Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

Creativity is often misunderstood to be manifested only through hands-on artistic output. I’m here to debunk that myth. Even as someone who’s in music school, at Berklee Music School, pursuing my music business degree, I’ll say that creativity is everywhere and is far beyond just painting, playing instruments, dancing, to acting. Perhaps it’s because of my love for music and art that I’ve wondered even more: why do we only reserve creativity for ‘artists’ who create for living? When did we start mis-associating careers in government, finance, or business to be non-creative? This curiosity is why I was eager to take part in InnovatorsBox’s internship and lead projects like our latest GIF creation project.

First, what is a GIF?

GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) is a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images that are often in a file of GIF format. You can read more about its history here. It’s an interesting read that talks about how it came together and became such a modern and fun way of expressing ourselves online. I mean, isn’t that where we live, these days?  🙂

Why have GIFs become so popular?

It’s a wonderful way to express how we feel and who we are. Whether by adding it in our group text, responding to a friend’s Facebook post, to expressing how we feel in a presentation, the simple animated image makes it easier for us to express our feelings, ideas, and jokes that otherwise may be hard to convey. And sites like GIPHY have made it easier to both access, search, and create GIFs for others to express. Here are some of my favorites that I use when I feel happy, curious, or confused!

Why we created GIFs at InnovatorsBox for others.

We saw a gap. Monica Kang, Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox®, shared how she consistently saw the gap in diversity when she searched for expressions in GIF icons, which led her to wanting to create diverse GIF content to fill that gap.

I knew from research and my personal experience, I felt the same way too. While there are billions of GIFs out there, when I look up the word ‘happy’, ‘creative’, or ‘sad’ on these channels, I often see a domination of one celebrity or one ethnicity or expression. And that didn’t create a relatable place where I could express how I felt. So, when Monica initiated the GIF Innovators Expression project, I was eager to ideate and find a way how we could create original GIFs that could express how innovators feel and come from more than one industry and one ethnicity.

This is why I’m eager to introduce you to our “Innovator’s Expression” GIF collection – a series of twenty-five GIFs with different expressions created by our very own team members at InnovatorsBox. Yes, I’m there too! You can find them by searching “InnovatorsBox” at any GIF searching platforms or see all the options at our GIPHY page here. (Add button) We wanted to communicate how you feel as innovators – excited to work on new projects, feeling appreciated, feeling curious, and at times upset to be misunderstood. We knew that there were others out there also searching for these keywords but were not finding people who look like them on GIFs and we wanted to change that.

Plus I love how these playful GIFs remind me how I can practice being more creative everyday no matter where I work or what I do.

Creativity reminds us that there are always new possibilities when we believe it.

And at the core, as I close our first set of GIF creations, I’m reminded how important diversity in creativity is and why having a safe room to express is key to innovation and creativity. While working with the InnovatorsBox® family, I’ve been inspired at how hard everyone works but also how earnestly they bring their perspectives, creativity and insights to the table. 

Working on this project led me to a new light of getting to know my colleagues in a new way – a more human way. As I saw their video creation of expressing different emotions, I couldn’t help but be inspired – here is everyone feeling safe to express how they feel on video and being their authentic self. How can I not be happy seeing how we could play, express and be vulnerable all at the same time while creating content to diversify voices for other innovators who use GIFs worldwide?

I do hope these GIF(t)s make you smile just like how they did for me. I hope they reminds you how creative you are – no matter where you work and even if nobody in your office looks like you. And I hope that these remind you how you can expand your thoughts on what being creative is and can be for you. I’m certainly now going to daydream and rethink how I think about being creative in my music and other works I continue to pursue.

Is there an expression you think is missing? 

What is your favorite expression? 

Do share all your thoughts and questions. I’ll convince the team that we make more as we continue to express how we feel and live as innovators with courage and curiosity each day. 

Thank you for stopping by and taking a moment to express your thoughts, innovators! 

p.s. Here are the quick links to our GIPHY page and collections. 

About the Author

Kelly Gravo

Kelly Gravo

Kelly Gravo is a Creative Intern at InnovatorsBox®, focusing on music and podcast projects for InnovatorsBox Studios. In her time away from interning, she studies Music Business Management & Creative Entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music. Her mission as an artist is to study and support creatives of all facets - so that they can flourish artistically.

At InnovatorsBox®, Kelly’s focus is on music and podcast marketing - through the lenses of diversity, empathy, compassion, and transparency. She believes that by focusing on “purpose not product,” brands can best connect with people who see themselves within.

In her personal time, Kelly loves reading and developing visual content on Instagram and YouTube. She also advocates for AAPI creatives in her school club work with Asian Americans in Music and Entertainment (AAIME) and K-Pop Initiative (KPI).

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