working on creativity with doodles, swirls and lines

Working on creativity

While working on creativity, I came across an interesting article entitled “If Everybody is Creative, Nobody is” by Ernie Schenck in the May/June 2018 edition of CA magazine. He’s a contributing columnist under advertising and is very insightful.

In this article, he talks about a current trend in advertising; a lot of different people get a seat at the creative idea table. The question, though, is “do they deserve to be there?”

Creative director RT Herwig seems to think so: “The fantasy that not everyone is creative, although romantic, is dangerous and outdated. As our industry gets faster and more complex, we need to come up with new ideas quicker, and it takes different types of thinking from different disciplines to come together to solve today’s briefs.” Amen brother.

Different kinds of thinking from different disciplines? This got me thinking. These days, anybody from any discipline on the marketing team can come up with an idea and get it implemented. From someone who is on the creative team and who is tasked with implementing, this can be frustrating. These are ideas that can come from the latest technology or from business school jargon or from a YouTube video their nephew showed them over Thanksgiving. But are they creative? Sometimes. As Mr. Schenck admits, even if an idea has that creative spark, it needs to be creative in a way that connects with humans.

Working on creativity, it’s not so easy…

It’s no so easy to do it regularly, daily even, with looming deadlines and demanding clients…that takes hard work and dedication and, yes, maybe an innate talent that just can’t be faked. Anyone can have an idea. Having a lot of good ideas though…or even recognizing the difference between a good idea, a brilliant idea, and a weak one…that has to be special!

I get it that everybody is a photographer because they have the newest killer mobile phone, and there are plenty of forums and sites to share your snapshots and garner just enough “likes” to develop dangerous confidence in your own skills. The easier it is to do, the lower the bar drops. But even in a sea of these snapshots, the untrained eye will occasionally stumble across something that makes you stop scrolling, that catches your attention and holds it, that makes you want to “share” because damn, that one’s special.

The same goes for video

The same goes for video. The bar has sunk so low and everybody is doing it. The democratization of creating video is going the same route of desktop publishing and digital printing. People get used to lower quality, and publishers like the lower cost. Let’s face it; with regards to digital vs offset or digital vs film, there is almost no difference for the viewer. Everyone gets used to “good enough.” Ultimately, they are all just tools. Tools for what? To tell stories and creatively connect with humans the way they need to be connected to.

A hammer can be used to build a birdhouse or a mansion, just depends on what’s in the head of the guy wielding it. All ideas weren’t created equal, it turns out. Neither were all carpenters.

So, the idea that we are all creative because we were created? Bulls**t. Creativity is a skill. Working on creativity takes diligence. We need to work hard and think hard every day and strive to be creative, then implement.