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Tuesday, January 1

On Being Creative 1

I have been struggling to write this first post of the year. Planners block in week one is not a good sign:-)

But I wanted to write about something happy, hopeful but most of all on the subject of being creative!

Luckily for me I stumbled upon Hugh MacLeod's(of the gaping void blog fame)this very old post(by life-on-the-web-standards).

Hugh is an ex agency copy-writer turned marketing strategist. But he is most famous for his cartoon-on-business-cards-concept(am a newly converted fan of his).

You can read the original post - 'How to be Creative'here

Here's my selection from the original spiked a little by my personal experience...

1.Ignore Everybody
And that includes EVERYBODY. Of course not all of them together and not all of them all the time!! LOL

Your spouse. Your parents. Your boss. The once-upon-a-time-mentor. The good-friend-who-always-thinks-good-of-you. The featured-in-the-Brand-Equity-Power List CEO type...

The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you.

2. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in nursery.

The silo system puts all sorts of department labels to shut you up. But never lose your voice. Don't under-rate your inherent creativity. Write with your heart about the brand. Think taglines while you think strategy or run errands. Better the body copy of the ad if you can. Romance your brand in words slapped on gettyimages!

Think media neutral solutions. Think fearlessly. Talk about them. e-mail them to other people. Blog about them.

As a planner I have written print ads for clients, read out TV scripts at new business pitches often throwing the CD in a fit of shock, have written 360 brand narratives in new business and more over the year.

It's bloody tough & frustrating at times. But it's doable. And there's always a way for the creative mind:-) Like they will call a planner ad a brand print and other such non-sense! But stay on course. Enjoy the game!

Listen to the little voice(of creativity inside you) or it will die... taking a big chunk of you along with it.

Life has a little box of crayons for all of us. We didn't fear them in nursery, why fear them now?

3. Keep your day job.
THE SEX & CASH THEORY: "The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task in hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense duality will always play center stage. It will never be transcended."

For me this blog is SEX, enduring endless-pointless-meetings CASH.
Leading projects like 'Future of Mobility' SEX, doing 'daak bangla' research CASH
Thinking about planning and creativity as part of my day job is SEX, living 3 days a week in Delhi CASH:-)and Jet miles LOL

4. Hang out with a Changing World
Some people are hip to it, others are not. If you want to be able to afford groceries in 5 years, I'd recommend listening closely to the former and avoiding the latter.

That means hanging out more with the really creative people not labels and visiting cards, the freaks, the real visionaries, than you're already doing.

Thinking more about what their needs are, and responding accordingly.

It doesn't matter what industry we're talking about- architecture, advertising, petrochemicals, journalism- they're around, they're easy enough to find if you make the effort, if you've got something worthwhile to offer in return.

Avoid the dullards; avoid the folk who play it safe. They can't help you any more. Their stability model no longer offers that much stability. They are extinct, they are extinction.

In the past year and a half, it's the conversations with people
outside my department
outside my company,
outside advertising,
outside India,
outside my comfort zone,
outside of what I know that have been really insightful....

The insiders haven't had much to offer:-)

5. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

6. Don't worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.

7.The best way to get approval is not to need it.

In 2008 and beyond, we will have to get used to a world that will gradually not look like the world in which we have worked till now.

The agencies, our jobs, the power-equations, the concept of what's creative, the supremacy and primacy of 30sec commercials, creativity in the digital domain will require all of us to be more creative in whatever we do...

Related posts on the subject of creativity- The New Creative, Where's the Glue Around Here?, Open Source Creativity

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