What is your Creative Awakening Moment? by KENI THACKER

Your Creative Awakening Moment is when an idea will not let you rest. A creative awakening moment is when an idea is so good you can’t wait to email or text someone the idea. You simply have to call someone and say, “I’ve got it!” Your Creative Awakening Moment is the cure for whatever’s blocking your creative process. The beauty of it is that it can happen anywhere and at any time.

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It can happen to you on the subway (actually where I get a lot of my ideas). This piece came to me in my actual sleep and got me out of my bed to write it down. However, earlier in that day I went out for a 3 mile run and simply cleared my mind of everything.

So there are a few factors you have to consider and execute. First, always create things that bring you joy. Also, your creation should be able to provide a solution that can bring others joy as well. Second, figure out the right stimulus for your brain at the beginning of every day. Brain stimuli can be felt through your senses (i.e. touch, taste, sound, smell and sight). Use them all. These are all components we need to take into consideration when creating your masterpieces. Being inspired sometimes isn’t easy. Always remember everyone does not interpret and retain information the same way. 


Here’s a fact. Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health. My opinion when it comes to this random fact is do what works best for you. I've learned one thing from my beautiful daughter and that's all naps matter. But I digress.

Here are some steps that get to the Creative Awakening Moment.

Step One. Take notes.

Your Creative Awakening Moment can come out of a simple conversation with someone. It is super important not to look like a super nerd writing down tidbits of your conversation while you're having the conversation, so, later on, flesh out the idea. Mental notes are clutch when trying to find ideas. 



Step Two. Seize the moment.

When your Creative Awakening Moment hits you, it will not wait for you or anyone to seize it. You must get it done. Whether it's writing a story, a song or drawing a picture. Strike while the iron is hot. Even if it’s all rough drafts at least it’s a start.

Step Three. Collaboration is the key to cohesive thoughts. © Keni Thacker

When that Creative Awakening Moment hits, it might generate out of not only you, but also the person you're working with. Don't fight the feeling -  collaborate to bring this moment to full fruition. Some of my best ideas have come from conversations I've had with people and what I've taken away from those conversations. Don’t look at it as jacking an idea, but the using the impression that interaction had on you. Remember that while collaborating you might have to compromise a little of your moment to make the idea bigger and better. Do not fight the idea of growth, it'll only hurt your vision in the long run. Also, remember there’s strength in numbers. Alone you’re great, but with an alliance, you have the potential to be greater. Everybody can’t pull a Beyonce’ and become super successful going solo.



Step Four. Don’t want to be like Mike. Be like Quincy.

What do I mean by this? Take your time. We all know how great it feels to think we have a game changer on our hands and this is going to be our ticket out of our creative rut. But you must shape and cultivate this moment with a precise vision to make it into exactly what you want. Treat it like poker and be strategic about it and never overplay our hand (I hope that's right. I don't really play cards). For creative inspiration, I always tell my mentees to think of themselves like Quincy Jones making Thriller with Michael Jackson and they're on the verge of introducing the world to a new sound. So don't be like Mike; be like Quincy. Fact. Thriller sold 120 million copies worldwide.

Step Five. Own it.

Own your moment. This is your moment, your time to be whatever it is you want it to be. Don't squander it away with doubt and negative past experiences. We’re all guilty of it now and then. Remember that you were placed in this position for a reason, so own it. Every single second of it. God (or whomever you believe in) did not bring you this far to fail, so own this moment. Listen when he or she is speaking through you. This is your moment.

  Keni and Ms. Sun at his agency JWT last spring at our REACT student advertising competition.

Keni and Ms. Sun at his agency JWT last spring at our REACT student advertising competition.

All of these steps may or may not work for everyone in this order, so picking and choosing which one works best for your process can easily get you across the creative finish line to greatness. Just always remember: Rome wasn’t built in one day. And believe me that creativity is not a perfect science, but more of a hodgepodge of flaws made into beautiful art.

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KENI THACKER There are five types of thinkers: creative thinkers, analytical thinkers, intuitive thinkers, logical thinkers and visionary thinkers. Keni Thacker has defied the belief that an individual can only be one of those types, and truly encompasses all five. He consistently seeks out opportunities to challenge himself and his ways of thinking by single-handedly producing events, programs and content and effectively championing the Differenter effort for the J. Walter Thompson New York office in 2011.

Keni is a pioneer of change and is committed to expanding diversity efforts, and the impact he has made on future leaders does not go unnoticed. A true exemplar of leadership, Keni an award winning influencer and diversity advocate devoted to outreach programs and mentorship.

Some of his accomplishments include: leading the TORCH program by providing career training to under-served students in NYC, mentoring for the 4A’s multi cultural advertising intern program, Camp Mariah, The High School of Innovations and Media and the Manhattan Early College of Advertising and leading Differenter.

On February 8th, 2017, he launched the Young Commodores program, a diversity initiative that provides college and high school ad students with an opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-life advertising and business. Keni is a powerful force and a creative soul. He is also the executive producer, writer and creator of the short documentaries “Innovators of Change, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015”, “Hablamos,” “Perfiles and Perfiles II” and the web series "24/7 Differenter."

He is also the KREATOR at his own diversity centric production company called K.R.E.A.T.E. (Kulture is a Relevant Element To Achieve Total Equality) which produces content that focuses on highlighting the achievements of incredible people changing the face of their respective industries, while dismissing the perception of negativity and stereotypes when it pertains to people of color. He has also been named as one of the 4A's 100 People That Make Adverting Great. Keni is the ultimate example of an individual dedicated to making a change in today's society and today's youth and helping us all think differently.