Knowledge For The Modern Millennial

Category: Branding (page 2 of 3)

A collection of blog posts about Branding and Design. Here, Zamai Banje writes and discusses on branding and how it affects young individuals.

Thoughts on Creativity and Travel: My visit to Heroes Square, Owerri, Imo state.

Looking for a way to improve your Creativity?

Then Travel. Explore. And visit places you’ve never been before.

My short experience will definitely convince you on how traveling can boost your creativity.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

The above statement was made by Mark Twain and after my visit to Heroes Square in Owerri, Imo state Nigeria, I totally agree with him.

So here’s my story:

A WALK WITH THE HEROES.

Recently, I visited the Heroes Square in Owerri and despite the controversy and backlash it received on its launch, it’s a sight to behold.

The Heroes Square (also called Heroes Park) consist of statues erected by the Okorocha administration to commemorate the good works they have done for their countries and the African continent as a whole.

At first glance, the statues seem daunting, but the sculptor really created masterpieces that will be admired for years to come:

My favourite is that of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. His statue is resplendent, complete in his military uniform. Even his famous beard is finely sculpted.

The statue of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe assumes the posture of an aristocratic plea. Probably asking for the Nigerian dream he tried to build and why it has been abandoned.

Sir Tafawa Balewa is depicted in a scholarly look, with a book in his left hand. There’s also our past President Olusegun Obasanjo, raising his fist to the air.

Visiting Heroes park gave me a mental break from my current activities and created distance from the workload for the week. I felt refreshed while viewing the statues and admiring the creative work imbued by the sculptor.

My walk with the heroes continues with Jacob Zuma whose statue attracted a lot of controversy still stands in the Heroes Square, Owerri. He is dressed in suit with a forlorn look on his face.

I also loved the salutation pose adopted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female to be elected President in Africa.

Other statues included; Nana Akufo-Addo and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, ( I love Kwame’s walking stick), Chief Sam Mbakwe and Dr. Akanu Ibiam.

Like the statues representing different African countries, my mind also opened to new ideas, forming connections with previous problems bothering my work and writing.

Indeed, creativity can come from new and exciting experiences. It is not just changing locations and gaining new knowledge, but it was also the planning, laughter and weird poses with friends that made it an amazing experience.

So, Dear Creative, where can you travel to expand your mind and improve your creativity?
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If you plan on visiting Owerri, make sure you visit the place.

N.B: All photos in this post were taken by Zamai Banje (that’s me of course).

Please feel free to share. But with my permission and name attached.

What every creative can learn from the Greatest Showman movie.

Well, if you have not watched or heard about the Greatest Showman movie, you are probably on another planet.

Loved by both young and old, the movie (produced by Twentieth century Fox) became an instant hit because of its blend of choreography, emotions displayed by the actors, wonderful storyline and entertaining musicals.

Asides that, it was my favourite movie of 2018.

However, I watched it again from a creative perspective and discovered mind-blowing lessons you and I can apply while adopting creativity in our respective niche.

So here are seven lessons every creative can learn from watching the movie:

(P.S: Even if you haven’t watched the movie, I would advise you read this post and rush afterwards to watch the movie.)

1. Have a breathtaking introduction

I heard recently you have only ten seconds to engage an audience in your creative work or you lose their interest forever. The Greatest Showman movie was not afraid to play a powerful opening scene (which was similar to the ending).

Always be free. Feel free to hit your best shot at the beginning. Make your audience crave for your work the instant it is launched. Leave them curious right from the start.

Once you do this, you have got them hooked till the end. That’s what happens whenever I watch this amazing movie.

2. You only go far as your imagination

The protagonist, P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman) had a poor upbringing, yet he married a lady from a wealthy family and became “the greatest showman.” This was because of his strong sense of imagination. P.T. Barnum never stopped imagining and it consistently paid off throughout the movie.

Another character, Jenny Lind (played by Rebecca Ferguson) also dropped a powerful quote:

“A man’s station is determined by his imagination.”

As a creative, you must keep imagining. Keep seeking new ways of creating your work. Keep finding fresh angles to accomplish your craft.

If you practice this, you will be an unstoppable force.

3. It is possible to sell dreams

This was definitely the most emotional lesson I picked from the movie. P.T. Barnum sold his dreams of presenting the ‘exotic and magical’ to hundreds of his countrymen and he got paid for it.

Hence, no matter how weird your dreams are, there will always be a way. Your dreams can surely be monetized and sold to the world.

4. Marketing (Advertising) sure helps

Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!” – P.T Barnum.

Well, Marketing (especially offline) has not been on the strong side for me. But as time goes on, I have discovered it is needed for your ideology to reach the world.

Advertising is needed for your creative genie to gain more traction and flourish.

P.T. Barnum was not only the greatest in his showmanship business; he also showed it in his dealings with people. His conversation with Philip Carlyle (played by Zac Efron) was a brilliant illustration.

So learn to sway people into your thinking. Always show the immense benefits of dealing with you.

5. Your ‘BIG IDEA’ has already appeared to YOU

Barnum’s idea of a circus for the extraordinary came in his early days when a hunchback fed him an apple. This was his own ‘BIG IDEA’.

If you are over twenty, your big idea has already manifested in one form or another. It could be in form of a paperwork, abstract thoughts, news headline, comments from family, friends or well-wishers, seeing a painting in an antique shop, or waiting for a train to arrive.

