By Kate Elliott
Make Waves Workshop is proving to be one of the top event series in New York City. Last June, it kicked off this record hot summer with its third installment, “Summer VlogBuster”, at Enjoy’s Soho loft. Filled with passion and purpose, Make Waves continues to impress.
Founded by Raymond Eugenio and William Coles in 2015, Make Waves is a free community event that aligns the worlds of creativity and wellness to help young creative self-starters and entrepreneurs network and connect. Combining hands on experience with in-person opportunities to meet leaders in creative industries, Make Waves is an immersive event for makers, doers, and hustlers in all stages of their careers.
For this “Summer VlogBuster” event, Make Wakes invited vloggers and creatives alike to participate in a video contest and workshop for you might’ve guessed it–vlogging. Vlogging, or video blogging, is a medium that developed in the early 2000s when bloggers began posting one-shot videos to YouTube. Ten years later and the vlogging industry is not only a profitable market, but also a promising career path for individuals interested in visual storytelling. However, as a fairly new industry, there are limited resources for aspiring vloggers. Make Waves 03 sought to change that by providing an opportunity for digital creatives to exchange insight and experiences in a collaborative environment.
The event itself was broken down into three parts, the first being an interactive Camera & Film Gears Workshop hosted by Enjoy and StonexSpade. Unlike many workshop or panelist events, Make Waves encouraged its participants to get up and moving from the start. Stationed throughout the space, experts were ready to provide hands-on knowledge about cameras and film gear. From Canons, Sonys, Nikons, GoPros, Red Epics, and DJIs, participants learned firsthand about the equipment that would enable them to hone their craft. Additionally, participants were presented with a challenge: accumulate as many points possible by attending as many stations possible. The winner would have the opportunity to be featured in a film contest in the next portion of the event or to win the title of MVP.
For two hours, the room was buzzing with energy and excitement while participants and teachers connected. As Make Waves 03 panelist and photographer, Herve Diese of Drift Studio, describes, this energy is what makes the event so unique. He states, Make Waves is a “vigorously creative space that tickles your aspirations and allows you the freedom to create. Not only that, it forces you to see aspects about yourself and get a different perspective on the little details.” From creatives just beginning to make moves to experts with advanced skills, “It’s a fun space with cool attendees that relate to your journey as a creative. There’s no judgement but a lot of praise. Every artist deserves that.”
The second part of the day was the Vlog Contest Screening and Panel. Sponsored by Drift Studio, A.R.T.S.Y Magazine, DespiertaNYC, Conscious Step, and WeMadeItNY, this phase of the event had actually been in the works since before the workshop even began. On May 25th, one month prior to the event, Make Waves had launched a film contest calling for video submissions. The prompt: Create the best story about a day in your life. The qualifying videos were then screened by all attendees and judged by a panel of guest judges. Featuring digital experts, Drift Studio’s Herve Diese, Special Guest Youtuber, Destiny Taylor, and, A.R.T.S.Y Magazine’s Creative Director, Gerardo Mendez, these judges had their work cut out for them. After viewing all ten films, the audience was left in awe, and the judges awarded the Grand Prize title to Ejaaz for his standout vlog entry, “This Is Home”. This section of the event closed with a questions and answers forum, where participants were able to speak directly with the panelists about their personal and professional experiences in the digital world.
For judge and panelist, Gerardo Mendez of A.R.T.S.Y Magazine, the Summer VlogBuster event “was a must attend and participate event. Seeing creatives come together to interact and share their daily stories through vlogging was an amazing experience to be a part of!” Most all Make Waves attendees leave these events with a similar sense of elation and fulfillment. They often recall a feeling of community and transformation, as if they have just become a part of something bigger and more meaningful than just their personal work.
And that’s because they have.
Make Waves doesn’t stop at workshops, contests, or panels; it’s more than just a “sit and listen” type of event. Make Waves embodies a holistic approach to creativity, and, in its final tier of the event, brings the wellness and creative worlds together. For the final portion of Make Waves 03, the participants went on an evening run through the streets of Soho to the Lower East Side, guided by two legendary runners from the NYC running community, Power Malu and Jessie Zapo. Making occasional stops along the way to visit local businesses, the group replenished with goods from the support of Titan Tea, Muscle Milk & Perfect Bar. All of which was broadcasted live through Periscope for everyone who couldn’t attend the run. After a good sweat and goodbyes, the day came to a close.
For many creatives and entrepreneurs, their craft is their life, and the opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals inspires new relationships and informs new insight that supports their ability to be their best selves and make their best work. Make Waves Workshop fosters this belief that art is a transformative tool. When magnified by a multitude of creatives across many fields, the possibilities are limitless.