It seems like COVID-19 has pressed the pause button on the world. One of the most affected industries is that of the influencer slash digital content creator. How are fashion, beauty, and especially travel influencers coping with the current situation? Garage caught up with some of our favorites, and got their thoughts on how they are maneuvering through this pandemic when the industry seems to be taking a beating.
Known for her #AryannaInAMinute vlogs, Aryanna Epperson is one of the many creators who experienced a drop in projects since the breakout. “Both the brands I worked with and I wanted to be sensitive about what content was being posted. Thus, a lot of my pending projects were either postponed or canceled altogether,” she shares.
On the first month of the pandemic, Epperson admitted she felt uninspired creating content – and it is to be thanked for that she found ways to channel her energies. She shares, “I couldn’t find it within me to post anything in light of COVID-19. During those weeks, I used my platform mostly to help raise awareness of the situation.” Eventually, she found a way to bring out the cook in her via #HangryManagementWithAryanna, where she creates quick and satisfying meals using easy-to-find ingredients in the market.
@SinoPinas founder, Karl Presentacion also had to face difficulties. However, his was in the form of job cancellations. “Since ECQ started, the scheduled projects plummeted instantly. Cancelled trips, postponed shoots and event coverages affected most of my workload,” he says.
Michael Macalos, another photographer and travel blogger at Macalost.com, also struggled with the sudden changes in the travel industry. “Most of my projects were either moved to a later month or cancelled. It’s quite hard because most of my projects are travel-related, and tourism is one of greatly affected industries in this pandemic,” he admits.
The two of them in the meantime have resorted to revisiting photos from past travels with the message of observing social distancing, home quarantine, and empathic motivation. They are also planning to put out their hand-drawn artwork on their socials.
However, it needs mentioning that this critical period also has its surprises, as Presentacion has gotten lucky with clients internationally. “Some brands and agencies can pull off contactless campaigns through SNS marketing. [I’m] currently doing a campaign for two international brands related to travel and product-based services, all communicated via work from home set up,” shares the photographer.
Sometimes, the surprise comes in unexpected inspirations for creative material. Although struggling with cancelled projects, Kush Obusan, aka KillaKushla, was able to produce content for her channels while on quarantine. “When I’m home, I feel most creative because nobody’s staring at me while shooting, pressuring me to finish shooting faster, etc. The past few years have just been so busy that I’ve been creating whatever whenever. So now I’m really happy that I’m able to slow down again and make groundbreaking… Tiktok videos. Kidding! I’ve been shooting a lot of beauty, lifestyle, and comedic content I’ve been wanting to do for a while now,” she shares.
For Kush, being a vlogger and an entrepreneur matches her perfectly as she can incorporate her business with her vlogs. “Honestly, nobody’s really itching to buy crop tops right now. Since nobody knows how long the ECQ is going to last, everyone’s trying to hold on to their money. Thus, we try to integrate the brand into the content I create. I’m always wearing pieces from my store in my social media posts. We were able to spin it in a way where people want to buy our clothes so they can get all dressed up for no reason,” the creator of fashion brand Good Gang shares. She’s also able to put up a small online food store called Kush’s Munchies, which is thriving right now.
Jeff Ong and Rhea Bue, like Kush, have found a twist on the current situation at home. “I made a hashtag called #HomeContenForNow where people can also share their home content. In a way it encourages creativity, productivity, and positivity,” shares Bue. One of their latest projects involved painting a wall together on their home as a new backdrop for their home content. Ong shares that it is easier to produce content with a partner. He shares, “My fiancée does not only help me shoot, but she also helps me with ideas on what content to create for my IG and vlogs as well.”
Ong is planning to continue to put out content that focuses on sneakers, fashion, and lifestyle on his YouTube account, while Bue will focus more on servicing brands in terms of social media management and her own brand. “Being a lifestyle content creator gave me the opportunity to easily work on other categories like fashion and beauty,” the founder of accessory shop @caviarph shares.
These creators are mostly freelancers, and being one requires being resourceful. These artists’ creativity, thankfully, overflows during times like these. Although these creators may not see each other eye to eye when it comes to adapting to the new normal – some being quick to adjust while others still struggle – they all agree that there is a lesson from all the chaos, there is an opportunity in crisis, and positive thinking is essential.
Macalos shared, “I’m one of those people who still have high hopes that everything will go back to normal (the way we live life) eventually. This situation made me realize how important to fully live every moment of your life, because everything can change in just a snap.”
As for Presentacion, the “old normal” doesn’t exist anymore, but he is optimistic about the future. “What I can think of is to embrace these changes and make a positive effect on my personal growth. Looking at the ‘new normal’ is an opportunity to widen my perspective in life and accept that change is constant,” he concludes.