Inarguably, the best place to find inspiration for creativity is from other creative people. In the spirit of true collaboration, Tri State AMP brought together a panel of inventive minds from the Cape community to field questions about how we can be creative . . . and productive at the same time.
As a relatively new creative on the scene (relocated to Cape in 2013), I was thrilled to be soaking in the wisdom of those who have come before me, paving the path towards expression in the Cape Girardeau market and beyond. (Check out a full list of the panelists here.)
Here are my 5 best takeaways–a hodgepodge of the collective words of wisdom from each panelist.
- The creative process is full of compromise.
As the saying goes, this is a hard pill to swallow. But it’s the truth upon which all other creative truths are built. It’s pretty common to experience a client who will not budge or is married to an idea that we are sure will fail–it’s discouraging and oftentimes detrimental. In these cases, compromise sounds like a breath of fresh air compared to the alternative; but when the compromise comes from the other side (aka ours) it’s a lot more difficult to get on board with. Each panelist made a great case, however, as to the power of working with your client–even when that means bending in a few places.
- It takes a great client to do great work.
Some of the questions brought forth horror stories from the battlefield of agency life. As these vets shared trials and victories, they came to the conclusion that no one has ever produced their best work with a client who wasn’t open. There is no such thing as “bad work” when it comes to a good client, or “good work” when it comes to a “bad” one. Bad may not mean malicious–but if a client is a bad match from the start for your creative team, odds are good the work will reflect that dissonance. So make a sincere effort to populate your workload with clients whose work you want to be a part of.
- Reinforce the difference between “approach” and “strategy.”
The difference between “I don’t want images anywhere in this ad” and “I don’t like that image” are profoundly different. Be sure to explain to your client that they can like the intention without liking the way it worked out. As was stated, “If you like the strategy, but nothing else–we’re still 80% there.”
- Good ideas never die–they just get put in the fridge.
As a writer, I live and die by what I think are my “best” ideas. One-liners or slogans follow me around everywhere I go and so often I lament that fact that many of them will remain unused. It’s even worse when I try to share one of the “best” with a client and get shot down. But that just means it will benefit another client in another time. Good ideas never die. They just wait.
- Everything you create isn’t going to be loved by everybody.
It should go without saying, but often it doesn’t: when your audience is everyone, your audience is no one. Your primary consumer is your client’s customer. Secondary is your client. Everyone else are just eyes passing by. Focus only on who and what matters and you’ll create something beautiful.