It kind of crept up on us both. Sitting in front of the TV after yet another day of working from home, supper on laps, thinking 'oh we quite like Grayson Perry, let's give his new show a whirl'.
That whirl turned into a ride, which then turned into a creatively magical rollercoaster of fun, joy and emotion.
Watching Grayson, wife Phillipa and cat Kevin, pad around his airy bright studio, sharing his lockdown with us, punctuated our Mondays with laughter and tears for six heady weeks. We tuned into to see what he and Philippa would create, to view on point and utterly human interviews with art submitting members of the public, celebrity guests, and VTs with artists we knew (and some we didn't).
But most of all, we watched it to observe the ability of art, of creativity, to transport us from lockdown to the world of our imaginations. The power it has to open unopenable doors, to inspire us, to engage us, to make us laugh and to make us cry. The program brought to life, so vividly, why the creative arts keep the world turning, bringing life and flight to our innermost thoughts.
And it reminded me just how powerful creativity is in the workplace. How it can bring poetry to the prosaic, give life to the abstract and fun to the mundane. It is a crucial tool in helping brands connect to their audiences, bringing meaning and purpose even in the most corporate of settings.
Increasingly at Flagship we have been focusing on delivering consumer-grade campaigns to business to business brands. More and more business brands are recognising that treating their audiences like people, and not sales targets, is the cornerstone of long term relationship building. And people want to connect to emotions, not numbers, to fun, not process, to be inspired and not be preached to.
Where we do this best as an agency is when the brands we work with are prepared to be brave, to put themselves on the line, and are willing to be vulnerable. Our role as communicators is to guide them confidently to this bravery, knowing that we have the skills, the creativity, to help them shift direction, try again, move on and do things better and with more impact.
Creativity is not an end-point, rather it is a departure point, a place for beginnings. And that my friends, during a period of uncertainty and lockdown is a wonderful thing to remember, Thank you Grayson for reminding me of the power of creativity.
Creativity is a defining trait of humans, but when we become adults, or older children, we tend to lose it. Perry laid bare the root of the problem towards the end of the first episode. Vulnerability. “I did feel quite vulnerable making that,” he said, as Philippa (and us viewers) swallowed back the tears. “We have to be open and be prepared to fail.” Joe Lycett pushed the message home further. “We worry so much about the thing being excellent and the finished thing, and if we let all of that go, the stuff we’d get done...”