Creatively was supposed to launch this summer, according to CEO Greg Gittrich. And then COVID-19 happened.
“We made the decision to fast-track the launch when the pandemic hit, because we felt like launching as a beta would really help the creative community,” Gittrich told me.
The startup was founded by Stacey Bendet and Joe Indriolo, who also serves as chief product officer. Indriolo told me that Creatively was designed to address a problem that Bendet had as founder and CEO of designer clothing company Alice + Olivia — finding the best freelance creative talent to work with.
“Finding creatives is really, really difficult,” he said. “At the same time, showcasing your work is also really difficult as a creative.”
And those problems are likely to get worse as social distancing forces more creative work and collaboration to happen remotely, and as a troubled economy means that more artists, designers, architects, filmmakers and other creative types are looking for work.
There are places where artists can post their work, but Indriolo argued that none of them allow the creative to control the presentation in the same way — not unless they’re building their own website.
So Creatively says it’s designed to showcase photography, film, fashion design, branding, illustration, animation, CGI, app and web design, product development, interiors and architecture and emerging technologies.
Creative talent can upload their portfolio and arrange it as they choose. They can divide the work into different albums, and even nest albums within other albums in creative ways. (Indriolo showed me an architect’s album that allowed visitors to navigate their work by drilling down into specific regions and locations.)
Artists can also annotate the images and videos to explain their work, as well as listing their past jobs and their specific skills.
Brands and other potential employers can post job listings, which then get tagged with the artist who’s hired for the job, which in turn builds the artist’s résumé and portfolio. Brands can also search the site based on the skills they’re looking for, or based on who’s done work for another company that they admire.
The platform allows users to follow each other, but Indriolo said there’s an equal emphasis creating connections based on the work you’ve done and your past collaborations.
“We believe it’s a social platform, and that creatives will connect with one another … and find opportunities in a world that’s increasingly remote and global,” Gittrich added.
To get started, Creatively is working with schools like Parsons, Pratt, the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology to help their new graduates find work.
The platform is free for both businesses and individual creatives; the plan is to eventually start charging businesses to post jobs.