So many things inspire us every day, but we tend not to acknowledge them or even recognize them. Mehek Malhotra, Creative Head at Canva India and Founder and CEO of Giggling Monkey, a Mumbai-based Visual Arts Studio, talks about how you can tap into the gig economy and connect with clients around the world and build your network.
Mehek says, “It is not just an idea to create something new but also an idea to change your entire lifestyle!”
Inspiration can determine how you look at things and what kind of ideas you absorb from books and art. It can navigate conversations and make connections. Inspiration is all around us, hidden in our daily activities and surroundings, but it does get “ignored.”
So, how can you identify this inspiration, and how can you use it in your workplace?
Quoting Bobby Krlic, the Music Director of Midsommar, Mehek says, “I think part of being young is being intrigued by the world around you, and the possibilities of what you can see and hear.”
The young mind is always open to possibilities, quite the opposite of the adult “mature” minds who put things into rigid boxes and restrict themselves.
Mehek’s solution to finding inspiration is to “Look and hear and read and feel and imagine!”
Educate yourself more. It’s not just about getting degrees; every day is a new lesson—from people, art, nature, and daily objects. Your daily rituals can inspire you and grow your talent. The talent economy is full of people making the best out of their hobbies.
Mehek finds inspiration in handmade quilts, candle boxes, rat poison wrappers, windows that she sees in her daily walks, kitchen shelves, and so much more. If you look closely and carefully, you will notice color combinations, refreshing patterns, or some bold typography that you may use for your next creation!
What can you do to get and remain inspired?
Here are some practical tips that Mehek outlines for young creators who want to stay inspired every day.
Yes, times are difficult, and there’s a lot of scrutinies. And most of the time, this fear of failure stops you from exploring new things.
But you don’t need to take all the pressure. Let yourself loose. Give yourself some space. It’s okay to make mistakes!
In the age of social media, we keep posting stories, pictures, and videos for the world to see. We want to showcase what we are doing and what inspires us. But, we forget that some of these pictures can go in our personal gallery solely for our personal use. Some things need to remain personal. Of course, you can always curate and share your inspiration with the world once in a while.
There is a lot of information around us. It often gets overwhelming to make everything a part of your inspiration board. Try to develop a filter to focus on the few things that matter to you.
Every time you find something that inspires you, it’s up to you to make something useful out of it. If you visit a museum and find interesting objects from a bygone era, how can they be relevant to the present times? Similarly, if you find something creative in another culture, how can it be useful for your projects?
Take the time to process all the data and translate it to fit your workplace. Remember that you can only translate something when you fully understand the original concept!
“Making should be about the process of learning, instead of you seeing the end product and that making sense for the entire world!”
Mehek encourages creating something just to understand the process rather than the end product. There is no need to make something that is useful all the time.
The fact is you can work online with anyone. Don’t underestimate yourself just because you feel you are a newbie. Reach out and show that you are a part of the talent economy.
Use online mediums to find the right people, and the magic will happen! Here are some practical tips by Mehek on how you can work with people from everywhere.
- SEO is your best friend. Tag your images with your name and add the keywords to your website. No matter your content, it needs to be seen on Google!
- Don’t worry. Often, you may get anxious if you cannot make the right connections online. If someone is looking for you and your work, they will be on the lookout. Patience is important.
- Once you make your online profile, make sure to follow up. Get online, respond to messages, and be present. You may have started something online, but you forget that you need to stay available.
- Every time you create personal work, put it up online. Link it back to your website with SEO. You will eventually find clients who need that kind of work.
- Follow etiquette. Stay professional. Stick to deadlines. Put the details on the email and create valid contracts. Protect yourself and your client in the expanding gig economy. Having a professional work culture makes work way easier for everyone.
- Timing is everything. Always be available. And keep checking your LinkedIn! Working across time zones will require you to be flexible.
Mehek concludes, “You are not your work; you make work! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are a person who is capable of much more than work.”
She adds that there will always be people who judge or intimidate you, but no matter what, you do you. Respect your work but never forget your comfort. Do not treat breaks as luxuries but make them a regular part of the routine.
Note: This blog is an excerpt from a session on Ignored Inspiration and Working With People From Around the World with Mehek Malhotra, Creative Head at Canva India and Founder and CEO of Giggling Monkey, a Mumbai-based Visual Arts Studio. The session was part of Elevate–a global virtual content summit organized by Pepper Content, bringing together industry leaders in content marketing.
Check out the video of the interview here.