Award-winning, best-selling South African novelist Lauren Beukes, who also writes comics, screenplays, TV shows and started out in journalism, was speaker of the April Creative Mornings Cape Town talk at new venue, AAA School. Amongst other things, she shared five tips on the power of inclusivity in enhancing your creativity.
Lauren Beukes, pics via Creative Mornings Cape Town on Twitter.
Our key outtake of Beukes’ 2014 Design Indaba talk was: “Be inspired, be creative, be great! The end.” But there’s a lot more to it than that.
How does one define a designer these days? Designers are so much more than building constructors, typography poets and chair and vase crafters. Designers are creators, activists, humanitarians, revolutionaries, risk takers, visionaries.
Having covered everything from HIV+ beauty pageants to gangland cops and great white shark tourism, Lauren Beukes has had a wealth of journalistic experience.
And with novels along the lines of the genre-bending The Shining Girls, Broken Monsters and Zoo City, which have been published in over 20 languages and are now being developed for film and TV, and Game of Thrones author GRRM or George RR Martin himself describing her as “a major, major talent”, she’s definitely a shining light in the local publishing industry.
But while she dreamed of being a novelist as early as the age of five, Beukes’ talk highlighted that it took a long time to get her writing career off the ground – it’s been a winding path with many bends, coloured by the stories of those she’s met along the way.
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Beukes says it’s incredibly difficult to separate the art from the artist. Understand that your work is an expression of who you are and your passions then follow them.
That way you’re more likely to be telling the stories of real people – include their insights in your work, and work against the stereotype.
Others’ words are magic.
Your truth is not the only truth, so weave them into your work (with their permission, of course), as we can blend the best of our wisdom with the best of theirs and can teach and learn from each other to produce closer circles that foster community and commit to diversity.
Working with others helps overcome those moments where you doubt your own creativity.
Overall, the Creative Mornings session brought home the message that inclusion is an attitude to consciously be open to ideas that come from outside of our settled ways of thinking or feeling. It’s about making a decision that comes from a place of love, of caring for others, of listening to their stories and telling them along with your own.
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Because when you place inclusivity at the centre of how you live, it has great power to heal, elevate new voices, and change the narrative of who belongs. As diversity advocate Vernā Myers once said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Let’s all strive to broaden our views and listen to others, in the hope that inclusion powers our own creativity. Click here for more on Creative Mornings and here for more from Beukes.
Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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