Life is not a race.

Childhood is the most fun part in a person’s life. This is where we experience a lot of things that we can no longer experience in adulthood. Whenever I look back on my childhood, I often reminisce about when we used to have fights with another kid just because of a sandwich or a crayon. When we become very happy with small amounts of money given by our parents.

As a young girl, I remember the joys of playing Kickball, singing & dancing to pop songs and generally having a laugh. I would fall asleep curled up in bed reading Harry Potter & Matilda every night, believing that magic is real.

I have alot of wonderful childhood memories of spending time with my friends and going to the corner shop to buy paper bags full of penny sweets. Then there were the days we would go to the local swimming pool by coach, singing “Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?”. And then our daily Islamic Studies & Qur’an class at the mosque where we played tig instead. During warmer months, we would beg the teacher to let us water the flowers which would turn into a big water fight. Those were the good times. The good old days.

Reminiscing about those good old days really makes me smile. But it’s pretty crazy that now, we’re all adults who share common problems and responsibilities. We are now on a different chapter of our lives. 

We’re all at different stages of growing up, graduating, getting married, building a career and a family. But I just feel like I’m stuck staring at my rearview mirror rather than getting my life into gear and focusing on the future. I need to remember that there are a lot of new things to discover and better days are still to come.

Do not let your years slip through your fingers by living in the past, nor in the future.
              By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Do not dismiss your dreams.
         To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been,
         but also where you are going.

Life is not a race,
           but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

And you, how about your childhood? Do you have any favourite memories?

– Atekka xo


Life & Death.

Goodbye and thank you Terry Pratchett. For the words that inspire hope, for the gift of laughter and the deeper understanding of life.

“Did you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”

His death is a stark reminder that life is fragile, ephemeral, fickle. We will all undoubtedly die one day but what truly matters is our legacy. What are we leaving behind?  How will we continue to benefit others once we’re buried 6 feet under. Food for thought.

“No-one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in this world die away”

…May we all produce ripples that last forever.


Kindness is Strength.

A kind man benefits himself. 

In a world where being self-centred is applauded, it’s a shame that we can only nurture acts of kindness by reminding people of the benefit it will bring to them.

Why can’t we do good without expecting something in return? Why can’t we be caring simply for the sake of being caring? Why do we complain that we have no time to listen to others when we spend our days & nights seeking an audience to promote ourselves?

In a world where kindness has become a lost commodity, let’s break the mould and nurture values of compassion, friendliness & generosity. There’s a popular saying that goes something like, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” These days I see kindness as a strength, and those who consistently practice it as my role models.

In a world where we spend a lot of time around people but don’t truly care about their thoughts & feelings, let’s break the mould and learn to pay attention. Rather than look for an audience or a stream of sidekicks, seek deeper lasting connections. Ask sincere questions and watch how their faces light up when they speak about their hobbies/ romantic interests / job / travels etc. 

Kindness doesn’t always have to be a major event. It doesn’t take a lot of time to hold the door open for the mum with her arms full, or to smile at an enderly citizen as you pass by on the street. Strive to be the better person, do small acts of goodness, fit compassion into your daily life and blessings will undoubtedly come to you.

I like to think that practicing kindness creates ripples of goodwill that extend far beyond the original gesture, but perhaps the most motivating reason to be kind is how good it can make us feel. 

“By making others happy, you make yourself happy. The key to your heart lies hidden in the heart of another.

Atekka xo


Tell, don’t sell.

Since Christmas, I’ve been working on D&AD’s #MakeYourMark New Blood Award 2014 alongside other modules. As it’s a competition brief, I’ve been reluctant to share any work, development or otherwise on my blog. The brief is:

Share your own personal story. But don’t tell us what you think we want to hear. Explain who you are, your values, your identity, your purpose… your truth. This is telling, not selling.

  • Know who you are
  • Communicate it

You should use this opportunity to showcase your creative talent in the execution of your story.
Once you know what you want to say, impress us with how you say, show and present it.

We understand that your story is a work in progress, it’s still being written. We’re interested in your journey to date, a suggestion of what’s to come. Get people excited about your “To be continued…”.

I initially struggled to think of a story worth telling and know how exactly I stand out from the crowd. It’s considerably easier to sell a product/service than it is to sell yourself. It requires a large amount of self-analysis but also analysis by close friends and family. It does feel like you’re under the spotlight but that’s the part and parcel of the brief. Overall it’s been an interesting experience, resulting in a great insight about myself and the kind of person I am and aspire to be.

So I’ve now written a script that I think is suitable and fits the brief and I’m in the process of filming around the city of Manchester, UK. I will edit this into a video that I hope will be a strong contender in the competition. Finger crossed.

Here are some initial brainstorms and free hand lettering that I did to get the ball rolling. I used quotes that specifically relate back to me and my aspirations. Do you have any favourite quotes that inspire you? Share in the comments below 🙂

Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-002Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-003 Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-010Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-0041Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-005Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-006  Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-008Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-009  Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-011Scan-to-Me from 2014-02-18 150518-page-007 

Advertising, Personal

The End is Near

In a mere 12 weeks time, I will be graduating from my BA Advertising Design course at University of Salford. After three years of hard work and determination, I feel well-prepared to join the ad industry and make my mark. Can’t wait to work with other like-minded people and most importantly have some fun.


For our final major project, we’ve been asked to set our own brief to focus our creative exploration. Ideally it should relate to my personal career ambitions. It’s an opportunity for me to bring together all my learnt skills and experiences from the course as a whole. I have a few directions that I could go but it will take some brainstorming until I reach the big idea.

I also have a Personal Branding module to complete, the D&AD New Blood Award “Let’s be Brief”, set by Kati Russell and a 8,000 word dissertation. It’s going to be a busy few months but will be worth the extra effort. I hope to go out with a bang!

The prospect of graduation has raised many questions to ask myself. Time to reflect:

  • What are my Career Aspirations?
  • What are my life goals?
  • What is my USP?
  • What skills am I bringing to a job?

Any advice for a future creative advertising graduate?