This Talent Incubator Caters to South Asian Creatives

Fellows will receive one-on-one guidance from creative directors and networking opportunities

Third Eye Collective, which has roughly 150 members, aims to unite South Asian creatives and advance their careers. Third Eye Collective
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Founded two years ago, Third Eye Collective is an organization dedicated to advancing the careers of South Asian creatives. Since its inception, its founders Anumeha Sinha and Reema Kakaday have created a mentorship platform, talent directory and hosted a number events—and are now launching a program that will help emerging creatives learn from and work with industry leaders.

Sinha and Kakaday have debuted Studio 3, a virtual “talent incubator” that will pair young South Asian creatives with seasoned professionals who work in the industry. 

Those who are accepted into the program will work with a dedicated advisor on a project throughout a span of nine weeks. During those nine weeks, fellows will meet with their advisor six times to work on the project.

They’ll also have the opportunity to attend a “guest artist lecture” and networking session. The program will culminate with a “portfolio showcase,” where talent acquisition teams from partnering agencies and studios will recognize the work completed by each fellow.

The founders of Third Eye Collective are young creatives themselves. Sinha is a cinematographer and photographer who’s currently represented by talent agency ICM Partners, while Kakaday is a designer and strategist who works at innovation consultancy Fahrenheit 212. They started Third Eye Collective, which now has roughly 150 members, as a way to formally unite the South Asian creative community.

“As we were both starting our careers in 2018, Reema and I were looking to engage with more familiar faces in our fields,” Sinha said. “Getting involved in our South Asian community, occasional summits and panels were the only ways we got to discover other creators. While these were much needed for artistic and cultural exchange, there were no formal ways to stay involved in each other’s careers after the one-off gatherings.”

They’re hoping that Studio 3 will help Third Eye Collective further its mission of building clear career pipelines for South Asian creatives who, like many in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community, are outnumbered by their white peers.  

“We weren’t interested in letting luck dictate career opportunities,” Kakaday said. “So, we set out to build an organization with a foundation of dedicated community, a tangible set of career initiatives and direct partnerships with the creative industry.”

Applications for the inaugural fall session are open until Aug. 28. Each session will focus on a different aspect of the creative discipline. The first, which runs from Sept. 14 to Nov. 13, will focus on visual and user experience design, so designers are encouraged to apply. Dates and focus areas for subsequent sessions have not been revealed yet. 

While the Studio 3 is primarily for creatives who are a few years into their career, Sinha and Kakaday said students can apply as well if they’re able to demonstrate a strong portfolio and relevant experience. 

Third Eye Collective has secured a handful of advisors for Studio 3’s fall cohort, including R/GA creative director Augustus Cook, Frog Design associate creative director Jane Wong and Shabnam Shiwan, co-founder of design agency Osborne Shiwan. Official partners include R/GA and Fahrenheit 212.

According to Third Eye Collective, the number of accepted applicants will depend on how many advisors join, as each fellow will be matched with their own individual advisor. It expects to accept a total of five fellows.

“This is a chance for the industry to have a direct hand in empowering South Asian creatives through developing their work, hiring talent, and deepening cultural exchange,” said Sinha.

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.