Happy kavadi! 4 days of holiday. I am ultra bored to death. I prefer classes, haha. Stuck here with no one to pay attention to me. Maybe I should rent a car and drive up to a beach somewhere. Bah, I wish.
I love my advertising classes with En Omar. He’s so full of passion. At the same time it also makes me sad. Like the first time you fell in love. You’ll never forget your 1st love. My love being advertising. I went through high school, searching for my caling. I knew what I love doing, just I didn’t know what is the name of that job in that particular industry. My earliest memory on when ads started to interest me was during the Nescafe campaign, one being the one with Nasha Aziz caught in the rain. I was captured by the idea of showing al these images that gave you such a nice feeling and it was selling coffee but it wasn’t like other ads. In 1996, in form 3, my enlightenment came in the form of a brochure from One Academy and the MAS National Day Ad. The one with the 3 kids of different races during pre independence. “Now, its time we stop looking down, and start looking forward. Its time for us to fly.” I remembered those words like a line from a favourite movie. The ad was sooooo good. Later I saw it win awards at the Malaysian Video Awards MVA. And found out the people responsible for the ad, Yasmin Ahmad and Ali Muhammad from Leo Burnett. Then my art teacher Cik Lina gave me the brochure to One Academy, that was when I saw a picture of the two and also Shafri Muhammad of Bates and the whole brochure was filled with the things I knew I would love doing and in fact I thought I could do better than that. I had been combining images and words to convey ideas since way long before that. I would cut out images and words from papers and magazines to show a particular concept to motivate me in school. Usually it would cover the whole desk. Yes, everybody did it at the time. But mine was different. Conceptually, it was never straightforward. I loved coming up with ideas different from others. Saying the same thing but in different ways. I stretched my mind to think beyond that. So that was when I decided I want to be in the industry I now know as advertising..
I went to UiTM. My first advertising class was with Puan Siti Rabaah in 2nd year. I was so excited. I answered everything I could. She asked of any advertising agency we knew, I answered Leo Burnett. I absorbed like a sponge. Yes! This is it! This is what I want to learn! Later after the class, Pn Siti took me to the side and said “You are of a different wavelength than everyone else here. You’re better. Keep it up.” I was so teruja. The first assignment was to do scamps for any product, I did Oreo. It got special mention in the class. I was having fun doing all the assignments and Babe (now we call her Babe) was a really good lecturer. It definitely was my favourite subject and I discovered a new love in copywriting as well. That was until ….. a lot of things happened after, that made me gave up on that dream. So I focused on design instead, as a creative outlet. It didn’t give me the same satisfaction because brainstorming isn’t what its supposed to be in design. Probably it’s the places I’ve worked, maybe. The creative process is different. I do love design, of course. But it’s the ideation part that gives me the orgasm. Ideation and conceptualization is my strength.
“You are only as good as yesterday’s work”. And all the while, I keep telling my self to just keep on producing good work. Just keep it up. But being in an environment that only expects “so much”, I’m starting to feel – cabbaged. stupid. useless. I’m going to be 26 this year. I’ve only worked for two years. In 3 different companies. That doesn’t look good.
Yesterdays class, Encik Omar showed the works of Yasmin & Ali. He’s a friend of theirs. There was the MAS ad again. I felt all funny inside. A wave of heat swept my body. By the time he got to the Petronas Raya ad with Rozie Rashid, my scarf was already wet with tears. Partly because of the emotional effect of the ads but mostly because, it reminded me of a love I once had. I wanted to do that kind of work. I still do. I do so want it badly. You have no idea.
What is stopping me, may you ask? If I wanted it so badly, why don’t I just go and get it? The same reason I didn’t pursue dancing. Huh??
I have to choose the life that least hurts the people around me who care. My parents. My future in-laws. My future husband and children. I have to choose either one. Either them or my dream. It doesn’t cut both ways. It’s a sacrifice I have to make as a Malay Muslim Woman in Malaysia. I changed the dream from advertising to design which is more, well, sesuai. So I made my Design Dream BIG and try to push advertising away as far as possible from my mind. Ikut pilihan ibu bapa. Even then they’re hoping I venture into lecturing and as the industry has put it, lecturing pays more to designers than design firms.
But Encik Omar’s class brought to me memories of the one I once loved so deeply. I cant help but wonder, should I give it another try? Dare I walk out on this dream once again without ever tasting what it feels like? Without ever knowing the experience of producing work sooo good, it gives your life purpose and meaning? Am I just scared? Maybe it could all work out. Both family and career? But what about my Design Dream plan? What about my research? Can’t I have it all????????
THE STAR STRAITS MAIL
Langkawi, 12 July
2012 -The new Corporate Ad for the X company received rave reviews internationally and locally. It captured the hearts and imagination of the nation in portraying the story of a girl reaching for her dreams. Internationally, it has done Malaysia proud by winning prestigious awards in the creative circuit. According to the X company, ever since the ad ran, their sales had increased by 400% market share. The team involved in producing the ad are ABC company based in Langkawi. The creative team helmed by Irina Muis as Creative Director said that they owed the success of the ad to the teamwork as well as a great relationship with their clients whom they refer to as partners.
“We worked hard on the campaign, pouring our hearts and souls into what is our ‘labour of love’. Fortunately for us our families understood our line of work, hahaha. It definitely has paid off. We believed in the X company and the values they represent to the community and hoped that the viewers believed in it too. The message was to believe in our dreams, that we could make it happen. And it definitely has for us. We were inspired by the work we did and sought to do the same. Hopefully we could go on producing great work that inspires and empowers the people,” she said in an interview after the One Show awards in New York. – Bernamanama.
In a distant town in Terengganu, a girl of 9 watched the ad and after reading the article in the paper, aspires to pursue a career in Advertising and be just like Irina Muis.
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