Search deeper. Meditate and have flashbacks on your most creative days in past experiences. You will surely get a glimpse of the big idea.

My own ideology of chasing creativity was reflecting on my childhood days when I retold folktale stories (I will surely share some of these stories later on)

6. Things will go wrong when you start pleasing everybody

“I don’t know the key to success, but I know the key to failure is pleasing everybody.”

The above statement (attributed to Winston Churchill) is profound and was shown in the movie.

P.T. Barnum almost lost everything because of his desire to please the Herald reporter, Charity’s parents and the society’s elites. Philip wanted to please his own parents and almost lost the love of his life (played by Zendaya).

The advice here can be taken verbatim from the movie:

“You don’t need everyone to love you. Just a few good people.”

7. Have a purpose that exceeds the money

This is definitely the greatest lesson from the Greatest Showman.
When the money is coming, always have a sense of purpose. Have a set of core values to guide your decisions and relationships. Focus on what is important.

What saved Phil and Barnum was the core values they imbibed in others. For Phil, it was his friendship, love and adoration for fulfilling work that saved his share of his business.

And as for Phineas Theodore (P.T) Barnum, it was his creativity, sense of imagination and family love that finally made him a happy man.

So dear creative, which lesson from the movie will you apply to your craft?

Want to be Creative? Then adopt these 3 easy steps used by Children

I’m sure you remember when you were very young, worry-free and constant ideas ran through your little mind.

Or maybe you currently have a kid bro (or sis) who is happy drawing with crayons, building blocks and tapping away on your smartphone.

And then you wonder:
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ME? WHY DON’T I FEEL AS CREATIVE AS BEFORE?

Don’t worry.

After reading this post, your creativity will be boosted in double folds.

You will work on your business without fear, but with joy and happiness. You will learn the traits children express in their prime, which gives them unlimited passion and energy.

And you will apply it to your life and activities too.

This post contains three ultimate tips to boosting your creativity, just by observing the beautiful minds of children.

Have you ever seen the statement below?

Every child is born an artist; the problem is staying an artist when we grow up.”

The above quote is attributed to famous painter, Pablo Picasso (most likely where the photo editing app, ‘Picasa’ got their name from).

We might be adults now, but here are the three ultimate tips we can adapt to our creative lifestyle:

BE PLAYFUL AND IDEAS (EVEN PEOPLE) WILL DANCE AT YOUR FEET

Ironically, I underestimated this tip because I was not playful during my childhood days. However, Todd Henry, author of The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a moment’s notice, stresses the importance of play in the life of a creative.

Only through play, you can apply those crazy and quirky techniques you probably won’t do in a workplace or in a job of a client. Try them out.

Play and explore with unbridled freedom.

Have a sense of adventure. Be full of life and energy. Don’t grouch and greet everybody with a sneer (unless that’s your outward style).

But, always be happy and happy inwards. Let your heart always scream with joy when you create. Let your brain tingle with excitement when the time for work starts.

Playful energy also happens to be contagious. People are always attracted with lively creatives. It is probably the wildfire of long-lasting and beneficial relationships. Because positivity is infectious and spreads very fast.

BE CURIOUS AND THE DOTS WILL SURELY CONNECT

Children love to explore with a sense of wonder and animated curiosity. They constantly open themselves to new experiences.

Be curious. Have a sense of wonder. Always look at your task from a fresh perspective. No matter how monotonous the task could be. Or even if you have been doing the said activity for years.

Success often comes by consistently improving yourself and your craft. But Mastery comes from finding the dots from other fields and connecting them to your own work. This can only come through curiosity.

BE VULNERABLE AND THE UNIVERSE WILL OPEN TO YOU

With their immaturity and openness, children are the most vulnerable in the life stages of humans. Yet, this weakness is also their greatest strength.

In a world where almost everybody puts on a “all-is-good” mask, smiling faces and refuse to share their problems, be the opposite. Share your hopes, fears, and beliefs in the work you produce.

Ask questions. Don’t hide your ignorance. Open up to a few people you can trust with your secrets. Take advice from mentors and people you admire.

Appreciate feedbacks even the crazy pessimistic ones. Sift out the sense your haters and nay-sayers may be trying to say. As the adage goes, there is an element of truth in any rumor.

Whether you want to be a god in your self-talk and attitude. Or be human in your mistakes and when limitations come. Just be yourself. Just do you.

So, be vulnerable. Trust in your work. Trust in yourself. Trust in your friends to like you and share your work. Trust in your clients to come back and for more referrals. Trust in giving more value, even for free, sometimes. Just keep trusting.

Sometimes, trust will get you stabbed in the back: it might earn you ridicule and jest in your career or craft. But trust me, in the long run, vulnerability will get you into higher places. It will take you to higher levels where good always overpowers the evil.

And when that time comes, you will realize the Universe has always been opening doors for you. And it will continue to create opportunities for you, your work and your ideas.

So that’s it.

With these three traits copied from the younger versions of ourselves, our creativity can be boosted in a thousand folds.

Reading this hack might make you wonder less about the words spoken two thousand years ago:

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Maybe He was speaking about creativity too.

So dear creative, which trait will you adapt in your life today?

Photo credits: Unsplash.com