Qadir Maharaj

Qadir Maharaj is an Artist and Art Director at an Advertising Agency. His work captured us. It's vibrance. It's movement. Kinda reminded us of us - as a people. So of course we asked him to share his 20 shades with us. Here it is.

Being true to yourself is the key to creativity.
— Qadir Maharaj

1. How do you define creativity and what does it mean to you?

Creativity is any and everything! It's how you see the world, what you believe in, how you express yourself. The way you think, how you dress...everything!

2. How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?

We were all born to create. I think the more individualistic you are, the more creative you are. Being true to yourself is the key to creativity.

3. When did you realize that you wanted to express your creativity? Was it encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?

Since 19XX... An expression of creativity is an expression of one's self. I believe that when you decide to be yourself, that's when creativity is truly expressed.

I've always been encouraged. My mother is the greatest support system anyone can ask for. Not to mention a team of friends I consider family.

4. What is your standard for evaluating your own creative work and the works of other people? Do you think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general? Are monetary rewards relevant to your own work?

I don't have a standard for evaluation as every new piece of creativity is different and new. Creativity is all about challenging conventional wisdom and overturning assumptions that get in the way of imagining new possibilities and ideas. I don't think there are any standards to that.

Being in the Advertising industry...Yes. Creativity is my means of living.

I think culture is defined by our creative efforts, but I don’t believe we realize that yet. We’re so busy measuring public opinion that we forget we can mold it. We keep listening to these statistics that we forget we can create them
— Qadir Maharaj

5. Do you think your own perception and evaluation of your creative endeavors are influenced by the views of other people? What role do you think the culture that you live in plays in your creative efforts?

I don't think so. As i mentioned before, being true to yourself is key to creativity.

I think culture is defined by our creative efforts, but I don't believe we realize that yet. We're so busy measuring public opinion that we forget we can mold it. We keep listening to these statistics that we forget we can create them.

6. What do you do when you experience a creative block?

Change my perspective.

7. How do you make the leap from a "Spark" in your head to the action you produce?

All you need is just that one drop of inspiration to trigger that "Spark". It can be anything... a word, an image, nature, a thought. Once you have that, the excitement alone will give you the drive to produce your creation.

8. Do you have any special rituals that you do in order to achieve your creative goals?

Besides giving thanks to God, no.

9. Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If it has changed, please explain how?

Yes! As i mentioned before an expression of creativity is an expression of one's self. We're constantly changing, reinventing ourselves and our outlook on life. Naturally, the way we express our creativity would change.

10. What has been the greatest sacrifice that you have made for your craft?

Time? yeah... I'll say time. *Final Answer*

11. Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?

My faith in God and in the belief that creativity can solve any problem in the world.

12. Do you believe that it is important to be accepted by others as being creative or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work? Explain.

I feel like an old tape recorder saying this...lol. No its not important. The key to creativity is to be true to yourself.

13. Has rejection ever affected your creative process? Explain:

Everything is perspective. I see rejection as a motivator rather than a discouragement.

You have no idea where ideas come from, and you especially have no idea where your ideas are gonna come from tomorrow.
— Qadir Maharaj

14. Looking at what you have created in the past, would you change anything today? Why or why not?

I would't change anything because of the important lessons I've learned from them.

15. Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?

Being what someone calls a creative individual and I'm sure everyone can agree with me when I say: You have no idea where ideas come from, and you especially have no idea where your ideas are gonna come from tomorrow. lol. But I never doubt my talent.

16. What piece of work are you most proud of? Why?

When the agency got banned by the media for voicing an opinion and no reason was given. So we did a campaign called 'Banned by the Media' bannedbythemedia.com

Standing up and fighting for what you believe in, especially if it's freedom of opinion, is something to be proud of I believe.

17. Have you helped or mentored anyone else? Is there someone that you see (name drop) that you would like to Mentor?

Well, being the Art Director in an agency I get to share knowledge on a daily basis. I also learn new knowledge on a daily basis from my fellow creatives. They are really a great bunch of talent! I'm only 25 so I have a long way to go before I can do any mentoring. lol.

18. To a young Creative emerging in your field, what advice would you impart unto them?

Don't aim to be reasonable. Cause then you'll only do reasonably well. Challenge statistics. Question everything. But most importantly be you, the real you. Cause if you're not, then it's just a gimmick. It's gonna fall apart anyway.

19. What would you most like to be remembered for?

How I made people feel through my work. And changing the world! LOL. Hopefully.

20. If you were a crayon, what would be the name of your colour?

Ganja Green

With this outlook, we expect to see and hear much much more about this Crayon. You can find Quadir online at qadirmaharaj.com or Facebook Chat with him on Twitter

Much thanks for Qadir for sharing his thoughts with us .

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