#FuckTouristCrowds – About Creativity in Small Regions

Let me ask you something: do you consider yourself creative? Yes? No? Maybe? Of course, it depends on the region and many other factors, but the reality is that only a few out of ten would probably say “yes”. As a matter of fact, I might be wrong and if so - it is even better; but let’s be honest, when we talk about it, usually Salvador Dali, Banksy, Steve Jobs or other big names would be the first ones popping up into your head. I guess that we are more likely to believe that only great artworks or innovative inventions that have revolutionised certain industries can be relatable to creative minds. Interesting, huh?We call ourselves modern society but at the same time stick to the old-fashioned perception of thinking outside the box … If you and I are on the same page - don’t close this tab, buddy, as it might give you a better insight of what precisely is creativity and what forces do shape a meaning of it. Moreover, can small players be ahead of the game? About exciting approaches in little regions and more I have a talk with advertising ninja, writing guru, and creativity sensei Tomas Ramanauskas. 


cover photo credit VIKA PASKELYTE

“Creativity is one’s top strength”. Is it an ultimate definition or does it have limits and exceptions?

Creativity is a lens through which you experience life. 

Creativity is when an inquisitive state of mind, a private eye, curious human being are all rolled into one. 

Creativity is mixing black and white without getting grey. 

Creativity is an exclamation point in life. 

Creativity might be the meaning of life in itself. 

Creativity equals nature. 

Creativity is a playful state of mind. 

Finally, creativity is so damn hard definable, yet so easily understandable. 

So, no, of course, there is no benchmark definition of it, but there are plenty of good ones.


Cultural aspect. What role does it play in one’s inventiveness?

I will reply with a question: can anything human-made be devoid of cultural aspect? And if not, then the answer is that culture is permutating everything we create. So the role is almost godlike. It is the great mover of things and vice versa. 


We live in a time where global society is rapidly developing. Do you think it might affect the way small countries represent themselves for the international audience?

Starbuckization (is that a word?) is a scary thing for me. More and more cities are losing their face to the sprawl of faceless franchises, a network of neon signs, who are identical across the continents. I look for authenticity when I travel, I suppose, we all do, right? Something slightly off, something, unlike anything I've seen. Yet small countries have this daft urge to feel validated by offering their urban landscape for lookalike shops and coffee shops just to feel normal. Normal is ugly, as someone insightfully noted, and, forgive me for forgetting who it was.


Does the “small countries syndrome” exist in a creative field? Does it prevent from executing some ideas that might have a great potential?

Creativity lets you remodel yourself, recreate who you are. And what better chance us, unlucky dwarfs, devoid of any nature’s riches, have? Only to be madly inventive.


Talking about uncommon approaches to particular problems. Do you think that cultural claustrophobia is an issue in both the public and private sectors in Lithuania?

I do believe so. Culture is often shrugged off as something not useful, not of practical value, some pleasantry. And timid minds in government consider cultural faculties second-rate to, say, scientific ones. For them culture just happens, so you might as well ignore it.


This year Lithuania celebrates its 100 years of freedom and your agency was responsible for Branding Lithuania project, which is said to be inspired by the future. So what is your vision of that future? How would you like to see Lithuania branded in 20 years?

Two things: I would love to see Lithuania way more relaxed and more proud of its current achievements. But if the current climate change rate continues (and it probably will), we might as well be branding ourselves as “summer all year long” kind of destination very soon.


The least creative thing in the Baltics at the moment?

I was recently thinking about sex shops, how awful, mechanic and unsensual they appear. I do not know the market well, but at least in Lithuania, they are bland spaces with racks of dildos. Ironically, sex is all about creativity, imagination, and exploration.


What hashtags would you use for branding the Baltic states?

#BestOfBothWorlds #SeeSomethingUnknown #OffTheBeatenPath #FuckTouristCrowds #RealIsBeautiful


Cultural Recommendation by Tomas

Currently, I am obsessed with the work of a wonderful Adrian Piper, a multi-faceted artist, who seems to crack everything she wishes: performance art, installations, literature, sculpture, photography. I’m in awe of her finding the ways to be razor sharp in every medium. Her art engulfed me totally, I was jumping in the pool of her work like a fascinated toddler. 

It is hard to pick out favorites, but start not far from today and read about The Probable Trust Registry participatory installation, where the visitors were proposed to sign lifetime contracts on either of these three statements:

    1 I will always be too expensive to buy.

    2 I will always mean what I say.

    3 I will always do what I say I am going to do. 

They were promised to be able to see the names of those who’ve signed the contract as well, creating a sudden sect of a kind which cannot break their pact. Ever. Check Adrian Piper, she is a legend. And, yes, that is her with a towel in her mouth performing art while riding the subway.

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