advocating creativity and arts has always been a passion of mine. in 2018, I was invited with my former colleague Diana Nedelea, as guest speakers at Kaktus Festival, Belgrade. with our young (back then) creative collective – wecollab, I had the wonderful opportunity to showcase some of my creative work in front of the Serbian advertising creatives, as well as advocating for new communication companies’ models. reinventing how we approach the idea of creativity and multidisciplinarity was also included in the experience. Beforehand, the festival team invited us to answer a couple of questions on the new creativity. My thoughts (then) below.
photos: Kaktus Festival team, November, 2018.
My conversation with Kaktus Festival team below.
KF: how are economic, generational, and technological changing reflecting on creativity, and creation of new ideas?
wecollab: all 3 elements have always been in changing mode. it’s just the current fast pace that is more stressful to cope with. the tools might be new, the definition of creativity is nevertheless the same. we just need to explore new processes and formulas to achieve creative goals, stay ahead of times and be the inspiration source other industries connect to. start to have different conversations. look for new people and fields which innovated more and faster. stay foolish. stay hungry :).
KF: what is your advice – how to make yourself and your ideas recognizable nowadays?
wecollab: we believe in positive intention-led and purpose-led creativity. intention brings meaning to the creative endeavour. we need to think of how creativity solves problems for communities or society, not just for the brands we collab with. let go of ego and focus on how your idea contributes to something bigger. less individualism and more questioning and co-creation. more conversations and creative experimentation. understand that your creative path is a dynamic, ever-changing journey, in which you need to embrace diversity and include as many creative thinkers and sources of inspiration you meet. from all fields, not only creative industries. open up to the world and learn from any interaction. in the end, the collection of ideas and people and experiences are more meaningful than awards, money, accolades. and learn to say i don’t know. it will attract the right people to work with and feed your curiosity, not your ego.
KF: what is the measurement for creativity? how would you measure it anyway?
wecollab: working with intention for a greater good or solving an existing societal need that goes beyond product consumption. sales and brand image indicators should no longer be the sole performance data we’re spot on. we need to look at how the message has impacted the community, how it addressed its real needs and how it solved problems or inspired change. it somehow forces brands to be more inclusive and attentive to the dynamics of cultures and subcultures. including humanity and values in the craft, not just in the evaluation reports. why a TVC when the community needs an arts center? why a commercial event when people talk about mental health or the need to reduce waste? more and more brands feel they have to explore a new role in the society ecosystem. the conversations we’re having not are not uni or bidirectional anymore, they are collective. we are definitely living exciting times and there is just so much to do. creative industries have never been more vital to the transformation of societies and cooperation between people, cultures, countries.
KF: as agencies may come to the point where they feel overwhelmed, is there a new model that can „refresh” their creativity?
wecollab: one of the most overwhelming task an agency has is being creative on demand. nowadays, brands need to move faster (and bolder) to get their customers attention, so marketers seek constant inspiration and cutting edge creativity from their agencies, along with day to day deliverables. sometimes the 2 actions clash, people are pressured to deliver more with the same tools and routine takes in. or self-doubt. or just lack of motivation to explore more, do more, be more. meaningful creativity doesn’t happen overnight and, for sure, it is not in the power of the same creative director over and over again. creative problem solving needs diversity and somehow an eclectic approach: different perspectives, skills and competence, new frameworks, but most of all different life experiences and backgrounds. the agency must seek to return to being THAT primary source of inspiration. step down from its seat at the brand decision table and instead create a new table, one that binds brand people, communities, artists and creative thinkers in an open communication environment, where co-creation and collaboration have purpose and meaning.
KF: what is the best way to connect art and brands? is it possible anyway?
wecollab: they are not separate realms, both arts and brands have at their core purpose, utility/functionality and creativity. they inform each other. what we are now seeing is an add-on to this dynamics: arts and brands have started to cross borders more often and co-create in a sustainable manner, for the benefit of the society and communities at large. this does not mean commercial objectives are put aside, we’re just reframing old paradigms and introduce a new conversation around creativity, the one that aims to contribute to the society and not to consumption only. arts have always been more courageous, at the forefront of what’s next on the social, political and economical agenda, the emergent in terms of creative thinking and expression and the conversations we need to have to move forward. brands have had the power and voice to address issues and opportunities in a more scalable way. so there you go, this new dynamics can be both useful and relevant to modern times, when it seems we need a collective effort. our own business model is basically an exploration of how transdisciplinary teams can be a catalyst for new questions and a galvanizer of original solutions. this definitely requires a different mindset and approach, a constant pursuit for experimentation, but this is how our modern incubator company can add value to brand journeys.
KF: what can we expect from your presentation at the festival Kaktus 2018?
wecollab: we’ve started wecollab having in mind the idea that creativity and inspiration are nowadays driven more by the collective effort of eclectic teams, than the individual inquiry. we will develop on this narrative and have a conversation around the ideas of collaboration, co-creation and how the approach can lead to new creative paths and results. our creative collective model is neither the newest nor maybe the best, but creativity doesn’t have a universal recipe. and we are stepping in a new age of experimentation and creative processes.