This is Side Hustle, a Digiday series that highlights fun, innovative, charitable or otherwise noteworthy passion projects of agency creatives, outside of the workplace.
The pressure of long hours, client deadlines and a steep learning curve can sometimes push creativity to the back seat early in one’s agency career. That’s why Isaac Versaw, a social copywriter at Deutsch New York, took on his fun, hip-hop-inspired side project.
Versaw’s project “Rap, Paper, Scissors” alludes to the popular game “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and is an illustrated, stop-motion animated series that celebrates hip-hop’s greatest artists along with some of their most iconic lines. These graphics were made completely out of construction paper, carved using an X-acto knife and then brought to life by animating them through stop-motion.
“Hip-hop to me is these artists sampling and layering to create something unique — and that’s what I tried to do with this project as well by layering a bunch of different media on top of each other,” said Versaw. “I also wanted to juxtapose the painstaking detail that goes into creating something handcrafted with the fleeting nature of the medium that is social media.”
The collection, which features the likenesses of Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Eazy-E, Drake and Kanye West, embraces the trend of using paper in GIF designs and illustrations on Instagram and Pinterest. Each takes a couple of days to make; cutting out the artists’ features and lyrics is the most laborious step of the process. Versaw has also picked up more followers on Instagram and Tumblr since he started pushing these illustrations out last year, timing some of them with an album release — like Kanye West’s most recent album “Life of Pablo.”
“There’s a lot more pressure and intentionality that comes with creating with paper and animating using stop-motion,” said Versaw. “I really came to appreciate the importance of crafting by hand in the digital age and learned that knowing how to create away from the computer is what makes you an even stronger creative.”