We don’t need someone to hand us a brief in order to work. We write our own briefs. There’s strategy to be discussed, books to be written, services to be created, products to be designed, schools to be started, and, sometimes, posters to be hand screen-printed.
Graphic designers tend to wait around to be picked; for someone to hand them a brief and say “your turn.” And when they don’t get them, they don’t write real compelling briefs and get to work, no, they make minimalist posters about pop culture.
We don’t differentiate between Client work and Personal work. We don’t do “serious” work that requires briefs and research for clients and then do some light-hearted work in an effort to get blog play when no client is present. If we’re going to work it should offer a challenge and be worth the effort regardless of who benefits from our labor.