Photo Editing App VSCO and AKQA Profile Gen Z Artists in Documentary-Like Campaign

The videos spotlight up-and-coming young creators from around the world

The campaign features Gen Z artists Mónica Hernández (l.), Gab Bois (c.) and Shaquille-Aaron Keith (r.). VSCO
Headshot of Patrick Kulp

A new campaign for photo editing app VSCO seeks to expose a new generation of up-and-coming creators through a series of short, documentary-like videos.

The AKQA-led project features two-minute profiles of three early-twenty-something artists discussing various aspects of their creative process. Ethereally stylized by filmmaker Jess Kohl, the vignettes are designed to appeal to a trendy, young set of internationally minded creative types, the likes of which VSCO says make up the bulk of its app’s user base.

In their respective videos, the three featured artists—Brooklyn-based painter Mónica Hernández, London-based Instagram star Shaquille-Aaron Keith and Montreal-based experimental visual artist Gab Bois—each discuss topics like procrastination, social pressures and unexpected inspirations. The company plans to distribute the videos through digital channels and partnerships with brand-aligned publishers like Hypebeast and Vice Media.

VSCO is a photography app that offers users a suite of visual editing tools and a social feed where artists or viewers can share work in AI-curated channels and interact with one another.

The campaign captures stories of internal conflict drawn from consumer research VSCO conducted on its artist community. VSCO chief marketing officer Tesa Aragones said the company decided early on that a documentarian approach was the best way to treat these stories.

“As we met creators around the world, we discovered that there were a lot of different tension points in the [creative] process, and we’d hear people talk about experiencing self-doubt or major stagnation or judgment from others,” Aragones said. “We know that VSCO is a very global brand—global Gen Z, like 75% of our creators and community members are under the age of 25—so we wanted to have a representation of the community that we served.”

The agency aimed to create an unvarnished aesthetic that would match the often-chaotic processes the creators describe in their narration, according to AKQA creative director Suki Heather.

“We were keen on celebrating these kinds of real stories that felt really [of the moment],” Heather said. “We wanted to have a look at what’s behind their process, to go through the journey that they go through and the fear and the joy that they experience.”



@patrickkulp Patrick Kulp is an emerging tech reporter at Adweek.