I was around five years old, and I remember it was an art and craft class in my LKG. Sitting in the striped dress and red apron there, I had three rolls of play-dough right in front of me. Our teacher instructed us that we were free to create whatever we wanted. While some continued to sit clueless for the next few seconds, some of my classmates had already started. At the end of the class, right before the bell rang, our teacher came around to have a look. My best friend had created a caterpillar wiggling on a leaf. I, on the other hand, had made a horse next to a bush of roses. Over the years, most childhood memories have faded away; however, this one remains etched in my mind.
Fast-forward to 2020; I still wonder how my tiny hands were so artistic at that time. Today, I’m not a proud painter or artist, but oh boy, that day, I couldn’t stop beaming over what I had accomplished! While I have no regret in life and thank God for helping me reach where I am today, I miss the little girl who had created magic with only three colors of play-dough. It’s true- everyone is born creative, but we forget to pursue it.
Now you must be wondering what took me back to the good ol’ days, so it was an Amul billboard that I saw from my car. Utterly Butterly never fails to grab my attention, and I’ve simply been in awe of their strong ad campaigns and copy lines since forever. These billboards always get me thinking about how I can not create these fantastic graphics and puns, as they do? Indeed, creativity is something we cannot develop in a day but need to nurture over time. As the Marketing Consultant, I often think of this when I engage in racking my head for out-of-the-box and effective customer-connecting strategies.
As the car proceeded, so did my chain of thoughts.
Right next to the Amul billboard was Zomato’s. It was a large board in red with a big white font on it. Half of the board said MC, the other half said BC, and I was shocked at how a leading brand could use such abuses openly. That is when I saw that the same MC and BC had “mac n cheese” and “butter chicken” written below them. Trust me when I say this, one eyebrow of mine went up, and then I broke into a burst of laughter. This is what real creativity is.
Did it get my attention? Check.
Did it form a connection? Check.
Am I going to retain the ad in my memory? Check.
Did I lose my creativity, or is it trapped in one corner?
I kept thinking to myself if I have indeed “lost” my creativity or it is still somewhere in me. So that evening, I decided to sit down with play-dough again. As I started on my mission to recover creativity, I felt lost for a few moments. My mind went blank because I was so stuck on the thought of my horse and rose bushes. I could simply not come up with anything else. That is when I realized that prior knowledge could also be a significant hindrance to fresh thoughts.
Over the years, I had dedicated most of my time to education and then employment. While I always excelled in academics and tried my best to master every subject, I was lucky to follow my passion- marketing. I feel this is the case with almost everyone working in any company strata, right from the top-level CEO to the managers. Haven’t all of us been engaged with work? It’s time you sat and thought of what your missing/hidden talent is. You never know, it might help you form more connections instantly! And this all starts from our childhood because in reality, all of us have great untapped creative potential, but just like seeds, each person’s unique talents need to be cultivated, encouraged and nurtured from the beginning years. As someone beautifully said once, First seek joy, not perfection.
So, back to my play-dough task. Initially, I thought that I was failing miserably. But then I tried and managed to make a windmill. It was an indication that creativity is not lost, just hidden. However, it needs dedicated practice to nurture creativity. Yes, I may have been in another field today if I had genuinely taken to my artistic side, but marketing is also a creativity-based field- just a different sort than play-dough art.
Let passion guide your way.
By now, you must have started forming an opinion about me. No worries- it’s general human nature. So, you may not know this, but I love watching movies. My all-time heart-winner is Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon- the gem of a book that taught us creativity and passion must go hand in hand to guide us to success. (If you haven’t read the book already, please stop reading this blog right now, finish the book, and come back.). It completely transformed how youngsters thought of choosing their career paths- the focus has moved from money to job satisfaction. It has paved the way for new mainstream jobs such as content writing, graphic designing, and photography. Moreover, the best part is that all of these are means of communication that form the base of every marketing strategy ever devised.
What can you do with all that you just read?
Now, enough of my experiences and observations. I think I’ve penned down quite a few thoughts here, and it’s time to shift the spotlight to you. So, what do you plan to do with all that you just read? It’s pointless if you are just going to read blogs online and then forget them as soon as you close the tab. The idea is to get you moving- moving towards your passion and creativity.
Take some time off and talk to your mother. Ask her what you excelled in as a child, and I’m sure she’ll have so many stories to tell you. If you are still interested in a hobby that you follow, then why not pursue it a little further? Invest time in yourself, and you’ll see what I am talking about. The dynamic marketing domain welcomes all talents because that is what the field is all about- to form a connection with the masses and present them with something new every time. This is also a wakeup call to let children explore their talents and be what they want to be.
As Rachel from Friends said, “All my life, everyone has told me that you are a shoe. But, what if I don’t want to be a shoe? What if I want to be a purse or a hat?”