Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Get a foot in the door - More awesome portfolio ideas

You need to refresh your portfolio ever once in a way. Of course, this is a continuous process, but it helps if you have these hints from live copy tests. So go ahead get your front foot into the door of a good agency. With these real time portfolio ideas, you can be sure of a better chance at it. With competition hyper give it your best shot. Let loose from old, boring ideas. Yes, think fresh!

1.      Develop a brand positioning for a shampoo brand say Sunsilk. Change the old positioning and create a fresh campaign. Also put up a write up on the home site communicating this change to the Target Audience you have chosen for this campaign.

2.      List and outline the creative for BTL for a coffee brand. Below-the-line (BTL), ATL, TTL check what they embrace here. It should be a frothy, fun campaign.
3.      Devise a print campaign for a national newspaper with the premise that print is real news!

4.      Provide Name and tagline for a linen clothing line – it’s for men. Make a rough sketch of the logo.

5.      Create FB banners for a book reading club.


Saturday, April 5, 2014


Salmon - A 10 minute object writing prompt!

Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family - Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family are called trout. I asked the rickshawala - where to get fresh fish. He advised me to go the roadside fish lady. "Uhmm!" my friend said, "that will be so dirty!" "Don’t be silly", I said.

I didn’t know how to buy fresh fish, my mom used to press the gills, check the colour, the eyes had to pop out like… I used to depend on her now I can’t - the malls have good fish but there is nothing like fresh seasonal fish, she used to say…

The lady sat in the shady area with a hat umbrella, quite western, with a flat slab and a huge cane basket of fish some just arranged on the wooden slab. She had set up shop. An old wrinkled face looked up at me. “Kai bahngda kai salmon thech salomon thech rawas!” she said dramatically.

So I found the salmon and in clean surroundings and my friend agreed. Only a cat purring at her legs made him reconsider but the cat would wait for fish lady to throw a few scraps, she didn’t come within the customer boundaries!

Her huge gold earring almost made another earring in her ear lobes, she had  experienced wrinkles and a toothless grin. Her hair was grey with black streaks, she had tied it in an amboda or bun, she had a nav wari (nine yard saree) as it is called in India,  I explained knowledgeably.

The kolis are traditional communities who live near the sea, fishing being their means of living. The ladies sell the fish and fish lady had been doing it for the past 50 years. The men went sailing and fishing, sometimes even the women went sailing. Don’t say women haven’t pushed the envelope broken bastions. I kept giving this ‘gyaan’ to my friend. Hey he is from the US!!

I asked how much for a medium sized piece- 500 rupees for that little piece - "what" I yowled "gosh is that fish or gold “ …. “you can’t eat gold” she chuckled…and chicken you buy na, this is so little but has so much strength, what ‘sukda bombil’(thin Bombay duck!!), you are”, looking at my stringy legs!! 

She wrapped the fish in paper and then put it in plastic. My friend eco- protested but we had to catch a rick and the house was far. He shrugged resignedly “huh” I said!

She cut the fillets and i tried coaxing her to give me a piece more but she dint budge, suddenly she was a fortress - then i smiled at her and she laughed her toothless grin- she transformed from the iron lady -  “why bargain with the poor lady"  “poor” "she has more money than you could imagine" and then I added pensively “and you’re not Indian if you don’t bargain!”

This prompt is from the - check for new prompts every day. And, read the posts! 

Read Champagne

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why not try object writing to open up creative possibilities!

Why not try object writing to open a whole new world of creative possibilities. As people have said the journaling style with a prompt gives huge rewards once you get into the groove of this Pat Pattison’s object writing method to open you creative soul.

So say for example if today’s prompt is ‘Bluetooth’ - give yourself 10 minutes of nonstop writing – no stops; not for spellings, no error check, no typo check - just go ahead and follow your thoughts, don’t question them - it’s a bit tough in the beginning but easy as can be once you let your experiences and thoughts flow from the prompt to a inner being that gives you those nuggets of thoughts.

Choose your prompt

Go ahead; choose your object, for an early morning warm up (preferably) or a break time refresh. Choose the first word in a book, dictionary, TV, newspaper heading, hoardings, from snippets of conversation, online prompts (check and then GO - without thinking about the topic or mulling about it. Let it just flow!

