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Re visiting Creative Barriers

There are nights, at home, when the farthest thing from my mind is sleep.

The high esteem in which I hold my coffee addiction is both unhealthy, and part of this problem – spending anything over 13 hours at work, coming home, running on empty, and changing clothes before heading out once more to see a friend, having cancelled on three occasions already – as you feel thankful that they fall in to the category of friend for life, rather than new friend for whom much more effort needs to be made

You read about artists of all descriptions, the pad by their bed acting as an outlet for their inspiration, thoughts that whizz around their head in the same way an egg white is beaten – beginning in liquid form before forming a stiff base to any number of desserts…..there are times I tell myself I really need one of those, as writing on a blackberry at 03.00 in the morning doesn’t always translate as well when tired fingers try to type on small keypad…

There are very few times in the year when things slow down, and invariably, when that time does arrive, the levels of exhaustion that take you over, prevent in the first instance, the handling of all the other work that has been put to one side – in some ways it’s the same as going on holiday, three days needed to detach, another couple to really get in to it, before, with three days to go, the mind kicks in to what lies ahead when you walk back through the door, and the feeling that you never left engulfs you.

If you work in a creative outlet, the world never stops. Travelling to work and seeing inspiration in the oddest of places, talking to someone and wishing the moments to pass so that you can jot down an idea that has formed in your mind from the most innocuous comment they made during the meeting, or reading any number of inspirational blogs / quotes / papers etc, that suddenly enthuse you like entering the Wonka factory for the first time……

So the question really is, “how do you filter the thoughts and prevent madness ensuing?”

As my mother would say (together with her other famous saying “It’s not what you say, but the way that you say it”), “There is a time and a place for everything” (not clichéd in the least my ma). I have found that ideas stored always have their moment, and sometimes just listening to the client and their needs, allows for these ideas to be revisited. This may sound obvious, the listening part – but you would be surprised.

When working with clients who are less creative than yourself, the ideas that can spring forth from your mouth as you try to link one creative thought to another in search of the solid formation of a final concept, can sometimes sound “odd” and your creative process can seem too out of the box for the person it is directed at. Listening to the client can allow you to search your data bank of ideas for the one most suited to their needs, and draw from there on the extended branches of the formed trunk of the idea.

There will always be a time and a place for open brainstorming (hate that word) or the client who wants you to throw everything you’ve got at them to make their event genuinely standout (although experience has taught me to be careful of the brides who do this, as sometimes their requests are rhetorical as they simply search your brain for the ideas that match theirs rather than genuinely new creative ideas that will enhance their occasion). In the meantime, in whichever way works best for you, jot down the thoughts, the ideas, the inspiration (with a short explanation as forgetting the continued thread can also happen without reference) and know that as a creative, there is a chance that your ideas will always seem “just a little bit to extreme on this occasion” – don’t let that be a knock back to your confidence, just find a different way to explain the idea, or a different approach as to how it will work for the event in question.


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