When it comes to being a good creative, one of the hardest challenges you can face is meeting the expectations required of you.
Creativity is something that can come natural to us, thanks to our own individual skills and inherent abilities. However, if you are finding it hard to be a good creative, these 4 simple tips might make it easier to come out the other side.
As a creative, you are someone who will find themselves drawn to their emotions and thoughts more than others. This can lead to quite a lot of ‘rollercoaster thinking’, where you can feel constantly dragged along with the positivity or negativity of a situation.
1. Listen & ask questions… the right kind of questions
When it comes to being creative, you need to be able to ask questions of those you work with. Collaboration is often seen as a negative by some people, but there is immense value in finding out the answer. Clarity on any part of a creative project should be something you embrace as opposed to hide away from!
That is why you should embrace continuous questioning; but that should count for the majority of disciplines and not just the creative world!
You need to be able to understand your brief so well that the answers present themselves. However, this means having the confidence to ask for clarity – asking ‘why?’ – without thinking it takes away from your creativity or your authority.
2. Sell your creative, like your life depends on it
Great ideas don’t go anywhere unless you are able to sell those ideas; either to your team-mates, your partners, and of course to your Clients!
It is your creation, your idea, but your battle doesn’t stop there; you need to convince whoever that is that your idea is the best. This means that you need to present your answers and your ideas with a genuine confidence. Hiding behind sheepish language like ‘may’ and ‘could’ does not sell something convincingly!
You need to be able to show anyone who you are working with/alongside that, as a creative, your ideas are backed up with thorough thought, detail, and analysis.
3. Research & Judgement
It is a common misconception among non-creatives that creative minds work with a flip of a switch! That is definitely not the case – if only!
Not every creative can ‘pants’ their way through a successful project. You might need to invest some of your time, effort, and energy into researching the topic and building judgement. The art of researching is very much an under-rated talent, especially when done under pressure to deliver!
Knowing what pipeline works for you is a skill which should be cherished. Being able to have good judgement is equally important – having a good eye for things, and having an opinion on what could, or could not work. This allows you to balance creativity with a clear understanding of what is realistically possible.
4. Care about the creative process as much (if not more) than the final outcome
Wanting to solve problems passionately is the hallmark of any creative. The ends in a creative endeavour do not always justify the means. If your process is sloppy and stressful, then it might need to be adjusted. Treat your ideas as rapidly renewable resources. The best creatives are those who have the resilience to do it all day and get a kick out of it. The process should be as fun as the actual end result.
Creatives who focus only on the end result and the paycheque are often leaving a lot of creativity (and value) behind. Juggling budgets, clients, location, roadblocks… these problems will always exist in the working world, so you may as well enjoy the ride.