BJ Pascual’s first episode of his “POWER” vlog series is pretty nostalgic if you happen to be a long-time Preview reader. BJ’s opening spiel is a story a lot of Filipino fashion lovers can relate to. If you grew up as a teen in the 2000s and discovered fashion in the process, Preview Magazine was a local publication you would have picked up for its in-vogue covers and page-turning fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content that captured the zeitgeist. And just as BJ mentioned, Preview had a knack for transforming popular celebrities into their most fashionable iterations thanks to the creative ingenuity of the editorial team.
Because of this, it was BJ’s dream to see his photographs inside the magazine and eventually shoot a cover one day. We all know how that story ends, and the young photographer has then shot a myriad of covers for Preview’s print and online covers—this month’s Ivana Alawi cover story is his latest one for the brand.
In his almost 40-minute video (his longest vlog entry to date!) BJ sat down with former Preview Editor-in-Chief Pauline Juan and former Creative Director Vince Uy, who the photographer considers as his mentors and heroes in the fashion industry. Though the reel is filled with a lot of nostalgic chikahan and a bit of tea, it was mainly an inspiring talk about thriving and pushing yourself as a creative.
Preview has always been about innovation, and BJ was quick to ask Pauline and Vince about the never-ending process of producing work that wows, how to stay current, and constantly out-doing yourself. Here are the five lessons we learned from the must-watch episode.
1. Brainstorming sessions are crucial to push your ideas further.
Pauline has always believed in the power of a proactive discussion amongst teammates. Vince recalls Preview’s monthly brainstorming sessions at Pauline’s home where she would serve some booze and snacks to get people's creative thinking going, and how more casual and honest discussion would bring about the best ideas.
2. Don’t be afraid to suggest—even when it’s a crazy or ridiculous idea!
The fear of someone shooting down your suggestion is very real in a competitive creative environment. But Vince thinks that even the most outrageous ones deserve to be heard. You never know how your team will respond and sometimes they’ll help tweak your suggestions to make them great.
3. Filipino creatives are known to be resourceful—use this fact as an encouraging reminder to break down obstacles.
Pauline shares that Filipinos may be on a third-world budget but have first-world or world class ideas to offer. Though budget and available resources are big factors to consider, they should never stop you from pursuing your vision. Working your way around those constraints might even result in a better and far more creative output.
4. Remember to always push yourself.
BJ quotes Georgina Wilson saying, “May igaganda pa yan!” The point is that you should never settle for enough. If you can push the boundaries of your work further—whether that be shooting another layout, working on an additional sketch, or editing your video for an hour longer—then do it. The results might surprise you; and they might be your best ones yet.
5. Improve for the sake of YOURSELF. You are only as good as your last work.
“Your body of work just gets better,” Pauline adds. In the magazine, working month-on-month, the Preview team would always challenge themselves to create content that was even better than the previous month. This kept everyone on their toes and excited to dig into something new and fresh to share with readers. This practice is applicable for any creative, as your projects (both personal or work) will ultimately be part of your lifelong portfolio. The key is to be able to look back at everything you’ve done with a proud smile and no regrets.
Watch the full episode here for more expert advice from the trio: