The Book of Brands

Ideas And Perspectives You Won't Find Anywhere Else. Presented by Nelson Moropana

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The Best Way To Stay Creative | The Brand Studio

“The best jobs are not found via a well-manicured resume. They’re found by you doing important work, and then letting people talk about it. It’s better to build a reputation than a resume.” Jeff Goins

We all have been victims of our own mediocre, a shallow work ethick backed up by excuses and we’ve gotten to a point where we can’t truly tell what great is to what it is not. Today I want to talk about the value of simple work versus the work that creates impact and remains the most talked about.

Work talked about has substance, a certain quality that people often can’t describe through words, can’t see it or touch it, but they know — there is something in there.

Great work, the thing that people often can’t describe takes years and years of crafting, changing, perfecting, and it is no wonder young art practitioners can’t get it right the time around. Read that again, I said first time around simply because it is possible, the second time.

This usually never ends well, from giving up, a small depression, and dead dreams.

Causalities? (A lot).

It takes time, and it’s tricky, without further wasting time, let me explain why this appears to be tricky — and potentially offer some perspective from true insights.


The year is 2000 and something, I’m in high school and we just got getting introduced to Mathematics — aka maths.

Mathematics for most part is difficult, I hated it, and so did my peers, in fact to to this day it is still tricky for me even though I found my ways around the subject. But as for some of my friends who passed the subject by luck, they don’t know how they passed the subject and hence can’t even explain it in detail or teach the next person a thing or two.

Of course me being me, upon difficulties, I always find ways to pull through , and I just so happened to have bumped into the secret of Math.

It’s actually not a secret but it is something that we all know.

It’s called practice. Sheer common sense right?

So I wanted to be good at this mathematics thing, like super good,not just yay yay I passed kinda thing. What I didn’t know at the time was that no teacher, no friend, basically no one can ever get you on that level except yourself.

This secret was found in an old text book. The text book wich almost every learner used.

Basically, this text book had little riddles to solve at the end of each chapter or section. Each chapter had examples and all these rounded up into exercises that you have to go through before entering the a new chapter. These riddles or mathematical problems to solve per chapter are around 30 to 40 max.

Now that’s a lot.

But of course being ‘smart’ we thought urgg, why would you wanna go through all the mess?


So we just cut corners, solve number exercise 1, 3 4 7 10 21 and 30 then done..On to the next chapter.


We just got the gist of the chapter and and dusted it.

This is what happens in creativity as well. People bullshit their way into making art, music, drawings etc.

As it just so happened, there was a little trouble. Moving from 1, 3 & 3 was a cruise. 3 to 7, smooth but slightly tricky, from there on the mountain goes up, by the time you get t 30 (if you do) — you are exhausted cause you don’t know what the fuck is going on.

So you close the book… (To hell with maths, I’m gonna major in history).

(This is when creatives consider working at Burger King.)

Until one day. One day I just decided to do the whole exercise, (1–30 nonstop) and guess what, a miracle happened. I got to 30 smoothly, and got most of the exercises right… (Well I knew that simply because there are answers — and only answers, at the back to match your solution to the word problem).

I couldn’t believe it.

So I backtracked just to find out what the hell happened.

IT WAS AN EXERCISE — and that’s why they say mathematics is a practice. The subject requires an exercise.

As it turned out, in order to do exercise number 3 you must first do 1 & 2, in that order, then 3. From there on you do 3 4 5 6, until 30, instead of randomly picking say 20 then 35.

Each exercise was a build up to the next; you use the same technique/skill/formula or whatever you learnt previously, on to the next set of problems.

The same is for creatives, if you practice, step by step, you will use a set of learnt skills from previous design or creation, to better the current. No magic can help you carve the best creation without some necessary practice. And to get to 30, you must go from 1–30.


And nobody told us this. (Even though it sounds like common sense).

This is what you may know as compound value.

A compound value is added every-time you pass a skill. In TV games you cannot pass to the next stage without winning the current game. You wanna know why? Because you have to use the skills you acquired at level 1, onto the next.

All of a sudden I noticed a sudden change and improvement. I must confess though, it is a lot of hard work.

And to this day, I still use the same strategy/technique to build up anything from skill to products.

I use it to learn, to do almost everything in design or any of my creative process. And nothing makes sense than actually putting in the work — improving, and seeing the difference.

Introducing The Creative Compound Interest

A lot of us focus on wanting to be perfect, i.e. do exercise 30 or win level 20 of a game without necessary going through the whole process of say properly ‘mastering the craft’. Then we burn out and cry and then give up.


Our obsession with being perfect has blinded usso bad we’d rather be great than suffer. This does not benefit us in the long run because we wouldn’t even know how we got to be great, like my peers, who passed mathematics and didn’t know how they did it.

The Creative Compound Interest approach has been the hallmark and the principle of our design process, including the creation of The Brand Studio itself; much of what we do is a work in progress, always in beta mode and so is life, and so must anything else especially, in creativity.

Everything else we have done, from Campus TV, CTVONLINE, The Business Lounge has been a learning curve as far as brand development is concerned.

We continue this journey, and hope that it inspires you to stay well on course to create ‘great’ and impactful work.

If you have tips and insights on product development, design etc. Share your stories at

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