July in Indian month on InVisible Creatives, in collaboration with Indian Creative Women. Please meet Samyu Murali, Art Director at Ogilvy Mumbai.

How did you get the international attention you got? 

I started my career as a junior creative in the US after completing my Master’s degree. In 2017, I was an honoree of The Drum Magazine’s “50 under 30” list. In 2018, I was one of thirty creatives from around the globe to be a part of the Cannes Lions Young Creative Academy and was selected by AdColor for their prestigious Futures program.

In what is Indian creativity unique?

We’re a nation that loves listening to and telling stories, rooted in cultural insights. Our customs, languages and traditions vary from region to region within the country. To me, Indian creativity is noticing these nuances and telling that story in an innovative way.

From what you observe, what do you think are the main differences between working in India and abroad?

The process from brief to execution is definitely different. So is the selection of media for communication. With so many languages and cultural nuances in India, one needs to keep all this in mind when crafting concepts. Something that might work in English might not translate well and vice versa.

Who inspires you in this industry? 

So many people! I’m especially inspired by those who use their voice or work to create positive change. I was fortunate to meet several brilliant minds AdColor and my fellow Futures class continues to show me the incredible power our unique voices hold. Sakshi Choudhary and the rest of the team Indian Creative Women stand as daily inspirations and role models.

Despite the attention you and your work has gotten, do you ever feel visible at work still? What do you do to overcome it?

I initially felt invisible, especially since I started out in a foreign country. I was terrified of public speaking and conscious of how my accent sounded in a room full of people who looked and sounded nothing like me. I was fortunate to have great first bosses (Steve Miller and Alison Cannon) who encouraged me. I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone, which was scary but necessary and my mentors and family helped guide and motivate me.

What would be your advice for people who feel invisible professionally?

I think most of us feel like imposters at some point. That we’re not good enough or we’re not worthy to be where we are. I would say don’t undersell yourself. Stand by what you are passionate about and surround yourself with people who motivate you to do better everyday.

What is the piece of work you’re most proud of having worked on? 

I truly enjoyed working on this branding project from grad school. We had to design the logo and branding for a restaurant based on a fictional character. I chose Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series and created a fictional tea shop.

See more of Samyu’s work here.