My experience as Creative Director derives from my time working at Cerebral,  a youth-orientated creative platform founded by me and ran with the help of multi-disciplinary creative collective ‘Chaf Kozy’, based in Johannesburg.

Cerebral’s driving force was to unite young artists from Johannesburg, South Africa through a simultaneous exhibition consisting varying fields of art, namely, visual arts, fashion, music & skate culture. Our aim was therefore to provide a  platform  for young artists to showcase their talents and crafts, gain experience and exposure, while also providng  a bridging path into South Africa’s Arts & Creative industry. Through this we also ensured that we fostered  a space that stimulated multiple senses of our audience, thus creating the ‘Cerebral’ experience

Its name derives from ‘The Cerebrum’, which is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thoughts and action. The cerebral cortex is divided into five sections, called “lobes.” We focused on the following lobes to develop our concept;

Motor Cortex

The motor cortex is the lobe that is responsible for motor movement, we aimed to accentuate this lobe through music. We achived this mostly by running 2 floors, emboding 2 soundscapes;

Floor A (Cerebral Floor): House/Techno.
Floor  B (Cortex Floor) - Alternative/Hip Hop & Urban music, Open mic cypher sessions and spoken poetry. 

We liked to blend the music line up with well established headliners and young up and coming musicians. We did this in order to pull in the headliners audience to our event, whilst allowing the young artists the opportunity to share the stage with local tastemakers

Occipital Lobe:

The occipital lobe is the visual processing centre of your cerebral hemisphere. We aimed to trigger this through activation of fashion  vendors, consisting of young designers and thrift resellers. The fashion vendors would operate as pop-up stores during the daytime

Frontal Lobe:

The Frontal Lobe is the part of the brain that controls  our cognitive skills, such as emotional expression, problem solving, judgment evaluation. We aimed to trigger these functions through hosting art exhibitions at our events,  provinding our audience thethe opportunity to evaluate, critique and understand the artworks.

Our art exhibitions were curated by an in-house Art Director who would coordinate a group of young up and coming artists. In addition to the exhibition, the space would also be filled with installation art and decor to bring the space to life.

Cerebral, a one day arts market with an average turnout of 550 people ranging from ages 18 to 30, quickly became the central hub for young creatives to share ideas, connect, buy & sell art and, last but not least – dance.The lobes of cerebrum focused on to develop the brand are as follows;

As Founder I worked under various roles, including Project Manager, Creative Director and Brand/Culture Strategist for the company. My positions in the team saw me develop skills in;

Brand Strategy & Communication:

As founder it was my responsibility to establish the vision of the brand, our brand identity, tone of voice and translate that adequately to our audience. We successfully achieved this by posing ourselves as a  ‘For us, By us’ youth movement focused on providing a bridge for young artists into the creative industry.

Social media was a crucial tool in allowing us to access our target audience, accelarate brand awareness, cross-polinate audience and ultimately,  establishing a digital presence. We therefore utilized various platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud & Youtube.

As a result we grew our audience rapidly with our second event having attendance of 500 , in comparison to our first event which only had 150 people.

Social Media Marketing:

I was in charge of determining our content strategy and layout, along with planning and managing the content schedule. Aside from the promotion of the event itself, we would  also promote all involved artists and share their previous work on our social feeds. By doing so, we were not only introducing them to our audience introduce them to our audience but als increasing interest in not only the event but artists too.

We would also hire a team of promoters for the event who would reshare all our build-up content on to their feeds, along with the event poster itself.  We would also get influencers involved in promoting the event in order to attract their followers to our events. 

Additionally, I also managed sponsored advertisement posts which would broadcast the event on InstaStories, Instagram & Facebook feeds everyday for a given period of time leading up to the event. These sponsored posts were strategically set up to target the relevant age group and geographic locations in which our target market resided and interacted in. This resulted in our digital following growing exponentially, increasing our visibility to thousands of people and growing our event attendance to a constant 700 - 1000.

Relationship Management:

As project manager I built relationships with clients, talents, service providers. Thus ensuring the brand is always in a good position for new opportunities and also maintaining relations for future partnerships.

Trend Analysis:

Keeping an eye on what’s new, what’s hot at the moment, having my finger on the pulse to keep myself up to date and even ahead of the latest current desires. This resulted in us always booking the latest talents, introducing them to the industry, whilst also meeting our customers ever-changing needs.

As an event company we prized ourselves at being unpredictable, offering a twist with every event. This saw us throw unique experiences such as livestream events, skate markets, art exhibitions, multi-faceted market exhibitions, open air one day festivals, cypher sessions and slam poetry.

Event Co-Ordination:

Booking large venues, hiring quality sound equipment  and booking all under a tight budget whilst adhering industry standards. We’d book internationally renown local artists for almost 40% off their standard rate, create mutually beneficial agreements with venue owners and service providers, cutting down massively on expenses.

Additionally, I was also responsible for determining the event plan, timeline and the task delegation necessary to ensure the plan is executed to near-perfection.  This also included setting up the floor plan to ensure a set up that flows seamlessly rather than chaoticly, thus resulting in all artists and vendors getting adequate attention as foot traffic was evenly spread throughout the entire space rather than being centred to one area.

Experiential Marketing:

Installing experiences through collaboration of various artists working under a common goal. Through enhancing  cultural experiences of multi-disciplinary arts we were able to attract artists and enthusiasts of each sub-section into one space and thus form a cross-pollinated creative hub/niche. As a necessity of evolution, I always tried to find innovative ways to bring in new ideas in order to avoid going stale and maintining our uniquenes. This saw us go  on to develop different experiences such as livestream events, skate markets, pop-up events and art exhibitions.

Our versatility and level of execution resulted in us being hired by internationally renown  South African magazine ‘Bubblegum Club’ as organisers for the after party of their annual art exhibition. Furthermore we were offered a potential collaboration with Afropunk and also received multiple offers to host events at some of Joburg’s most famous venues as we continued to gain industry credibility.

In total we hosted a total 10 events, where we showcased over 300 artists & vendors, with an average attendance of 500 people.