The team behind the scenes of the love letter from Little Simz to her mum

Photograph of hand written letter from Little Simz to her mother

Image from Love the Journey film

We believe creativity is a uniquely human trait – it’s not exclusive or a special gift, it’s within us all. If it’s nurtured and celebrated from an early age, the next generation can flourish and be able to reach their full potential. To do this, having the right support, guidance and access to inspirational role models is needed, which is why we have launched the Love the Journey, to inspire and educate young people everywhere.

As part of the campaign, we joined forces with award-winning rapper, lyricist and actor, Little Simz, who penned a heart-warming love letter to her mother who has supported her in her creativity journey.

From the stories we’ve shared as part of Love the Journey, we know everyone’s journey is unique and it’s through the diversity of thought and the power of self-expression that creativity can bring creativity to life and create what’s true.

Today, we’re excited to share with you some of the team behind Simz’s Love the Journey film, to give you a taster of the roles that contributed towards its making, how they got to where they are today and what got them most excited about creating the film.

Here’s what they had to share:

What is your job title and what does your role entail?

Andre Rodrigues: I’m a film editor. After a project has been shot, I watch all the footage and put it together and a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, I try and fit all the pieces together to tell the story with the director. I love being one of the cogs in the creative machine that helps bring storytelling to the screen.

Indy Selvarajah: I am an executive creative director (ECD), so I am in charge of all the creative output of the agency; films, ads, design work, animations, installations and experiential.

Lainey Richardson: I’m a film director in the commercials, content and music video space, so this means that in response to a brief, I come up with the creative vision for a project - what you will see from moment to moment, what you will hear, what it will feel like, how we’ll achieve it within budget, among other things! I pitch a vision against other directors and their visions, and if I win the job, then with the support of a production company bring together, oversee and collaborate with the team and on-screen talent, to see that vision through to fruition. In addition, as with everything, there are always obstacles or hiccups, so it’s my job to ensure that the essence of the vision and messaging remains intact no matter what - so a lot of creative problem solving!

Shamima Begum: I’m group manager for Adobe communications, which probably doesn’t mean much to anyone, but in simple terms, I lead all communications efforts for Adobe in the UK across PR, social and thought leadership content. This means I bring Adobe storytelling to life for our customers and communities, helping inspire and educate them, as well as celebrate their work.

Photograph of Little Simz mother

Image from Love the Journey film

Can you explain a bit about your journey into the creative industry, and how you got to this job today?

Rodrigues: My dad used to have a camera and as soon as I learnt how to use it, I started filming my friends and family and creating silly sketches. I had to do ‘live’ editing, which meant if the take wasn’t good I would re-shoot and erase the previous one… I realised I really liked that bit a lot. Later, I went to a film school in France (where I grew up) and in my last year I took the editing course there. When I moved to London 10 years ago, I didn’t have any contacts, so I just sent my CV to lots of post-production houses. I first became a runner, then an assistant and now here I am.

Selvarajah: I studied a degree in architecture at University College London, before going on to become an artist where I showed work at Tate, Barbican and Whitney in New York. I then moved into writing, writing a TV show for Channel 4 amongst others. More recently I went into advertising where I became a creative director. And now I’m an ECD of a communications agency.

Richardson: I’ve wanted to be a film director since I was 13, and after several stints running at various production companies, I started making films at art school in my early twenties, but these were definitely more of the conceptual art variety. After graduating, I worked at film festivals, and I’d say it wasn’t until I was 27 that I properly started making short films independently. I bolstered myself financially with a second career as a video editor until I got signed to ‘Caviar’ and ‘Imposter’ just over a year ago. I’ve since been lucky enough to direct a steady flow of commercial and online campaigns with an incredible team of people around me. I definitely think I’ve had a bit of an unusual journey into the industry, but I think all of these experiences have made me who I am, and in some way contribute to the work I make today.

“I definitely think I’ve had a bit of an unusual journey into the industry, but I think all of these experiences have made me who I am, and in some way contribute to the work I make today”

Lainey Richardson, Film Director

Begum: I studied journalism and contemporary history at university and during my time there, I did a few work experience stints at magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Dazed and Smash Hits. Yes, those were my days of working in a fashion cupboard and distributing post! Although I loved creative writing, after I graduated, I needed a job and didn’t have many connections to break into journalism, nor could I afford a salary of £12,000 a year! I took a temp job at the Royal College of Surgeons’ press office and after six months of job hunting, I got an offer at a small B2B PR agency. I had no idea what PR was back then, I completely blagged the interview and had to ask the agency’s HR team if I had just signed myself up to a sales job! It turned out I hadn’t, and from there I cut my teeth in PR at a few different agencies, which included 12 years at Golin, before moving to Adobe to take a secondment role. That turned out better than I expected, and here I am today.

Q: How does the ‘Love the Journey’ campaign resonate with you?

Rodrigues: My parents never forced any career on me. The only requirement when growing up was to be respectful, to have good grades and get a good job. So, I was lucky they were on board when I told them I wanted to go into the creative industry, which was completely unknown territory for them. The campaign shows that when you have support, love, and the space to grow, the road to creativity is then very exciting and it’s about embracing it fully.

“The campaign shows that when you have support, love, and the space to grow, the road to creativity is then very exciting and it’s about embracing it fully”

Andre Rodrigues, Film Editor

Selvarajah: In every possible way. That people from minority backgrounds are outnumbered in creative industries, so to use your personal journey as your super-power and currency to create incredible work.

Richardson: The ‘Love the Journey’ campaign really resonated with me as it set out to shed light on the barriers that young BAME groups face when it comes to entering the creative industries – barriers I’ve personally had first-hand experience with in the past, such as not feeling like I had enough role models I could relate to, struggling to get guidance or a foot in the door etc. Young people need to see more representation of minority groups to feel that there is a place for them, and to show them that they can do it to. For me, I’d love for my work on this campaign to inspire others to pursue their creative dreams, and to encourage parents and careers to support creative children. There is a whole world out there of jobs that might be just right for them, and the creative industry might just be the space that they can thrive in.

Photograph of young Little Simz in her mothers arms

Image from Love the Journey film

Begum: When the ‘Love the Journey’ campaign came to us in the UK from our EMEA comms team, we wanted to look at the challenges young people in this country face when it comes to trying to break into the creative industry. For me and the team, there was one major issue the industry faced… attracting and retaining talent from diverse backgrounds, particularly ethnic minorities. ‘Love the Journey’ is more than a campaign, it’s part of my story as I’ve lived it. I know how difficult it is to not know where to start, to not have the confidence to reach out to people in the industry and to walk into a room and feel like an outsider. This campaign supports an issue I truly care about and one that’s inspiring young people from all walks of life to pursue their passions to give them the role models they need and broaden their knowledge about the opportunities that exist. The creative industry is in urgent need of greater representation across all levels, and I hope ‘Love the Journey’ can encourage change for the better.

“This campaign supports an issue I truly care about and one that’s inspiring young people from all walks of life to pursue their passions”

Shamima Begum, Group Manager Adobe Communications

Q: What one piece of advice would you give to young people looking to get into the creative industry?

Rodrigues: Show interest in the people whose work you like; reach out and ask for help and advice. People in the creative industry love hearing new voices and will often help that voice to be heard. And don’t be afraid of failing, it’s hard, but still part of the process and you learn a lot from it.

Selvarajah: Never take no for an answer.

“Never take no for an answer”

Indy Selvarajah, Executive Creative Director

Richardson: Try and get as much practical experience as you can, whether that’s from working directly on professional projects, or on independent ones that you can do with your peers. It really is all about constantly learning, growing and collaborating. And it’s this growing body of work that going to help you get more work in the future.

Begum: I heard this recently and I truly believe it – embrace your difference. You may not be like others but that brings with it so many plus points as you’re able to think outside the box and contribute in ways others can’t. Also, you may have people along your career journey that doubt you but as long as you persevere, have the passion to pursue what you want and the resilience to stand back up when knocked down, you can achieve anything. You’re in control of your life and how your story unfolds.

Photograph of Little Simz performing on stage

Image from Love the Journey film

Check out Adobe ‘Love the Journey’ to see more stories from the UK creative scene and take our quiz to help find your creative career path.