore new things. My educational background is Industrial & Systems Engineering; however, one of my engineering professors told me that I was really creative which sparked my inner creative once I graduated and moved to the Bay Area. Through my side projects, I was able to learn photography, design, production, marketing, content creation, digital strategy and much more. My side projects allow me to become the multi-hyphenate digital creative that I strive to be.

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Diptych courtesy of Kimberly Gant.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.

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