05 Feb Fresh Meat: Ayesha Daniels
Ayesha Daniels is fresh out of Vega with a BA in Creative Brand Communications, specialising in Copywriting. Passionate about words, sentences and the nuances of the comma, her work reflects her wry sense of humour and appreciation of succinct copy. Writing about herself, Ayesha has this to say: “Team player, albeit sarcastic and good-humoured at best. Dedicated, which may or may not border on pedantic. Result-orientated and a strong believer in ‘second time’s the charm’. Interact with people at all levels, courtesy of a dry sense of humour. No, honestly though. I am that funny.” We chatted to this eminent wordsmith to find out more.
How and why did you become interested in advertising?
The written word has always fascinated me. In my younger years, I would surround myself with books and texts that grabbed my attention. Yet, before attending Vega, I saw myself as more of an appreciator of stories than a creator of one. Which is what I think copywriting is. It’s storytelling.
In the beginning, I was hesitant to pursue anything in the written field. Sure, I was passionate about writing but I didn’t see myself as a novelist. Then, a few years back, someone from the creative industry read a piece of mine and suggested I pursue copywriting. Why? Because I wrote like one. It was that simple.
What do you enjoy, or alternatively dislike, about it?
I enjoy the unpredictability – not knowing how the next brief will unfold. It could be a fluffed up dose of sleepless nights and endless coffee or it could simply be the idea behind the right word said at the right time.
How would you describe your style of writing, and what influences it?
Uncomplicated. I tend to avoid embellished writing. Like a heavily decorated home on Christmas Eve, it loses its authenticity beneath all those layers of decoration. For me, it’s harder to paint a picture with one short sentence than it is with five, but that’s where crafting comes in.
SKY TV: Iconic films have their own language. Only those enlightened souls who watch these films are fluent enough to speak it.
What daily inspirations feed your creativity?
It’s the smallest details. I’m fascinated by the power of details, especially within the English language. It could be as tiny as a comma, which can change one simple sentence into a six-letter story. Or it could be the idea behind someone’s work. Or reading copy that makes me pause. Clever. Subtle. Copy that nudges me towards the moment when everything clicks with “Oh! Now I get it”.
What’s more important for you: the concept or the craft?
Theoretically, they hold equal merit. However, I’ve been exposed to work that was beautifully crafted yet lacked depth in terms of concept. Which ruins the entire piece. So in the words of my former lecturer – no matter how hard you try, you can’t polish a turd.
Google: A sardonic and sharp-witted approach that uses Google’s auto-complete to comment upon allegations of the company’s private data snooping.
Please tell us about your creative process.
This may sound anticlimactic, but research plays a pivotal role in my creative process. Remember my fascination with details? That is mirrored in how I formulate ideas. There will always be one fact no one considered, or one perception deemed irrelevant. To me, they hold the potential for new perspectives. New ideas.
Was studying copywriting what you expected it to be? Has your perception of the field changed since your first year? – And if so how?
I started my studies with the clear understanding that I didn’t know anything about copywriting. No preconceived notions. No warped perceptions. A clean slate, one might say. Three years later, I’ve been exposed to so many facets of copywriting, what seems obvious and clever to me may not seem that way to others. It’s a secret language that I’ve somehow been privy to.
What’s the best piece of advice you received while studying?
Creativity has no office hours.
Which of your creative projects are you most proud of? This could be your final project or another. Please explain the concept/process behind this chosen piece:
The Edge of Wrong campaign was one of my most notable pieces, which I enjoyed conceptualizing from start to finish. Being an experimental music festival that was exclusive by nature, my biggest challenge was speaking to those exposed to the festival without alienating those who weren’t. Many perceived experimental music as “noise”. To capture the ineffable nature of the festival, the concept of “what lies beneath” looked at the notion of noise and its relationship with experimental music. This was depicted using a combination of visual noise and copy. I enjoyed crafting content for the festival broadsheet, which added another element of conversation to the campaign. Robyn Newham was Art Director on this project.
What are your plans for 2015 and beyond?
I’ll be heading to Jupiter Drawing Room in March for a year. Beyond that, I hope overseas has something in store for me. Those abroad looking for a writer, call me in a year.
Where can we stay updated with your work?
Presently, you can find some of my work on Behance: www.behance.net/AyeshaDaniels
POL: A raw, insightful and provocative editorial that unpacks African witchcraft through the eyes of a white, Botswana-born Sangoma.