Good creative people are like felines–– always on the prowl, on the hunt for good ideas.
They are curious creatures who thrive on feeding their insatiable curiosities. Curiosity does not kill them, it feeds them. They hunger for knowledge–– as much as they can find.
Exceptional creative people know that the more seeds they plant in their heads, the more likely they are to have a bountiful harvest.
They’re also honest enough to admit there’s no such thing as pure creativity. One cannot create from nothing. You need something bumping into something else, giving the creator the opportunity for rearranging, juggling, and reconnoitering.
Voila! The creative process. From something, something ‘new’ is created. Naturally, creative people want to stock their brains with lots of fertile material.
If you have creative people working on your business and they’re not reviewing all available research or customer background materials, be concerned.
If they’re not researching the industry and your competitors and their campaigns, be afraid.
If they’re not asking questions, start running.
These are surefire signs that you have crappy creative people working on your business. They’re going through the motions and doing business as usual. Their lack of curiosity and exploration will result in lackluster efforts.
Beyond being curious, what determines a good creative person? He or she must be empathetic and interested in the human condition. A good creative person understands the role of marketing communications but from a compassionate and respectful place.
“What’s in it for the consumer?” they ask themselves, then brainstorm to figure out.
I also look for something else in creative people. I want people who have interests beyond marketing–– I like artists, musicians, poets, playwrights, novelists, illustrators, scrapbookers, movie fanatics, bookworms, whatever.
Why? Because an outside creative passion gives them a place to call their own, where they can let their imaginations roam free and feed their appetites, and nurture their souls.
Let’s face it, the marketing world has much more rejection than acceptance for creative people, and I believe it’s important for them to have a patch of mental land to call their own.
We all need our sanctuaries to stay fresh and recharge.
I believe the rules above apply to all marketing people, and not just those labeled ‘creative.’
Today it’s too easy to insulate yourself, to self-select a tribe of like-minded people and create your bubble of complacency.
That’s not good.
It’s human to want to stretch and be curious, to prod, poke and explore. We all are creators, and if marketers are to succeed, they must understand and nourish the insatiable need within us all to know.
When we filter our messages through our human lenses, we will naturally make them richer and more rewarding for our audiences.
Here’s to staying curious and appreciating humanity. Who’s ready to write some haiku?