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Creative Mornings with Niran Vinod

Creative Mornings event is a monthly breakfast lecture series keeping the creative community better connected.  These short talks are held in over 170 cities around the world, inviting exciting speakers from within the design industry to present on a theme. This month’s theme was ‘Beyond’ with Instagram’s creative strategist, Niran Vinod. So in search of some fresh perspective and inspiration,  I signed myself up to attend.

Creative Mornings Beyond

Photo credit: Shutterstock

8am: Rise and Shine

Up bright and early, and on the road to navigate my way to General Assembly‘s headquarters based in Adlgate, East London. I love discovering new areas of the city and it was a refreshing start to my day to have a change of scenery and switch up my commute.

Creative Mornings Lobby

8.30am: Right on time

Arriving promptly at my destination, an arresting feature in the lobby of the Relay Building has to be the uncoupled tube carriage (pictured above), providing an interesting and alternative waiting area for guests!

Up to the third floor and the atmosphere was already buzzing – a hub of other early risers, mingling over breakfast. On arrival, we’re reminded that, ‘Good things come to those who learn’. It looks like I’ve come to the right place!

Creative Mornings General Assembly

8.45am: Kickstart with breakfast

With plenty to get through on the agenda, there’s still always time for a cup of coffee. And this was no ordinary coffee! The team from specialty roastery, Ozone Coffee were on site to ensure we all got our caffeine fix, with bowls of delicious Spoon granola to go round too. These events are supported by local sponsors, creating an awesome vibe while also ensuring the events remain free to attend.

Creative Mornings Coffee

9am: A quick stretch!

With everyone seated, it’s time to meet our host. Victoria gets us out of our seats for a a quick exercise to stretch and talk to our neighbours and we’re then ready to begin the session.

Creative Mornings Wake Up

Photo credit: Paul Fletcher Photography

9.15am: Man of the moment

Time to hear from our speaker. Niran’s mantra is, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and it’s through this lens that he tenaciously fought his way to the top in every stage of his career, right down to even asking his wife out for the first time on Twitter!

We heard how, as a child, Niran’s first experience with design was with Lego. He actually didn’t go on to study the creative arts until later on in life, instead downloading photoshop illegally and becoming engrossed with all things digital, eventually creating a blog with a friend, aptly named, ‘2 fresh kids one blog’.

Creative Mornings Niran Vinod

It was comforting to know that, once upon a time, he had started out as an Intern at We are Social. Not so much a story of ‘who you know’, but instead how he had forged his own path into the industry. Indeed, he says that, “being a brown guy in advertising is kind of like being a unicorn!” To my surprise, many of his career breaks were borne out of passion projects – tweets, chance meetings or even blagging his way in!

From starting out as a blogger with an interest in design, Niran has gone on to work for an impressive list of clients including Nike and ASOS.

Times have changed and roles within the industry have changed too. The internet has produced a generation of individuals and entrepreneurs with a hybrid of skills, meaning there’s no set pathway anymore.

10am: Community Minutes

Finishing the session, this segment allows for individuals to take to the floor and pitch to the room. This could be anything from collaborations in Virtual Reality through to start-up company ideas or fundraising initiatives. It really worked as a catalyst for conversation and opened up lots of networking opportunities as different groups split off to discuss exciting new projects.

10.30am: Thank you and goodbye…

With many folks setting off into the morning sunshine to start the day, it was time to leave. It was really motivating to go and listen to someone outside of my industry and a great opportunity to meet new people.  I was simply buzzing with ideas! The opportunities are there for us, but ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’; it’s really that simple.

If only every morning could be a Creative Morning!

Creative Mornings goodbye

Blog written by Holly.