C41 creative director Nico Carrassi reflects on creativity’s role as a lifeboat to this shipwreck of a year
We live in a time when it’s not easy to be creative by profession.
By its very nature, a creative mind feeds on the daily inputs it receives.
We archive them, we keep them, and most of the time we use them to create something new. We never invent anything - prove me wrong - but we’re phenomenal in absorbing everything like a coffee-abusing gang of sponges. Starting from the physical law that nothing is created and nothing is destroyed, creatives are agents of change. Creatives transform.
But in a world that seems trapped in the script of a bad doomsday film, it’s not easy to positively transform the inputs we receive. It’s much easier to close up in ourselves and wait for an imminent zombie invasion or yet another bad news story in the paper. It’s undeniable: we are what we eat. And if we feed on lockdowns and social distancing, we should not be surprised if all of a sudden we feel more alone, isolated, and less motivated. But it’s at this moment that our work becomes more precious. True, looking at the images of the doctors on the news, we might think that we are on "the useless side of the story", but that is not the case. Because it’s precisely during a crisis that creativity becomes an unexpected lifeboat to survive the shipwreck.
Unfortunately, 2020 is not a good year for those looking for certain answers. But it's a great year for those who are asking the right questions. What role does creativity play in the society we live in? How can my work change anything? Let's think for a moment about the role of storytelling and how it has become hard to distinguish a story nicely packed from the truth. We have passed from the golden era of narration to the less bright one of post-truth. From Obama's “Yes We Can” to Trump's “Make America Great Again”. This is why the creatives’ role is so important. Today more than ever.
I am not saying that storytelling has gone too far, but rather that it’s necessary to decide which world we want to live in and this decision requires us to carefully choose the form we will give to future narratives.
That is why we need to stay open to the world.
My idea is that we have to embrace a "true-storytelling" way. And I am even more convinced of this since, two months ago, I set my first step in C41 as creative director. C41 is a creative production company made of a collective of young creators that is making itself known for its unique way of telling incredible stories, but also rigorously true. No coincidence that its motto is “an ordinary life makes an extraordinary story”. I think that the creative industry needs this today. To find inspiration in the daily battles of ordinary lives and take advantage of the talent we have to tell them in a unique and extraordinary way. This is my advice for the many young creatives who are entering this profession. Don't be afraid. Don't get locked into a corner. Open up to the world, find your story, and tell it as only you know how to. You will see the world change before your eyes. Because the only sure thing is that everything changes, but the direction of this change is up to us to decide.
And we do it every day.