The real name of eYeka creator Shu Wu is Luo Qi Qi (pictured). Luo is 33 years old and a professional animator. He has worked in the animation industry in several big Chinese cities and then decided to set up his own animation studio with friends. He has entered work in 41 contests on the platform and won prizes for 11 of those, including projects for Pepsi, Speedo, Hyundai, Suzuki and Coca-Cola. Some of these contests have been for campaigns run in markets other than China: Egypt, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, for example.
Luo spoke to Campaign Asia-Pacific from his perspective as a independent creator.
What is your day-job? What is your motivation for participating in these contests?
I recently set up a visual creative studio with several like-minded friends. Besides winning the prizes, I find the contests very interesting, and for creators like us, we hardly have the chance to work with big global brands. It is eYeka’s platform that has given us the opportunity to participate and showcase our talent to them.
Why do you think you’ve won so many contests?
I think it is just a combination of luck and persistence. And striving for continuous improvement.
How do you start off the creative process for each contest brief?
First, I choose a contest that interests me, read the brief from the brand thoroughly to find the requirement of the brand, and begin the initial creative process (such as storyline, background, scene environment, role modeling and so on).The next step is to analyze the feasibility of my pre-conceived ideas (having to re-create the setting if they are not good), and to confirm them in order to start formal production. Then the last stage is to complete the video editing, to choose and dub the soundtrack, and finally to submit the finished product to the eYeka contest platform.
Luo produced this video for this Coca-Cola brief.
What do you think of the traditional creative approach where the agency comes up with the ‘big idea’? How do you feel people like yourself are impacting this tradition?
I think the advertising agency’s role is—and will always be—to provide the 'big idea', which for us creatives is needed because [with that] we can know what the brand wants and create within a given frame. When there is a frame to guide you in your creation, responding to contests is just like writing a composition. I think that we as independent creators would not have as much impact and relevance if there is no "big idea" in the first place. If we are free to create whatever we want, then our creation will bear the signs of greater freedom—more weird ideas, but also unrestrained, strange ones too.
Would you rather remain an independent creator/illustrator or work for a brand or agency? Why / why not?
Most independent creators are quite relaxed and might find it easier to give excuses or self-compromise to quit on a project. The good thing is that when I don’t have ideas or when I encounter problems that I can’t solve, I can just drop out and decide to leave it there. So I am free, even if the downside is that you may end up with unfinished work. I think as an independent creator I enjoy more creative freedom, which is good for creativity to develop, even if you have to be very disciplined too.
Whether creators work independently, like me, or for a brand/ad agency, they should learn to cooperate. Even if it’s just a few (even if just two) creators working together, this will restrict bad habits that might come out when working alone. By working collaboratively, creators can produce some of their best and even better it.
What other platforms inspire your creativity? Why do you think your creativity is of value?
At the moment there is none that inspire me.
But I think my value comes from having a deep understanding of brand’s needs and my serious approach to contests, the uniqueness of my creativity, and most importantly the ability to gain brand attention.
Luo produced this work for this brief for a Saudi Arabian beverage brand, Nada: