What separates Top Creatives

What Separates Top Creatives

Creativity doesn’t come from people whose minds are a file cabinet with everything neatly tucked away and accounted for. It comes from minds more like a cluttered room with clothes on the floor and piles of odds and ends waiting to be stored.

Creativity is not a nice, linear process where “A” leads to “B” leads to “C.” It’s more like walking through a maze with lots of dead-ends where just when you think you’re getting somewhere the lights go out.

Creativity is messy, a journey of chaos and frustration…and eventually…discovery, inspiration and exhilaration…as you finally reach your destination.


How could it be otherwise? By definition every creative project is doing something that has never been done before. And doing that in this mercantile world—not to mention make a living doing it—requires more than talent and training.

Just what is it that separates the highly successful and creative of us from everyone else? Well, in our opinion:

They give the idea fairy a chance to come.

They don’t fall in love with the first thing they do or think of (or maybe even the 24th). But they also don’t evaluate, pick apart and discard as they go along. No need to torture yourself. You don’t get somewhere original without first getting the dumb, silly, contrived and expected out of the way–giving your subconscious a chance to help work it all out.

They love what they do. No matter what.

Doing what you love is one thing. Doing what you love for money is quite another. It’s deadlines. All-nighters. Clients who hire you and then tell you how to do it. Co-workers who don’t have a clue what you do (You get paid for this?). Yet, these creatives will tell you they wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. In fact, one of them once remarked it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Go figure.

They can think outside the boundaries. Not just the box.

Any creative assignment comes with potential limits to creativity: Strategies. Focus groups. Budgets. Preconceived opinions. Hallway research. Finding a way to do something original that survives all that is a remarkable accomplishment. It requires being as good at selling and shepherding the work as at conceiving it. So that everyone concerned understands and appreciates what makes the idea so irreplaceable.

They’re incredibly motivated.

They’re determined to do great work. To get somewhere. To be recognized for their talent and achievements. They couldn’t take themselves and the work they do more seriously.

They know the value and fragility of a great idea—whether for an ad, a package design, a web site, an app. And they will do everything in their power to keep it alive, or at least on life support. But should they fail, setbacks just make them try all the harder.

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Hype. Hypocrisy. Crassness. For them, there’s too much of that to go around. And while what they do may not be an art form, they believe to their bones in doing it artfully. There’s an integrity to what they do. And their work, their clients and they themselves are all the better for it. Nothing says marketing and communications can’t be interesting, intriguing, uplifting, involving, entertaining…and make the world a little better place.

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