As a creative director, it’s my job to keep my creative teams engaged, enthusiastic, and excited about their role in finding brand solutions for their projects. Believe me it ain’t easy. Commercial creativity is an exercise in which a lot of personal energy and passion is stretched, with more sweat and blood going into the final product than anyone outside of the business could ever imagine. Some of the stumbling blocks – the creative quick sand that creative teams encounter, includes briefs that are written without a single focus, incomplete information, lack of demographic/psychographic info, testing the brief via the creative solution, no budget for photography, no budget for film/video, no money for graphics, a strategy that hasn’t been bought into by the client, fast turn around deadlines … the list goes on and on. And yet, like Border Collies after a herd of sheep, the creative person gets up every day looking forward to solving fresh challenges, always in pursuit of the next big idea.
Gotta love ’em.
While many of the obstacles to finding the next big idea are operational, cultural and process-driven within creative departments (another blog post for another time) one of the ways to keep batteries fresh is to plug into the myriad of content available on the internet. I’m constantly amazed at the sheer volume of information available to us. Used to be I’d trek out a couple of times a year to the local art book shop and come back with 500 lbs of advertising and graphic design annuals. Now, I just have to log onto my TweetDeck or open my Google Reader and a whole world of positive creative energy is available to me in microseconds. It’s at moments like this I am totally in awe of the creative possibilities available to us. Imagine if creative legends like Helmut Krone or David Ogilvy were working today, what kinds of creative innovation they would be leading?
The way I see it, as head Creative Cheerleader, my part is to flag this incredible content … wave it in and make it available to my creative teams as an optional resource. Creatives are a naturally questioning tribe by nature. Chances are, where there is internet service, there is a creative someone surfing for the latest ads, type fonts and designs. But really good creatives work long hard hours and don’t always have enough time to chase down inspiration on their own. So I make it a point to contribute what I can. To spend time online doing research, with both my writers and art directors hats on – looking for inspiration. Looking for great content. Looking for award-winning work. Because creative solutions – brand or otherwise are only as good as the content (and ideas) that you put into them.