Fundamentally Important Creative Things

by | Jul 8, 2014 | Branding, Commentary, Design, Marketing

The creative process is like washing a pig. It’s messy. It has no rules. No clear beginning, middle, or end. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, and when you’re done you’re not sure if the pig is really clean or even why you were washing a pig in the first place.” Luke Sullivan

So you know you’re creative, and now you want to work in advertising. Congratulations! You’re brave. And for that I would like to share with you the small amount of knowledge I have acquired during my time here. What I am about to say being the most important: You must have ideas or you will never make it. And because we are immersed in a blurry yet ridged world measured equally by art and commerce having ideas alone is not enough – you must figure out how to sell those ideas and how to sell them quick – or they will die a swift and painful death that will linger in your soul for days.

Secondly, it is not enough to articulate the organized chaos that is in your head verbally, you have to figure out a way to represent your ideas visually. Use (but do not rely on) your MacBook or another human. Always be in possession of – at the bare minimum – a pen and paper. Heck, use bottle rockets and smoke signals if you have to, just have something in your back pocket and be able to do it alone if you have to.

Now, after you manage to sell your ideas both internally and externally, you’re going to have to find a way to bring them to life. If you want to do this well, you’re going to need to learn some fundamentals; and I don’t just mean line, space, texture and composition. I mean fundamentals of life; you’re going to need to show an interest in the well-being of other people, eat real food, go outside and get your hands dirty. The best Art Directors are always those who have played outside of the Creative Suite. And the best writers I know were many other things before they decided they were writers. Don’t be afraid to pull from other mediums and apply those things to whatever your substance of choice may be.

Looking for the elusive big idea can be fun, messy, and exhausting. But the best ideas always come from the simplest places so, trust your gut and do the research. If you can get them right and manage to turn them into something tangible it will remind you that – fundamentally – the creative label is the only one that really fits.

Don’t get discouraged. Just keep washing that pig.