Thoughts on Creativity

Creatives, most people would say that we’re a little different from the rest of society and perhaps they’re right.  I’ve been asked many times, “Where do you get your ideas?”  and you may as well ask “Where do you get the air you breathe?”  That actually would be an easier question.  Psychologists might say we gather from life experiences and simply interpret those experiences in a somewhat different or distorted way.  Maybe that’s part of it but maybe, we just see life differently.

What inspires an idea? I would suggest simply opening your eyes in the morning and recognizing more than just the smell of coffee wafting through the air.  Notice the light shining through the window and how it reflects onto the walls and across the outline of your partner laying beside you.  The only difference between myself and lets say a painter or a musician, is how we convert that vision into our own particular medium.

Another comment I get is “I’d like to get inside your head for just a moment”, trust me that could be dangerous to say the least.   You could say that for every bright, positive image that crosses my minds  eye, there is an equally dark and negative thought that passes by too.  Some creatives tend to go toward one or the other or create based upon the particular mood that might be inspiring them at a particular moment in time.  The question might be “What is the right way to create.  For the advertising world it’s simply an interpretation on my clients intended purpose or layout.  On the other hand, for my personal work it is simply an expression, mood or message.  I tend to like to put in little subliminal tidbits in some of my images which unless you look very closely you would probably miss.  I guess that might be a little game I like to play with the viewer.

I use several techniques to help bring about ideas.  Some are exercises, brainstorming and going through a lot of paper and pencils.  The other is grabbing a great glass of wine, turning off the lights and putting some classical or jazz on the stereo and letting the music cast upon my mind the scatterings of images that will hopefully coalesce into a solid concept.

To create something that the consumer/viewer enjoys and even better, will pay for, is the best feeling of all. To see a smile on a clients face or hear something like, “Damn that’s freakin’ AWESOME” is pretty much all anyone needs to inspire one to keep going and to strive to make the next piece of work even better.  A good friend of mine once told me “Eric, your only as good as your last image” and whether it was an original quote or not, it still is very much true.

One characteristic I share with most other creatives besides the ADHD thing is PASSION. Without that single ingredient you cannot survive and thrive in a creative industry.  Passion is one of, if not the most important aspect of what we do and who we are.

We just had a snow storm this past week and I noticed while driving how the rising sun broke through the trees and made them sparkle and glow through the fresh ice and snow.  Along the road the ice/snow combination weighed down the brush along the side of the expressway and it reminded me of ocean waves about to splash onto the road, only frozen in time.

So when you do smell that coffee in the morning remember not only to open your eyes and look, but see, remember to listen and hear, then…then…CREATE!