“Subjected to endless prejudice, now I nurture talent and champion diversity for creatives” – Milana Karaica
We at BoxHuman are passionate about highlighting and celebrating inspiring humans; especially the ones who are inspiring, helping and bringing light to the world. We do this in order to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see and receive on a daily basis. We met up with one of these amazing individuals…
Hi Milana, thank you for taking part in this interview. We’re excited to get to know you, so let’s start! Can you please tell me a little bit about you and what you do?
Hi I’m Milana Karaica and I’m an Executive Producer and a fierce diversity and inclusion advocate in the creative industry. Having worked in advertising for over fifteen years and seen and been subjected to endless prejudice, be it based on ethnicity, background, my refugee status or sex. It was time to start to drive the much-needed change and ensure that the next wave of creatives never have to experience any of those in the workplace. After all, it is our performance, hard work and commitment that should reflect our progress.
Wow, what a perfect intro, thank you! With an inspiring career and industry like yours, I must find out more. Can you please tell me in your own words…What is your business about and what inspired you to start your business and why?
I’m a founder of NERD Productions, a creative production studio representing a diverse range of hand-picked motion directors and illustrators, crafting live-action, animation, mixed-media and illustration styles for TVCs, online content and other video and still formats.
I strongly believe that nurturing talent and championing diversity are the key ingredients to producing powerful visuals that stand out, engage and communicate with audiences across the world. That’s why at NERD, we are active diversity and inclusion advocates, constantly seeking, nurturing and empowering young talent, female talent and talent from under-represented backgrounds. Our goal is to help change and reshape our industry to be a more diverse and inclusive one, today, tomorrow and for future generations to come.
NERD’s talent all share one key ethos – create work that empowers or inspires and promotes equality and tolerance.
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To say that we’ve been bursting with excitement for a while now is an understatement! 😁 It’s finally time to reveal our latest endeavour, and boy was it worth the wait. We are so excited to finally share with you the official artwork for the latest ‘John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum’ Blockbuster movie 🎬 designed by our @billelis in collaboration with @lionsgate and the talented @johnwickmovie creative team 👏
What a brilliant ethos and your business sounds like a great place to work at! As stated within your previous answer, you said that you have personally endured a lot of prejudice within your industry. Can you please tell me in more detail…What’s been your biggest challenge since starting your business and how did you overcome it?
What has been a challenge we faced from the early start and we are continuing to work hard to overcome is that not all brands, advertising agencies and marketing companies are genuinely and actively trying to work with diverse talent or give a fair chance to the young or female talent. This can’t be a box-ticking exercise or a quota fulfilment requirement, as is sadly the case with most companies today.
What an eye-opening look at an industry that seems to be so ‘open. You’ve been within the creative industry for over fifteen years. When did know that you wanted to be a ‘creative and who inspires you?
Inspiration is all around us! We just have to look for it. It helps to think about others and their feelings and needs before your own. For me, it starts with the creative minds who I am lucky enough to work with every day. They craft tirelessly and passionately for every project.
Then there are people that are like us but have a louder voice, like Malala – using that voice to make a global change at the education level. Meghan Markle – who has actively worked towards gender equality as a UN Ambassador for women’s rights. My voice might not be as loud but every change has to start somewhere and anyone can contribute to making a change, so why should it not be me!
What has been your biggest achievement and proudest moment so far and why? And…What piece of advice would you have liked to have known before you started Nerd Productions?
I don’t obsess with awards, acknowledgements or public recognition. For me the biggest achievements are the times when we win a project based on the quality of our pitch and craft against a competitor who is the drinking buddy of the client. Or, when we get a young director that we’ve nurtured and supported against much more experienced people making their first TV commercial for a big brand.
It makes me endlessly proud to represent talent from international backgrounds, different beliefs, different sex-orientations and levels of experience. All collaborating, learning from each other and widening our views and doing the same for our brands. Those are all incredible milestones to a more tolerant and equal society. Nothing can replace that.
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Congratulations on your achievements Milana! After hearing about the amazing work you and your team are doing, I think it’s a good time to start my next set of questions. To kick start these questions off I thought it would be good to ‘fire’ some BoxHuman Inspire questions your way. So without further ado, let’s go…
1) What makes you smile?
2) What inspires you to be you on a daily basis and why?
3) What is your favourite quote and why?
Kindness makes me smile! Small acts of kindness especially. It’s not that hard but is more, and more, rare so seeing it as I wonder the busy streets on my travels always makes me smile. This is something I also like to do for others on my day today. Exchanging a sentence or two with someone, just caring and seeing their mood improve and it took so little to get there, is truly wonderful.
My favourite quote has to be:
“Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.” – Princess Diana.
Its a simple and very smart truthful quote.
Wow, some great inspiring answers! Let’s keep the positive vibes flowing with some more Inspire questions…If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Be open to challenges and unafraid of your own inner power, with hard work and dedication any goal you set can become a reality if you don’t give up in face of failure and adversity.
What future goals do you want to see Nerd Productions achieve and why? And in three words how would you describe yourself.
We are well on the way to being a leading, global studio for diverse talent and inspiring work. We won’t rest until we are the name on everyone’s gorgeous lips as the drivers of change for a more equal and fair creative industry for all.
Fierce. Ambitious. Kind. – Milana Karaica
And lastly…A BoxHuman is an empowered individual. They will not be defined by society’s labels. They show the better qualities of humankind, such as strength, kindness and inspiration. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
I feel you will find that in my answer above 🙂