Last Tuesday I was privileged to have been invited to attend a very special event with Innocent Drinks, called 'Innocent Inspires', in London. It truly lived up to its name! I and my competition winners left feeling thoughtful and inspired, having been treated to a variety of speakers and music.
The venue was a very welcoming space, with old-school seating (literally- it was reminiscent of a School hall, but fitting considering all of the thinking we would be doing!) provided by Retrouvius. Graze boxes had been kindly provided for each attendee, and lovely people were wandering about offering drinks and healthy snacks provided by the Dip Society. Which inspired my stocking up on fresh Hummus the very next morning!
Artwork hung on the walls with a range of creative mantras, which I later discovered were available in postcard form. These disappeared very quickly! I may have indulged in a couple for my studio wall...
Once we had taken our seats, Dan Germain of Innocent took the stage to talk about his role within the company. What followed next was something very special indeed. Have you ever seen someone beatboxing? How about through a flute? Well this is what we were treated to courtey of Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee. (Please excuse my shaky hands during this video!)
A lot of fabulous points were raised by each speaker, but I will note what stuck in my mind from each individual.
I could have listened to Benjamin Zephaniah for hours. I wrote a lot of poetry in my teens (some good, some truly, truly awful), and I have long been a fan of his work. I had been previously ignorant to what a struggle he endured in his formative years, so to hear how he redirected his own destiny by pursuing his childhood love of poetry was quite humbling. To reach the heights that he has when others may have given up and continued down the path to potential self destruction is something beautiful in itself. His passion for peace and creativity was communicated very clearly, and a joy to watch.
The talented designer Kate Moross came forward for a great insight into her working process, and to let us all know that our potential is magic. One of her thought provoking comments during the Q&A session was that children learn through play and existential experience. Perhaps if we all sought to recapture the feeling of this once in a while we would find ourselves happier and more creative.
The affable and very funny John Paul Flintoff was responsible not only for making the audience interact with one another, but also for my favourite quote of the night,
"We all feel at times like a fraud, like we are about to be 'found out'."
This was reaffirmed by Rob da Bank, who whilst being interviewed about his route to success said that he sometimes still feels like his 7 year old self, seeking approval for doing something well, and like it could all go wrong. There is something I personally find very refreshing in hearing that people who are very successful in their given careers still have these moments of self doubt. It is easy to assume that success comes easily to some, or that people relax into their respective success as if it will always be there. As a self employed creative person, I found it very valuable to hear that everyone has the same sort of insecurities about perpetuating personal and business successes, both big and small.
This evening seemed as if it had a clear message. We all possess unbounded potential, and you can be whoever you want to be. We are all creative beings, and whatever it is that gets your synapses sparking is valuable. Even something like Maths is a beautiful language to someone, because they are passionate about it- it doesn't matter that I have never been able to identify with it, because it is still wonderful to someone else.
So get out there and do something you love just because you love it. The final product is just as valuable as the process!