Ready To Shine: Mina Tzenova

03: ready to shine, ready to shine | PN9 Admin |

38395_409574404502_500599502_4575451_2374904_nMINA TZENOVA



Name one ad or campaign over the past year or so that absolutely blew you away, and tell us why you loved it.

“I know it wasn’t exactly a fully integrated campaign, but I just loved this year’s Skittles commercials that were all over YouTube!! They were so interactive, getting you to actually be a part of the commercial, and they were absolutely hilarious! True, they were rather random and some a little creepy, (e.g. old guy in the orchard offering a ride) but Skittles are in themselves random, and they really just expanded the ‘taste the rainbow’ idea into all these other things you can do with the rainbow.”

Why is there so much bad advertising out there?

“Being a student, I can’t exactly speak from experience, but I think there are a few reasons that explain the vast amounts of boring, badly-designed ads full of lame puns surrounding us. First off, clients always have the final say in an ad. Unfortunately, most clients went to business school, not design school. From what I’ve noticed through my observations, is that clients also seem to have a bit of an ego problem concerning their products, and seem to think that the whole world will willingly and happily read anything they put out there. Most brands that have great advertising have really good relationships with their ad agencies, and really put faith and trust in the creative process. Building this kind of trust can take years. Clients that can’t trust their agency likely won’t be able to put out great work.”

“Another factor that has contributed in the growth of bad advertising is the digital age. Once reserved just for designers, Adobe programs are now easily accessible to anyone with a computer, thus giving a new meaning to the term ‘designer’. Virtually anyone can whip up something on Photoshop and call themselves a designer, and smaller businesses that can’t afford to hire professionals will take a shortcut and do the work themselves.”

“Lastly, buying media space is really easy, and since anyone with the money can buy the ad space, we end up having our favourite TV shows interrupted by such intrusive and cheesy ads such as “Oliver’s Jewelry”, or “Harold the Jewelry Buyer”, that leave us shaking our heads in denial.”

What are your favorite non-advertising related creative outlets?

“I love writing, and I have a blog, but what I find really gets me thinking creatively is being with, and teaching kids. My part-time job through school is teaching swimming, and the pre-school levels never fail to stir up my imagination. I always have to try and come up with fun new ways of introducing skills to them, like pretending to be mermaids or having legs made of crayons or being pirates looking for treasure. Plus, kids always say the craziest things and can really flip your view of the world beyond upside down. I also am really into competitive power cheerleading, and am just getting into coaching, which keeps me always thinking of cool new dance formations, music, pyramids, and stunts, as well as thinking about new designs for uniforms, etc. Oh, and I’m majorly in love with arts and crafts.”

Can creativity be taught?

“Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be brought out in people. I believe that everyone was born creative, but some people (most) just sort of forgot how to use their imaginations as they grew up. Every child is very creative, and will always find a way to entertain him/herself (until they become spoiled on video games and pre-fabricated toys etc.). Children also have very different outlooks on the world, and what seems so logical and cut-out to us is full of possibility and question to them.”

“The reason why we lose our imagination is because we live in a very comfortable society. If you place people in a situation where they are constrained, and need to use their imaginations to survive (e.g. on a desert island), they will start thinking creatively to find food, build shelter, and most importantly, create their own entertainment. In our society, most people live like cattle, passively being fed pre-fabricated cookie-cutter television shows, music, and media. In addition, we don’t have to build our own furniture (which requires a sense of creativity), or design our own houses or clothes anymore. Anything we want is easily found in a store, and thus, our need to be creative has been vastly eliminated. I won’t go into the potentially devastating effects of our lack of creativity on humanity, but I will say that if we as a society want to bring our imagination back, we need to step out of our shells, and experience discomfort for a while. (Hey, the greatest musicians and artists led lives of suffering.)”

Which appeals to you more and why: working in a very small agency (10 people or less) where you’re involved in everything, or in big multinational (500+ people) with big clients and budgets?

“A smaller agency has more appeal to me, because in a small agency you are all a team, a family, and you’re all in it together, and each person is vital to the functioning of the team as a whole. Successes seem greater and failures that much more impactful. I also think it’s more of a fun challenge to work with low-budget clients, because it gives you the necessary constraint to think creatively.”

Do you prefer to think things out with a pen and paper or on a computer?

“Definitely pen and paper. There is just something about feeling the pen glide smoothly across the lines, leaving a rich trail of ink behind it…I even have my favourite types of pens that I can’t do without. Also, sitting down with a piece of paper makes me focus better, where a computer can often be full of distractions (YouTube is only a click away!). I also tend to scratch out a lot, and I like being able to look back on my progress, pages of scratched-out paragraphs and all. It feels like I can actually pour my true essence and soul onto paper, where pouring out my soul onto a computer just sounds silly!”

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