On Spreading Your Wings

 
 

In my opinion, to be a better creative means learning more of the world around you and getting outside your comfort zone.

 
 

It means not returning time and time again to the things you know. It means being curious. As I once heard, “don’t be a purist; be a sponge, spread your wings, put your tits on the line.” It’s a mantra I’ve tried to embrace.

One of my New Year’s resolutions — let’s be honest here, my only one — was to expand upon my reference library.

To soak up the world and all its characters, stories and situations from everyday life. To get uncomfortable. To pry, prod, poke. To reach beyond my usual parameters and stop mingling with the usual suspects, so that I may curate content that extends beyond simply what I like.

Because, if we are to only dwell in the what-I-like-land, we might just find there’s not too many people who live there.

This is not to suggest we lose our voice in the midst of listening to others’. It’s more about finding ways to connect to those who don’t see the world the way you do — and then using your creativity, your voice, to form a connection.

As an advertising creative, my job is to learn about the products and services of my clients. Then, sell them to those who need or may eventually want them via engaging creative concepts that become television commercials, radio ads or billboards. The key to creating the best kind of advertising is finding the insight – the one truth about the audience that connects with a benefit of the using the product or service.

To only stick to what I know in life means I’ve cut myself off from all kinds of audiences. I remain naive to what makes them tick, what cultural references they will understand and what is going to resonate with their worldviews. It’s in my best interest to understand things I don’t necessarily like. Because, not everyone who will read or watch or listen to my ad will like the things I like.

Our world is full of so many interesting people, topics and places. If we only stick to what we know, we not only find ourselves bored, but can run the risk of becoming boring. More importantly, we run the risk of not connecting with whom our creative hearts desire to.

Connection through creativity.

Find the emotional uppercut to the story and sucker punch your audience. Speak on their level.

Be the sponge. Spread your wings.