There was one thing I struggled with at school and in my attempts at university. As a child before school, I had a wild imagination. My mother could leave me for hours as constructed worlds in my head of anything and everything around me. Being an extremely happy child, it all seemed to be working ok. Then something terrible happened. My parents sent me to school.
It was horrible. No longer could I use my imagination and daydreaming techniques that I used to make me happy. I struggled straight away with teachers. Why do I have to do that. It doesnt make any sense at all. This has been a running problem throughout my life. The difference is I just learnt to move around it. I ended up in an British military school in Australia, which sounds strict but as I made it through the pain of the early years. I actually did quite well at school without really trying (my dad wasnt happy when I said that a number of years later). But I gained respect from some of my teachers allowing me a lot more freedom as I got older.
One teacher supported my wild imagination on on interesting topic. A girl in Australia had recently died supposedly from an ecstacy overdose. The government and the press jumped all over it and made her the perfect girl who was struct down by this terrible drug. The truth was she was an alcoholic and a drug taker from a young age. I wrote an essay within a school class on this completely against everyone else. I highlighted the lack of transparecy and the blatant cover up by media and the government on a girl that was renowned in my area as passing out drunk at house parties, throwing up and sleeping with anything. My teacher who was also the school priest, but he backed me all the whole way. Loved my angle and drove me to write about it in my final exams. It didnt get that great of a mark in the national exam. But it didnt matter me. I thought I wrote a great piece and so did he. It was great to have the freedom to think and express a different viewpoint and I got a lot more out of that than the marks.
Then at Uni I was restricted again. I was working in an agency and studying communications part time. I had a marketing lecturer who was a junior at some pharmacutical company and from my small knowledge of the marketing world straight away started to butt heads with the lecturer. The material was so limited and didnt express any real life understanding at all. So university didnt last long for me, as work was showing more promise and I was more open to utilise my imagination there.
Although it seems like I was a bad child I dont believe that was true. I was truly interested in learning. I always said to teachers, 'its better that I am talking and questioning things. Because if I am not, that means I am not paying attention or I am asleep'. I bring this up as I recently saw this great video from Sir Ken Robinson. Someone who pulls apart the education system and its ability to structutralise everything and limit kids imagination. He highlights a need for openness for kids to use their imagination as the importance of it in the future of man kind and problem solving is so crucial.
I moved into advertising as I believed it would drive my imagination which it has. But after 10 years in the ad industry I believe it is now cutting back on imagination and also is becoming too restrictive. I think we can evolve and mesh the great business acumen with fantastic imagination as I believe a number of the smaller networks are putting into force. The future truly is about diagonal thinking and how we as companies can fuse imagination and business acumen into the company's culture.
He talks about a number of things I truly believe in. That diversity brings creativity, that intelligence isnt just about academia. As well as many more
I had a chat with a guy last night who was a good boy and did a law degree like he was supposed to. Then went to a law firm and didnt really like it. After years of studying and travelling he has made his way into advertising. He too seemed to have a similar confusion of what he was restritced to do and not what he wanted to.
So I post this video to all the social misfits out there who probably made their way into advertising.... be happy .... and keep using your imagination
Our (and Your) RISD Ã‚Â» Blog Archive Ã‚Â» Sir Ken Robinson
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