Hey guys, Drew here! This is a letter to anyone who hears the word "creative" and thinks that it doesn't apply to you! Be encouraged!
I believe we are all created with unique gifts that are waiting to be discovered. Here's the story of how some of mine unfolded.
Growing up, I felt extremely ordinary. I would feel so inferior as I watched my friends excel in areas they were gifted in - sports, academics, music, etc. I really struggled to find what I was good at. All I knew was that I loved people, wanted to help people and that I really liked to write. But I would think to myself “How does that change the world?” “How does that make a difference?” I always felt second best. Until one day, my fourth-grade teacher read my paper aloud to the whole class and used it as an example for how the class should be writing. That was the seed planted in my heart that maybe I really could be a writer.
Well, time goes by, teenage years happen, and my self-esteem is at an all-time low at this point. I’m making good grades, involved in student government, have lots of smart friends, but I honestly just felt like a cookie cutter. I knew that I was created to be different. My friends would tell me that too. They could see something that I couldn’t. They could see how creative I was, but I was completely blind to it.
"I thought since I couldn’t draw or paint and absolutely hated drama that I was not welcome into the 'creative world'."
All through High School, teachers commended me for my writing. During my senior year, my English teacher encouraged me to start a career in writing as an editor. It totally boosted my confidence, but I had no clue where to even start with that. I was extremely intimidated by the whole concept. But no one really knew that I had mountains of journals that I had written in since I was a little girl. Writing was how I expressed myself best, but I wasn’t really ready for anyone to see that yet.
I went to college trying fit the mold of what my family had encouraged me to be. All I heard growing up was “Do something in the medical field!” “Job security”! My family genuinely had my best interest in mind, and my mom has always told me I was a great writer, but no one was willing to challenge me to take the chance and reach for something that seemed risky. I followed the medical path for the first 2 years of college, and by the end of my sophomore year I had changed my major 3 times. By this point, I had an amazing mentor in my life who came alongside me and called out my gifts and encouraged me to pursue them. That was totally a defining moment in my life, sitting at Mean Bean Cafe, sobbing as I came to the realization that I am creative, unique and quirky, and that is fantastic! I no longer have to hide my personal skills and abilities to fit the mold of others around me.
"I am creative, unique, and quirky, and that is fantastic!"
I changed my major to Public Relations and really found my niche.
Public Relations was the perfect mix for me - writing and people! I graduated from college and worked hard for two years at different jobs that weren’t necessarily my dream but afforded me some amazing life skills that are hands down invaluable to what I am doing now. When I started working for Silverlake Design Studio, we decided that everyone should flow in their strength instead of trying to fit into some mold. I didn’t have to be something that I wasn’t. Of course, we all have to do some things in our daily jobs that are not our picture-perfect idea, but I was encouraged to explore what I’m good at and was given ownership of the writing department. This was a huge risk for me, but owner Jessica Crum took a chance on me, and because of this, Silverlake now has a strong voice, and we do lots of copy writing for our clients. None of this would have ever happened without taking the plunge, without taking the risk of putting myself out there and allowing people to know my gifting and what I want to grow in.
The pursuit of our gifts and dreams doesn't have to end where we find them.
I believe it is a continual process we will walk in for the rest of our lives. For me, it’s just the beginning. I do not want to get in the rut of only receiving and never giving. That puts you in a stagnate place of selfishness, and you eventually stop growing and thriving. I am so excited to pay-it-forward and help people around me find and fulfill their God-given dreams and abilities. Silverlake just recently had the amazing opportunity to partner with City of Hope Outreach and teach their kids the world of marketing. They had an event coming up, and as a class, they branded it! The kids dreamt up the initial concept, made a color pallet, mood boards, created the invitations, flyers and wrote all the copy.
Through the process, our team was able to spend one-on-one time with the kids and really call out their natural gifts. One of the girls is an incredible writer, but no one had ever told her that. Another boy was a master at putting colors together. Another girl was brilliant at strategy and deciding the logistics of the event. We were surrounded by talents that had never been given the opportunity to shine before.
Their kind words and simple actions made a profound ripple in my life that I believe will truly change the world.
I am so thankful that we were able to create alongside these kids and affirm + challenge them. I truly believe that the workshop is going to have a lasting impact on their lives. I don’t know where I would personally be without having Mrs. Deborah Jones as my fourth-grade teacher or Mrs. Caroline Ripley as my Senior High English teacher. Their kind words and simple actions made a profound ripple in my life that I believe will truly change the world. I’m excited to be that ripple for the next generation.
Marketing Director - Queen of optimism and manager of the dream factory