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  • Writer's picturePatricia García Castillo

Afraid to be human?

I recently attended the D & AD Festival in London with my classmates from my MSc Creative Advertising. This is a three-day festival to celebrate the world's best creatives in design and advertising. For three days, we went from talk to talk, listenning, getting inspired and learning about a wide range of topics. Shantell Martin's talk was certainly one of my favourite ones.

Shantell is an artist who came from New York for the festival. She bases her work on drawing lines. As she said, Shantell mastered in something that everyone could do, but she made it her art.

Her talk was different for many reasons. She managed to engage everyone in the room. She started asking us who we were. However, we were not allowed to say what we did, where we were from or mention any role we played in life. Try it! It is not easy but I can tell you people will know you better if you introduce yourself this way.

At some point, she asked us: "Can you draw?" Us, a room full of creative students and professionals, designers, artists, art directors,... And only about 15% of the room raised their hands up. Then she said:


"but you could draw when you were children, could you not?" At some point on our way we got taught we were not good at drawing and we believed it. This made me think, what else did we get taught that we weren't good at? Why did they let us think we couldn't achieve anything we wanted? And how much is this stopping us to make our dream become reality? --

But my favourite question was: "Do you fake that you are guided by thinking, when you are actually guided by feelings?" I strongly believe this is something we do all the time, everyday. We are embarrased to admit it, as it would show our weakness. Since when are we afraid to be humans? We feel, there is nothing to hide there.

At the end she gave a wise advice, "Don't rush to get somewhere, take your time". I have been feeling that rush for weeks, months, years... Where are we going in this race? And more important, why can we not walk all the way? It is our life and we decide. After reflection, it made want to punch society in the face.

Shantell's talk made me stop and think. Not only in a professional way, but also in a human level . So wherever Shantell is now (probably drawing), just wanted to say thank you.

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