Saturday, 15 August 2020

Method in Madness?

There was a time early in my agency career when creativity just happened - in a mysterious way - and questioning how the the creatives got to their ideas was likely to earn you at best a sarcastic riposte, and at worst eternal banishment from the creative floor.

Of course, we had a high-level idea of how creativity worked, but on the whole we were interested first and foremost in cracking ideas that fit the brief - and if they were really cracking, the brief could be made to fit ;)

These days it's all very different. There are no mad geniuses prowling the second floor and throwing typewriters out of windows. We're all team players, and openness and transparency is all the rage, including the tedious, usually post-rationalised blow-by-blow thought process of how you arrived where you arrived. I blame all this Design Thinking gubbins - the thought of scrums and sprints gives me the heebie-jeebies - it doesn't sound agile to me, rather completely exhausting.

Creative processes are described in flow charts and icons:

Occasionally with a few disembodied arms and hands - or brains - to add the "human-centric" touch:

Can I be the only one that feels as if these standardised processes lead to standardised ideas?

Even in a completely different world - literature and fiction - authors seem only too keen to display their working on social media, usually in the form of a forest-slaying over-abundance of Post-It notes:

I really don't want to read that novel, however it turns out.

My favourite representation of the creative process is this one:
I take a deep breath at this point and tell myself that it's a good thing that there are different ways to approach creativity and as long as I'm not forced into one of these flow-charts of Post-It proliferations, then let it be.

Adobe Create have come up with a rather nifty tool (not a process) to discover your own creative type.  No surprise that I was the Visionary (who looks like the lovechild of a cactus and a cucumber - well, that was a surprise).

And, for things to go pretty swimmingly, I have to get together, not with a cactus or a cucumber, but with a Thinker.

Who I am sure comes armed with a stack of flow-charts and a catering pack of Post-Its.

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