Growing up, my parents were always big supporters of creativity. While most children were playing with toys, I was in my room recording original songs. Yes, I was a bit of an awkward 9 year old. Looking back, some of my best creativity lessons came from Weird Al Yankovic and my father.
My father always had fun ways to foster my creativity. My favorite was writing songs because I loved music and wanted to be like my dad who also wrote songs. I can’t give him all of the credit though; Weird Al had a role as well.
This is what I learned so many years ago and still use in business today.
- Don’t recreate the wheel: When I was first learning to write songs, I needed a starting point, so my father suggested I use what’s already working – the music – and simply change the words. I looked to Weird Al’s “Eat It” for inspiration. Today, I research what is working well for other PR and marketing agencies – and what is not working well – so Holler Ink can better assist the needs of its clients.
- Find your passion: Writing can be a tedious task, so I was encouraged to write about my passions, which basically broke down to food, music and family. Not much has changed over the years. I still remember my first parody… “Cereal World”, written to the tune of Madonna’s “Material World”. Find your passion and the creativity will follow!
- No idea is too silly: I recently came across my old notebook with all of my songs, including Cereal World. The songs are completely ridiculous and hilarious. I thought they were fantastic at the time because Weird Al also released some silly songs and my father never discounted my lack of talent. Rather, he encouraged me to continue writing. It was that support that gave me the confidence to take risks in all areas of creativity.
Thank you dad and Weird Al, and Happy Father’s Day!