We all connect best through creative expression, and artists with the right outlet can really bring people together.
We’re delighted to present you with an interview with one such artist.
Thanuja Ananthavel is a fellow .MEr with incredible drive and creativity. She’s also a junior marketer with a knack for data analysis. Thanuja has a passion for creating visual experiences and has been doing so since she got her first box of crayons. She filled every coloring book possible and continued perfecting her artistic talent. Years of cultivating her skills after that gave her a foundation to keep creating without boundaries.
Let’s see what she has to say about her life, work, and the creative process.
A Junior Marketer With A Creative Side
We’ve mentioned that she’s been expressing her creative side since a young age. But there’s more to Thanuja than that. She also has a knack for data analysis and business. Thus, marketing was a perfect fit for her skillset at the University – as it combined data analysis and creative strategies.
Thanuja studied at the University of Toronto. She immersed herself in her studies and had taken every marketing course she could. There, she also established a firm understanding of marketing tools that can guide her through her career.
We asked this junior marketer about the basics. What drives her? Where does she draw inspiration from? And what makes her want to contribute to this changing world?
Hi! My name is Thanuja Ananthavel (she/her), and I’m a 23-year-old just trying to find my true calling in life. I’m a 2021 BBA graduate of the University of Toronto with a Specialization in Marketing. Growing up, art always captivated me, and I had several artistic hobbies that allowed me to express my creativity.
My inspiration comes from various places: music, nature, places, or fashion. My motivations are constantly evolving as I progress in my creative journey! I became passionate about the business field once I entered high school. I found it interesting to study how companies operate in society and understand the functions of multiple departments.
During the pandemic, I’ve found an opportunity to combine my creative skills with my business education. Thus I became a freelance digital designer. This gave me a way to provide my passion as a service to local and small businesses! One thing I hope to contribute to this world is to spread positivity.
As a junior marketer, I want to contribute to projects that bring positivity and success to all my stakeholders. My ultimate goal is to become a marketing executive and share my contributions with the industry!
Looking Back And Looking Forward
We moved on to talking about Thanuja’s career. About what she would do differently and her plans for the future.
If your could press restart on your career and start out again, what would you do differently?
If I had the chance to restart my career, one thing I’d try is to do more career-related experiences! As a student, there are times where you’re tempted to solely prioritize studying or academic activities but neglect many career-enriching experiences. I would take advantage of opportunities to expand my horizons within diverse industries, such as networking events, competitions, and volunteering.
The world never stops changing. So, we asked Thanuja if there was something she wished she’d done work-wise to prepare for the current situation.
She talked about the importance of keeping up with technology, always improving your skills, and staying current with modern trends.
As the world advances into a new age of business, a key factor is to keep up with technology as many industries are digitizing their operations. Computer skills can be applied in career advancements, such as video editing or coding. I’m currently honing my digital skills and expanding my skills repertoire! In the future, I plan to gain more certifications, such as SQL and social media optimization programs.
Insight Into A Junior Marketer’s Creative Process
Who better to ask for advice than a person who’s already succeeding in the field? We also had to know what project she’s really proud of.
If you could share one piece of advice to someone starting out in your field, what would you say?
My advice to someone starting in digital designing is to stay inspired. It’s good to keep up with trends on social media, but making sure you gain your sources of inspiration offline is crucial. I continuously exercise my creative mind through sketching, reading, painting, and listening to new music. These are great ways to garner a fresh perspective and keep your ideas flowing!
What’s the project or aspect of your career that you are most proud of?
My most proud achievement thus far is my first logo order for Moonlight Resin by Nila, a business based in Toronto. This project truly sparked my intuition and challenged me to enter the design industry. Additionally, knowing that I’ve created a piece of history for a growing small business brings me a great sense of fulfillment.
I was able to order a few pieces from their line of products. Seeing my logo design on their packaging for the first time brought me so much joy!
A Junior Marketer’s Perspective On Personal Websites
Thanuja is much more than “just an artist.” Being a junior marketer, she’s also interested in the marketing industry as a whole. We wondered what her thoughts were on making her own website and using a .ME domain.
In your experience, how important was a personal website in acquiring clients? Did it have a direct or indirect impact?
I believe my website is an amazing outlet to show potential clients and employers my best work. With the right tools and knowledge, it directly impacts your credibility. A personal website also shows your capabilities in terms of designing within digital spaces. It’s an accomplishment to have a space entirely curated by me that I can proudly showcase as my own.
Most creatives put off making a website, often saying they’re not developers and that it’s out of their wheelhouse. Could you share your experience? Also, do you have any advice/hacks/tips about it?
As a novice website owner, I needed room to customize my website while easily navigating through the process. For that reason, I chose Squarespace. I recommend it if you also decide to start your website journey, and be able to produce a professional website on your first try!
We also asked this junior marketer what’s the most neglected (but important) part of a personal website. This is what she had to say.
It’s crucial to make it easy to explore your website. Try to avoid too many outbound clicks, and start simple. The average viewer may not have time to click through all the pages or links. So, streamline the layout as much as possible.
Does A Personal Domain Make A Difference?
We had to know why this junior marketer chose the .ME extension for her website.
I stumbled upon the .ME domain during my initial research on starting an online portfolio. I thought it was very fitting, as the website would be a representation of “me” and my work. When building a personal brand, using your name is a great way to promote yourself. I needed a reliable domain that would allow me to use my name while being concise and memorable. I’m glad I chose the .ME domain as I was humbly surprised to discover the wonderful community of go-getters that I’m a part of.
Do you know anyone else who has a .ME domain?
A .ME domain that I follow and enjoy is https://jayshetty.me/! He’s a renowned life-purpose podcaster and former monk, known for his humble words of wisdom. I recommend checking out his podcast and book “Think Like a Monk!”
Thanuja is truly a breath of fresh air. She’s a promising junior marketer who’s destined for great things. Her creativity and drive are sure to help her on the journey, and she’s an incredible addition to the .ME community!
Her website, thanuja.me, features samples of her work, and they’re breathtaking. Don’t hesitate to check it out as soon as possible.