Read this from for generating ideas for songs, the sense bound or object writing through the senses technique is something i am truly inspired by "...anywhere you go is okay. Try bouncing off of each sense-image to wherever else it might take you, using each new sense-image as a sort of pivot to the next, a kind of sensual free association. Always with your senses, all seven of them. All within ten minutes. Don’t worry about story lines or “how it really happened.” No rhyme or rhythm. Not even full sentences. No one needs to understand where you are or how you got there. Save more focused writing for your songs.
Of course, instead of association, you certainly can stay within the framework of a story or event if you like, like “Back Porch” above, but let your senses drive the bus. As you remember the events, remember with your senses. How did the park smell? Were children giggling over by the duck pond? Italian sausages with steaming onions? Let us experience it too by engaging our senses; stimulate us to see, smell, taste, hear, etc., to really experience the story for ourselves.
Even more important, your listeners will each fill your sense-bound words with their own sense memories..."

Polish the gems!

Once you’ve finished with the writing, then you proof it - underline the ideas, change, edit, add, whatever to get the gems out of what you've written. You could find it giving you concepts for ads or a story, a poem, a song -  it could turn into anything – just probe it later not when you’re writing.

Object writing is developed by Pat Pattison the famous lyricist and poet and also a Professor of song writing at Berkelee. He has taken this craft to another level to open up creativity in every field. He also teaches at the Berkelee online Song writing course!

You could join and complete the courses you join or leave it anythime and enroll for another one. The songwriting course opened to me new ideas and method of writing  I have paused the course for a while and i do not know if i will rejoin at least until I learn a little of Western Music. I have come a long way from just knowing  what chords is to actually playing a few basic ones. I feel empowered with all the online learning art journaling, drawing, writing which have enriched me. These are my mentors, guides, and I would say search and you will find! 

But, we are digressing – a habit I absorbed from my journaling practice with a timer set for ten minutes or even five or just glimpsing at the clock!! This helps me in my work, for sure, to get things out of my system instead of letting them steam inside. So, it is therapeutic for sure! I feel anything is possible after all I did write a story for kids ages 5-7. I think is the most difficult age to write for.

So go ahead and try Pat Pattison’s Object Writing method and unleash your creativity. I hope to get my hands on 'Writing Better Lyrics' by Pat Pattison to hone my creative writing.

Visit for prompts posted there (they're brilliant - the ones i have loved reading is a guy with the user name pseudonym and many others who weave magic with their words). Read the prompt 'youngster' here.

  • You do not have to stick to the prompt - digress all you want - here it is a plus and a bonus! 
  • The five senses apart let you inner feelings when you say butterflies in my stomach, tight knots. Play & have FUN!
  • Use your perspective or kinesthetic sense vis a vis the world around you (like you felt when you spun around or were in a gut spinning ride or something as mundane as brushing, combing!
  • the essence is to get into a mode of opening up your creative senses! Play and have FUN!! 

Check the next post for the prompt 'Salmon' and Champagne a take – off from the prompt salmon, birthday. After I wrote the prompt I polished it a bit to craft it into flash fiction or short story. Sometimes I just underline key phrases, words for future use. It takes time to get into the senses groove. 

Back Porch
I must have been four. Memories from that time are a rare species—lobbing in like huge bumblebees on transparent wings, buzzing old Remington shavers torn free from those thick and brittle wires tangled in webs under our porch where I loved to crawl and hide; black snaking wires disappearing up through floors and humming into wall and socket. I still hear them.
I hid under the back porch, smell of damp summer earth cool under my hands, ducking, scrunching my shoulders tight to avoid the rusty nails waiting patiently above for my back or skull to forget them. The tingling along my back and neck kept reminding me, don’t stand up.Under the back porch, a place tinged with danger and smelling of earth, the air tastes faintly of mold and hollyhocks twining around the trellises that I see only the bottoms of, speckled gold by the shafts of sun slipping through high elm branches in the backyard, weaving shadows like Grandma’s lace dresser doilies. When I squint, I can blur the sunlight into a bridge of green-gold. Crouching there fetal and content, I could feel Mom above me, could hear her high heels tap-tapping.

"As I drove up the incline of the bridge I began to feel ball bearings running about in my stomach. I always get a little nervous being so high, it's like being on top of a skyscraper. You feel yourself swaying in the breeze and get that sense that you could almost fall over the edge. There's also that fear that the whole bridge could just drop away, like a plane dropping in turbulence". There! That was that a bit more engaging than "I drove over the bridge" wasn't it!

PS  Did i mention use all seven senses as Pat Pattison says in his video. Yeah I'm getting there! Post your comments.