“Thought-diversity” / Blog

‘Diversity’ imagery and marketing focuses on how we visibly look different. But how do we live our lives? How is that shared?

How much visibility can we really bring to who we are underneath the ‘diverse exterior’? And should it be our job to?

The issue isn’t just the lack of diversity in spaces ... it’s the lack of what I call “thought-diversity”. A lack of openness on the part of people who live and work in their silos and are delighted at the mention of anything slightly spicy at which point they’ll bring up the ‘Fatima’ they received ‘Indian sweets’ from that one time.

Why is everything Indian? And do you know what Punjabi is? Do you know why India and Pakistan exist? Do you know where hashtag moon milk and hashtag golden milk come from? These Pinterest/Instagram/influencer crazes have their cultural roots in a place these moonmilk followers know nothing about.

Did the person who received the “Indian sweets” bother to have a longer conversation with the ‘Fatima’ they received them from or is it enough that they have a line about who she is to stockpile in their go-to’s whenever they are faced with a diverse interaction or conversation?

If you are living/working in a diverse geographical region, why is it that you don’t have more than a line to share about a certain community or culture?

Why do “diverse” individuals have to be planted into settings to make it look like we are doing the work to be more representative when the existing structures haven’t changed and neither have the people within it?

Perhaps grown ups need my “thought-diversity” training in their workplaces whilst our kids explore diversity in a less forced way. Until we inevitably silo them as well. 

Culture starts with you because...

… culture is transmitted. How and by whom is not in our control. What is within our grasp THOUGH is our own expression and being mindful of THIS THING CALLED ‘CREATIVE integrity’.

I’ve had many a conversation (on and off the podcast) about cultural appropriation. Whilst it exists, I find the ‘talking about it’ a big distraction. We could instead create/inform/educate our audience rather than providing endless commentary, something I’ve wrestled with since I started the podcast talking to creatives since 2016.

The only downside to self expression is that we could take a position where we don’t credit our influences. Where we believe it’s all us.

Culture is transmitted, shared, and evolving. That’s not to say that it is without roots.

If we are appreciating the branches and tentacles of a tree, it’s only right to credit the trunk, the foundation, and the roots. So in order to credit our source or the influence behind our creativity, does it then require us to provide a bibliography name checking our influences every time we produce a piece of work?

As creatives, our storytelling/commentary/expression is invaluable. It spurs discussion and evokes emotions of all kinds. Art stirs us and impacts the individual and collective. It has such power and reach that I wonder if it does in fact now require a side of context, or a B side.

But isn’t that spoon feeding when it’s up to our audience to interpret?

Culture starts with us and it has a source. It’s tentacles can’t be tamed but it can be traced back to an origin. In our new digital media era, there is ample space and platform for creatives/artists to provide a contextual side to develop the story with their audience; an audience that does actually thirst for more information.

It isn’t rare now for a symposium discussion to accompany an exhibition. And it’s always been the case that musicians have had to promo and talk about their music upon the release of it. So perhaps we should embrace having to deliver more context (and clarity) at a time when the line of being original and influenced is so blurred.

How big brands are stalking YOUR creativity

Adidas welcomes UK market to its US consumer rewards scheme 'Creators Club'.

Following its’ success in the US, Adidas is bringing its membership programme - the Creators Club - over to the UK, before expanding into the rest of Europe later in the year. 

Launching officially in June, the programme rewards customers with exclusive access to products, experiences and services in exchange for their time and advocacy. 

After members sign up to the Creators Club in-store or through the Adidas app, they can earn rewards through a range of activities, including attending Adidas events, buying products and providing feedback on products and services. 

The sportswear brand hopes to expand the scope to include rewards for activities linked to creativity and participation, which members can achieve by generating Adidas content or for the amount of km run through the Runtastic app. 

Rewards are split into four tiers, with 'Icon' status as the highest. As members unlock each level, they will gain greater access to special events, product customisation, priority service, members-only products and unique experiences. 

Discussing the launch, Adidas' vice-president of brand activation Europe, Roy Gardner, said:

"Not only will the programme reward consumers for how they engage with us but it will also allow us to continually refine our offering and react to what they want to see from us. It’s a personalised connection to the best of sport and style with creativity at its heart.”

Hmm…some thoughts.

I see this often with large and smaller brands. In exchange for your creativity and participation in their brand-building they are rewarding you with “greater access” (but not ALL access). The offer of vague ‘product customisation’ and ‘priority service’ is supposed to tease you into giving up your fresh and non-establishment take on a garment or accessory. Enticing you with exclusive memberships (eye roll) when we know it doesn’t put you in the room with decision makers for you to have more ownership over your ideas. And let’s not ignore the collecting of your data via their app. You participate in this consumer experience, with “greater access”, and they collect more data. So big brands benefit by collecting your identity and your ideas.

If YOUR expertise and intel will be funnelled into their own creative teams, who is this an opportunity for?

S.H

A refresh…

It seems smug to say it’s all about timing. But it is.

LV was conjured up exactly for its’ current purpose back in 2014 when I started vlogging on living a creative life; then in 2016 when I launched the podcast; and after that first interview in 2017 with Oddisee, the path led me to this current manifestation.

Spotlighting creatives and capturing conversations morphed into also providing creatives with brand building and a monthly digital content incubator for creatives.

There are ways for creatives such as yourself to contribute and connect. Whether you reach HQ in South London at a monthly or bi-monthly event or via a digital channel.

My ‘weekly creative media brief’ is an insightful round-up on what is most relevant to creators of all disciplines. Just fill in the form wherever you are on the site and thank you for sticking around.

Stay tuned and welcome.