The irresistible power of Creativity

I have to tell the truth: during the last months I suffered from hyperphagia. Hyperphagia is defined as an increased appetite for consumption of food. In my case it was not pathological, it just happened because I was not satisfied at all.

I came in London to study.

Since September 2012 I am attending my MA Creative Economy at Kingston University. I really loved and I still love it. It is exactly what I was looking for to further my career. And it is not only a wonderful MA, it opens my mind.

I have also been working full-time hours at a restaurant since September 2012. London is, unfortunately, quite an expensive city, so I was working to sustain myself throughout my studies. This however meant that I had to sacrifice time which I should have been dedicated to course work. Whilst my marks are satisfactory, I do not wish to settle. I want to do well, and aim higher than ‘ok’. I am convinced now, more than ever before, that MACE was the right choice, and the sacrifices I have had to make to be here are definitely worth it.

During the last few months I have felt rather so frustrated that I have begun to suffer from hyperphagia. I could bake and then eat 2 cakes in the same evening. I got drunk with cheap cider at home many times, just because I was frustrated and I wanted more time to study, to work on my projects. I could never go out because my life was solely focused on my work and my studies. The last six months really were quite difficult.

Whilst I have tried to reduce my workload at the restaurant, I still felt choked. My creativity was dwindling and my energy levels were not surprisingly quite low.

So I’ve finally plucked up the courage to part with a job I enjoy so much, to dedicate more time to my studies….which is why I came to London in the first place.

Moreover, that was not a creative job. I was a waitress: I could have
been creative at it, but at the end of the day I only had to speak with customers, try to be polite, friendly, try to sell, and try to provide a good service, and a good cleaning at the closing time.

Whilst I had the occasional chance to inject a doze of creativity, the opportunities were unfortunately quite limited. I need to be able to change, to create, to see the things from other perspectives. And, you could well understand, in a restaurant that’s not possible.

Today, the day I quit the job, I came home. And I made a challenge with myself. I bought 2 small bottles of beer, trying to see if I still would feel necessary to fill myself with food while not doing what I have to do.

I did it. I mean, instead of wasting the little time I have, I worked on my Leadership project, and started to actually do it. And I didn’t eat.

Creativity. Creativity is a great mate. Creativity could whisper you just few words, and then to your soul, your heart and your mind. Creativity could really save you.

So give me some creative projects to do, and I will be happy. Moreover, I will be loyal to you. And you will be happy, too.

Tuesday Sunny Tuesday

Last Tuesday I had an interesting journey through the heart of London, between New Bond St, Marylebone High St, Tottenham Court Rd and Piccadilly St. I was lucky: it was a reallly sunny and windy day, so I could walk between the various stages, and I even ate outside like the Londoners!

I went in 4 of the most famous and cool store in London: Fenwick, Conran, Heal’s, and Fortnum & Mason. I tried to sign the locations on the GMap below.

maps ok

I didn’t started the journey for fun: it was an assignment for our team of the Young Enterprise Programme. After the Kingston University Fair last Thursday, we received some feedback from the judges, and they told us that our stand was too messy and that it was unclear what we were selling, which is a very weak point for our team.

Here I publish the photos of our stand, so you could understand and agree or disagree with the judges.

2013-02-28 15.03.04 2013-02-28 15.05.12 2013-02-28 15.05.24

On Friday Yash, who was one of the judges as well, suggested to all the teams to go in big stores, bringing some inspirations and some knowledge from them.

This is the reason of my Tuesday walking- journey.

I took many photos, you could find them at the end of the post.

While I was walking in the sun I thought about how in London most of the shops and the stores are really very original, every single shop window is well-finished until the smallest detail. They give so much importance to words and graphics, too, and to colours.

The famous stores I visited are really different from each other, from the products they sell to the way of displaying them. But what I found similar between all of them is their tidiness, their attention to the colour-matching in realtion to the message they want to deliver to the costumer.

Fenwick communicates luxury and fun, because of the colourful collections they show.

Conran is the most original store, and even if it sells particular products, it communicates quiet and light. I really appreciated their massive windows, which give a different breath to the rooms.

Heal’s is a furniture megastore, and what I loved was their use of multimedia – the store is full of screens where they project old movies – and the prevalence of the browns in the kitchen area. I spoke with one of the shop assistants, and she explained to me that they try to make the costumer feeling like it is at home, and every shelf or table is set up while keeping this in mind.

The last but not the least stage of my journey was Fortnum & Mason, in the tourist Piccadilly Street. I went there twice, the second time the morning after, because I wanted to take some pictures without the people inside the shop. The feeling I felt since my fist step inside the building was like being in a theatre: red carped, wood furniture, everything was so precious and antique.

I went to the ground floor, because I needed to see the fresh food department. The feeling there changed completely. It was like being in a local market of a small town in the countryside. The intention was for sure exactly to communicate that they sell fresh, organic, homemade food, but with the elegance which marks Fortnum & Mason.

After almost three days I guess that a selling point – a stand in a fair or a table in a store – has to be set up following a few simple but fundamental rules:

_ Firstly clarify the message which is wanted to be spread;

_ Secondly analyse which objects/ displayers could be used while not distracting the customers from the message;

_ Give the priority to recreate the environment of the product;

_ Communicate tidiness, order and cleanliness.

At the end yes, our stand wasn’t following those rules at all. We tried to do our best, but we mistaked. And it is good, because now we could improve our selling point, and learn.

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