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adobo SheCreative: How to sustain creativity according to The Misfits Camp Founder and Chairmom Merlee Jayme

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Sustaining creativity is not an easy job. For The Misfits Camp Founder and Chairmom Merlee Jayme, that means being persuasive in a world that requires creatives to think on their feet to stay competitive in a business that sells visions, purpose, and ambition.

During her session, “Create Ideate Innovate The Future,” at the adobo SheCreative Conference 2024: Forging a Sustainable Future for Creativity, Merlee laid out five challenges creatives face everyday.

These challenges can be confronted by seizing tools and resources such as social media, new technologies, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) and skewing them in your favor.

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In an exclusive interview with adobo Magazine that followed, Merlee said, “All of these tools will make you better, you cannot fight it… When you are creative, you can do more wonders with technology, so there is no turning back.”

Changing consumer behavior

Impulse-buying feeds on entertainment and engagement, and that’s how new platforms like TikTok are changing consumption. TikTok behavior, as Merlee called it, affects people even in the way they watch: scrolling for hours, catching glimpses of trailers, and not finishing movie after movie.

Whereas ecommerce platforms used to be the marketplace, buying things was changed by shoppertainment, with a stronger emphasis on entertainment.

With this consumer behavior in mind, ideating and producing content requires creators to become the consumers first. “You have to be in the action,” Merlee stated.

Democratization of creative skills

Marlee said that some are natural-born creatives and those who have to learn it. Learned creatives are now empowered with tools like Canva, Capcut, and a whole suite of software and applications designed to enable.

“Everybody can create,” so to stand out and get an edge, she asserted that creatives and marketers need to be goal-oriented. “We don’t randomly create. We meaningfully create, so that’s the difference.”

Attracting and Maintaining Talent

With the new generation in the workforce, fostering an environment where they can thrive becomes more important. Gen-Z is challenging creatives to work with, Marlee shared.

Because this new generation has different choices, they prioritize mental health, ethics, leadership, and enjoyment.

“The choice is you have to make meaningful, beneficial changes.”

The threat of Artificial Intelligence

“To be creative, you have to be willing to embrace what’s there.”

With its capacity to generate storyboards, songs, and pictures, AI can be daunting, but for Merlee, being ignorant is not a choice. “You have to know how to use it to your advantage. Being creative means finding newer ways of using technology to your advantage.”

Make it work for you

Personally, she uses it as the trigger and spark to get over procrastination. It also helps her answer the question of “What if?” whether it’s as crazy as imagining ice cream flavors for Gucci or mashing up dogs with doors and plants.

“‘What if?’ is something for creatives to play with, and it opens your brains to a lot of possibilities.”

Changing standards of creativity

SheCreative Conference 2024 INTERVIEWS Article MERLEE JAYME insert 2

“Mediocrity is the enemy of creativity,” said Merlee, adding that beating deadlines for the sake of putting out work kills creativity.

To combat this, creatives must fully master their resources by training their minds to think fast and create many. Another driver of creativity is diversity. With different backgrounds, habits, socioeconomic classes, languages spoken, and genders, Merlee shared how creative departments can benefit from a diverse pool.

“The diversity of minds from different schools will give you the richness of creativity.”

At Misfits Camp, Merlee is able to work with neurodivergent creatives, giving her perspectives from minds that are wired differently. Merlee shared, “Ideas come in all shapes and forms, a combination of sorts,” including AI and technology. Yet, all of these things are there to create human connection.

“You convince and persuade people, brains and hearts, so that is more important, but in the end, what makes us sustainable, what is important is actually [authenticity].”

SheCreative Conference 2024 INTERVIEWS Article MERLEE JAYME insert 1

With an emphasis on this, Merlee closed her session with the work that proves why ideas take different forms and shapes, winning the Philippines its first Glass: The Award for Change at the Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity 2024: Right to Care Card by Mullenlowe Treyna.

Creativity should be a force for honest good for it to survive years and years to come.

The adobo SheCreative Conference 2024: Forging a Sustainable Future for Creativity was co-presented by Unilever and in partnership with Future Proof.

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