The Designer’s Notebook

What is “Creative”?

A month or so ago, the gang here went up to Edmonton to the Graphic Design Association of Canada’s Edmonton Chapter’s charity auction “a Creative Cause“. It was an art auction raising funds for a notable shelter in Edmonton. It was awesome.

I love art auctions. My wife and I used to go to the Red Deer College “Affairs of the Artsevery year, RDSO and whatever we could. I was excited to go just for the experience, but also because I had donated some work to the show. It’s an odd thing for me, really – to have produced a creative work that is not marketing related. I haven’t done that in at least a dozen years. Wow. A dozen years since I’ve pursued a personal creative direction. I was both paralyzed and excited at the same time – followed by relief that some of the work I donated actually sold (I was well outdone by a colleague down the street)

What struck me at this event was how much good ART was being produced by the design community. Printmaking, painting, jewelery, photography – just about anything you could imagine was available that night. There are some really good creatives making some really great fine art. That got me to thinking – what is a creative?

We are a mix of people, the design community – art students, design students, marketing and PR people, not to mention techies, code monkeys and pressmen. What we do is not exclusive of who we are. What we do is who we are. We are “Creatives” because we are creative.

Most people I know that are really good at their craft are creative by nature – that is to say that if they had to dig a trench, it would be the most artfully hewn trench the world had ever seen. It would be a wonderful work because a creative person dug it out. Everything a good creative touches is better for their contact. Being creative is seeing the better side of everything we see. It’s why creative folks are so bitter about poor execution of restaurant menus, signs and all sorts of things that we know nothing about. We see potential in everything.

My grade 11 art teacher once told me a good artist always has a sketchbook because you never know when you’ll see something artful. A good artist was someone always looking. I never what he was talking about until now. This is why i love having an iPhone. A camera in your pocket. All the time.

It was an odd experience – one of those “hey! I didn’t take a class on this” kind of moments.

Recently we wrote our first radio spot for a campaign. It was an odd experience – one of those “hey! I didn’t take a class on this” kind of moments. Then we settled down and got to the creative. And it worked. We had something simple and it worked. It will never be on the  Age of Persuasion, but it proves a point.

No matter what we touch – a good creative… well… creates.

That’s good news. As the marketing world gets more complex, and we touch more projects we just need to be ourselves – creative.

Let’s get started!

We’d love to talk with you about your company and where you want to take it.