What Every Creative Needs- Purpose

Featuring Scott Allen Posted on April 9, 2009

On the surface, it may appear that the creative’s world is very random and haphazard but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have said it before, and I will say it again.  The creative is always on a quest, a quest for inspiration.
Without inspiration, the creative feels lost. The point of inspiration is the dividing line between boring, mundane drudgery and the essence of life. It‘s as important as oxygen for the creative. Not exaggerating.  Purpose will always feed inspiration and breathe life into the creative process.
What do I mean by purpose? Purpose is the impartation of vision. Impartation of vision to the creative is a two-step process. Step one of purpose lies in the answers to the all-important W’s that we all learned about in second grade. Who, What, Why, Where, When and How (I know, “how” doesn’t start with W – blame it on the education system). 
How is not only NOT a W word, it probably should be left off the list, or at least qualified. Many times a creative will bristle when the “how” is a directive that comes from someone who understands little to nothing about the creative process or media/tools available. In my opinion, the “how” works best posed as a question to the creative team. This allows them to advise the best options available and become a valued part of the project.
Step two is found in the tangible descriptors that qualify the expected end. More specific is much better. The more vague and subjective these are, the more risk of sending the creative team in the wrong direction, which could result in extended timelines and possible missed deadlines. Bad descriptors include: cool, hip, and edgy (these are all subject to personal interpretation). Good descriptors include: widescreen, negative space, primary colors, and disco (OK, maybe NOT disco, but you get the point). These could also accompanied by an example of things you like. 
Many a frustrating day has been experienced when the creative takes on an assignment without much direction. Remember, vision is inspiring to the creative mind.  Give them a vision they can run with and turn them loose and give them room to create.
Part three coming soon. Peace.