October 16, 2015

Creativity Day

Creativity Day

On October 14th, I had the good fortune to travel to Milan’s Elfo Puccini theatre to visit the event known as Creativity Day. It was hosted by InSide Training and has been running for 15 years now. The event is for Italian designers, art directors, marketing specialists, startups, developers, bloggers, videomakers or anyone else in the creative field. I think these types of events are especially important for students as they have the chance to listen to real, successful professionals and (hopefully) learn something new. I certainly did.

Since I am a working professional in Italy, I wanted to know just who some of these people were. Let’s take a look:

The event was opened by Alessandro Galetto, who gave a recap of his career and his definition of success in that it isn’t planned but innovative. I was moved by his honesty in the challenges he has faced in the past with his career and how he had to make some hard decisions and basically reexamine his life and values after going through a really tough career change. My favorite thing he said is that it’s ok to say no to things and that family time is so important. Finally, don’t take yourself so seriously or be so serious. There were a few other gems in there, but you get the picture. He definitely knows and lives what he’s preaching. Good stuff.

The day was then divided into three themes: creative, development and innovation with 8 presentations each. You were not limited to one type of theme however and when one presentation ended you simply headed to another theatre to watch another type. I ended up being able to watch a few from all three. As a designer and animator myself, I was so excited and really wanted to watch all of the presentations from the creative side, but I made the choice to go to a couple of others.

After the opening speech, I stayed in the theatre to watch a presentation from the startup–Spiiky. They’re a company from Modena and decided after a bad dinner experience from a Groupon coupon, to create a coupon service where the customers weren’t treated as second best because of the coupon itself. I myself have stopped using Groupon because the level of service I have received when visiting restaurants with their offers has been terrible. Spiiky utilizes the clever idea of giving out a code to buyers who purchase a coupon. They don’t take credit card numbers directly. Now this is important because in Italy, many people still shy away from using credit cards. Amazing I know but it’s a fact. It’s only been a year or so since it was made a law that all businesses must have a credit machine to accept payment. Funnily enough, a lot of these machines are still mysteriously out of order. The buyer receives a code after they reserve a coupon and to complete the transaction, they visit the seller, give the code and the seller completes the transaction. I think it’s quite clever. They picked apart Groupon’s business model and made it way better and easier for buyer and seller. They also talked about how they got started, where they stumbled along the way and how they ultimately achieved success. I myself am going to try an offer soon.

Next, I watched a presentation by Stefano Guerrieri who introduced the topic of the business model canvas. It basically blows away traditional business plans and is a creative and flexible way to grow your business. He personally has used it himself after he invited PlayWood. They’re these little 3d printed connectors and boards used to make desks, shelves, stools etc. He invented the idea after designing his own office and was dissatisfied with the lack of flexibiltiy. Thus these little connectors were devised. It was easy to see the business model canvas in use with PlayWood. So simple, yet so practical. It was very inspiring to see how people came up with their own solutions to problems and have turned them into creative and lucrative ideas.

I ended up going back to the ‘creative’ theatre later. One artist, Leondardo Betti, showed us the incredible animation he does in Cinema 4D. The biggest takeaway I have from him is that it’s really important to have your own body of work and not just what you do for clients. He stated that it’s inauthentic and I completely agree. He takes risks when creating his own work and mentioned that it has put him in the ER a few times…I would say that’s dedication. Have a look at his stuff here.

Last, but certainly not least, I was so excited to watch the presentation by Illo Creative Studio. They’re a small studio based in Turin and specialize in handmade animated videos. They talked about their process, how much time it takes to make one of these videos, what they’ve learned and some exciting things they’ve been working on. They also shared a few secrets and techniques they use when creating their videos and I learned some new stuff. As an animator myself, it was really excited to see a studio producing just this and being so successful with what they do.

There were other awesome presentations but that’s all I’ll share for now. I’m so happy to have found this event and was able to go. It ended up being a 14 hour day for me but it was worth it and these are so necessary I think for bringing people together to learn, socialize and just have a new perspective on things. I definitely plan on going again next year and if you live in Italy, feel good about your language abilities and are in these types of fields, you should check it out too.









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