June 25, 2012

creativity creativity creativity

Everyone is obsessed with creativity. Are you creative? How creative is your company? How does one BE creative? They are TedTalks, YouTube videos, speeches by John Cleese, books entitled “I Can Make You Creative”. Let’s cut the bullshit. In order to be creative, you HAVE TO CREATE.  

They are two types of people (more or less): those who talk about doing stuff, and those that DO STUFF.

Maybe Jonah Lehrer was right when wrote his book “anyone can be creative”, maybe that’s the case. But, out of those people who ‘could’ be creative I’m sure only a handful actually are. And that’s because they wake up in the morning, bursting with creative energy and MAKE THINGS. They create create create and they put it out into the world.

At Cannes this year, PR companies got slammed for not being creative enough. Advertising agencies are wiping the floor with PR companies. WHY? It’s not because they don’t have creative employees, or they aren’t choosing the right people for the job, it’s because, guess what: it takes time to be creative. Advertising agencies have huge teams. That means they a) have enough people to do the work so if people take time off to go and have a creative spell, no one loses out b) they can get the work DONE c) this means they keep getting bigger budgets and continue to be able to pay their huge teams.

With solid, big teams it means at the busy times you are all at full pelt smashing briefs. In the quiet spells you all have time to get inspired. Read stuff. Go and listen to talks, play on the internet. By the time the next brief comes round you are so full of ideas from your proactive searching that you are ready for the next one. And so the cycle continues. 

Making a film takes months, coming up with any concept takes numerous quiet evenings to actually think, writing a book cannot be achieved in a day. With timeframes cut short and staff stressed with daily grafting with the added pressure of HAVING TO COME UP WITH 100 IDEAS A DAY, creativity ends up being (not surprising) rather stunted. 

Ease up the work load and inspire each other. If you want to be inspired, creative, impressive and out of the ordinary, don’t stay at work til 11pm  knocking your head against your desk and staring a powerpoint presentation. Go and sit somewhere. Overhear a conversation. Sit on a random bench. Go and LOOK at something. Get off at the wrong bus stop. Do something. If you think that you will get a lightbulb moment by doing the same thing each day, I believe you are mistaken.


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  1. i really like that mantra / formula at the end, i’ve made a note of it! it’s been a while since i’ve had the time to visit your blog and sit and read it, but i’m glad i did – i’m trying to find my creative roots at the moment but i hadn’t really taken into account the fact of time. thanks for making me take it into perspecitve! 🙂

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