A Senior Creative at Hypebeast tells us how she got her job
From jewellery making to music, this senior creative tells us why having projects outside of your day job is essential for creative roles
Self-proclaimed “Afro-European global baby” Aïda Knipp grew up in Washington D.C and Luxembourg before moving to Cornwall to pursue a degree in music. Here, she tells us how she eventually ended up in London working for media company Hypebeast, and how she springboarded her career pivot with D&AD New Blood Academy, an intensive online training programme.
What’s it like being a Senior Creative at Hypebeast?
I get to put my strong conceptual thinking skills to the test every day by ideating and bringing to life different concepts for a variety of streetwear and luxury brands. These works span across stills and films, digital activations through Instagram stories and TikTok, as well as more recently, through physical magazines and putting on events. I enjoy working in environments which allow me to tap into a variety of my creative facets so the role really suits me.
What was your route into the industry?
I’ve always been creative and knew from a young age that the creative industry was something I’d like to be a part of. However, I started out in the performing arts and studied music at Falmouth University in Cornwall. As the course was coming to an end I realised most of my energy was going into thinking more about stage presence; the aesthetic of artists, what’s in the background, what they’re wearing, and how it all visually ties together. That’s when I realised I was interested in art direction.
I didn’t know much about the world of advertising and art direction as a career choice though, until I decided to pursue my master’s in Creative Advertising, which ended with me showcasing my portfolio at the D&AD New Blood Showcase. That honestly really changed the course of my life and was the true force of breaking into the creative industry. I was selected as one of the ‘ones to watch’ at the showcase, and that’s what got me into New Blood Academy.
What was New Blood Academy like, can you tell us a bit about your experience?
Firstly, I was just so honoured to be part of it. If I’m completely honest, I didn’t know much about D&AD at the time because I was so focused on music, and the world of advertising was completely new to me when I started my master’s. I was really focused on the portfolio aspect, working with my creative partner at the time to create a body of work we felt really proud of first and foremost, so when we showed our work and received such great feedback at the showcase it was the most rewarding feeling. Being selected for New Blood Academy came as a big surprise that I was so excited to embrace. The experience was literally eye-opening. Being surrounded by so many outspoken creatives and copywriters who were all just as eager and excited by the opportunity to be there is a very unshakable energy. It was the best thing to happen to me.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you're working on at Hypebeast?
I feel very lucky that I get to work on a variety of briefs which span across different mediums for a variety of brands. As we mainly do editorial work focusing on stills and film, a huge highlight was being able to work on something tangible, with an amazing brand. This was working on the special edition Stone Island 40th year anniversary magazine in partnership with Hypebeast, titled ‘Famiglia’ . I was the Creative Lead on this project alongside my co-worker, Vilde Tobiassen. Visiting their factory, understanding their process, witnessing first-hand how innovative they are and working on something tangible was so fun and challenging and therefore rewarding. It internally really made us work closely across different departments which was also a great experience. I’m also working on music on the side, lowkey, for myself until I’m ready to share with the world and I also just embarked on a new venture called CHUNKEE, creating silver jewellery.
Who are three creatives who have inspired you, or who you think are doing interesting work?
For me there’s nothing like the people I’m surrounded by. My partner Ailis Nelis, who I also live with, is working hard to break into his career as a 3D artist. He discovered this passion whilst we’ve been together and just watching him work on his craft every single day no matter what is so inspiring. My friend Josh Heavens is a super talented photographer and studied with me in Falmouth but has the voice of an angel, and is focusing his energies now on building his music, which I am so excited for the world to hear. It’s so important for me to have him in my life; he also understands the pull of loving multiple mediums. I’d also love to shout out my mom Emily Pinna. She’s a visual storyteller, focusing on creating powerful images to evoke emotions. She’s just such a go-getter and I have to thank her for my go-getter attitude. She’s always told me that you can pave your own path in this life.
What advice do you have for someone trying to break into the creative industry?
Trust your gut, always. Listen to feedback but choose wisely what you take on. Ultimately you want to create a body of work that you are proud of. If you do so, and you love what you do, others will too. By being authentic to yourself and your visions, you attract what serves you and it also becomes so much clearer what you don’t want, which is just as important as knowing what you do want.
If you’re a creative, you’re probably not just one thing. And that’s beautiful, it means you have multiple perspectives on different cultural aspects which is great. And you don’t have to choose. Sometimes you do have to prioritise different aspects of your passions through your role in your day job, but everything you're doing on the side still feeds into it and makes you more creative.
Don’t compare yourself. You have something to bring to the table that is uniquely yours through your life experiences and your personality.
Get in touch with Aïda Knipp on LinkedIn and on Instagram.
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