Last week as I sat in a lecture hall filled with 100 or so other wide-eyed students, listening to how extremely difficult our next two years will be, I knew this was exactly where I needed to be. So what is it that I am doing? And why am I doing it? These two questions I have been pondering for the better half of the past decade. I've entered into VCU Brandcenter, a two-year graduate program for Art Direction. The program's goal is to 'develop the best creative problem solvers in the world.' And if you look at their alumni as well as talk to people in the industry that's exactly what they've been doing.
For just about as long as I could remember I loved to play with things. The ordinary and the way things are accepted at face value just didn't interest me. I was always imagining scenarios-most of the time in my head; riding in cars, playing on the beach, reading, walking in the woods, you name it I was 'daydreaming.' (*Full Disclosure* I believe they have been diagnosing this as ADHD for quite some time now but to me it was just fun, albeit counterproductive) Anyways I always needed to create some storyline that would intrigue me and connect me in some way that just accepting at face value wouldn't. This storytelling and imaginative process invigorates me, it makes the world more relatable-more human.
I don't want to make this sound like a rant about living a life as a 'creative mind' idly going around the world thinking up interesting thoughts to myself looking down upon the average person. That tends to be a characteristic of calling myself 'a creative' in the ad industry that I absolutely hate. Quite the contrary to this asinine representation, it is extremely difficult for me to guide my imagination in a way that makes sense and I have failed at making interesting ideas come to life numerous times and am sure I will continuously in the future. But once you get that idea that 'Aha!' moment it's so enriching.
I don't think I could live without this, without it I feel lost at sea in a rudder-less ship drifting towards the meaningless. This process and way of thinking is that guiding star to push me towards a connectedness, a feeling of purpose. From my experience creative solutions best come from absorption of culture and humanity, learning to un-think all cluttered initial references and begin to problem solve through intuition. It's exploring new deeper truths about the world and how they're tied to us. I love this process, and when I'm up all night working, it'll be because I'm doing what I love to do. Ultimately, I am here to learn how to better myself in this process, to become more interesting and valued as a contributor in society.
Check back with me in a couple weeks to see if I feel the same way...