The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Process Of Staying Creative. Ahem.
October 10, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

In keeping with the trend I seem to have adopted since Monday, this is yet another short post … however unlike the rubbish I wrote in the previous 2 days, this rubbish was sort-of created by someone else.

Except I don’t know who as I can’t find who created it.

Maybe that’s a good thing, because the easier way to surmise what they are proposing is ‘have a life’ or ‘get out of the advertising bubble’ … but I’m hardly one to talk about simplifying excessive and bloated viewpoints am I?

Anyway, below is another example of someone dimensionalising the obvious … adding in a few dollops of cliche [“Break the rules!”] … packaging the whole thing to appeal to a particular industry – no doubt the industry they work in or want to work in [though “Clean your work place” smacks of this being written by a Mum who is fed up of tidying up after their creative wannabe child] …. turning it into an infographic because that means instant cool … and then sitting back, waiting for the fawning praise to start pouring in.

To be honest, the only ‘tips’ I like are “Get Away From The Computer” & “Finish Something” … so feel free to slag it off, at least your vitriol can’t all be directed at me. For once.


51 Comments so far
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so based on rule 21, that means creative people should ignore the rest of the shit theyre saying on the most uncreative poster on the fucking planet. happy to fucking oblige.

Comment by andy@cynic

fuck me, have i just agreed with you campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

I think you have, but don’t worry – I won’t hold it against you.

Comment by Rob

i dont want you to put a fucking thing against me.

Comment by andy@cynic

Listening to new music is bad advice. Well that’s what Sir John Hegarty said tonight – he was more concerned about losing the headphones and observing life, but it’s much the same thing. Creativity can’t be forced.

As for what your first boss said, well it was basically that creativity had been going downhill for ten years and that advertising doesn’t work. Surprisingly wise words from someone who hired you.

Comment by John

what the fuck were you doing mingling with hegs? did you ask him what hed bought after selling to the fucking french. the fucking french. what a fucking bastard.

and in fucking theory, campbell had 4 1/2 first bosses. which fucker are you talking about? posh, brains, snorter, quiet or bean counter? more importantly, how, why and fucking where?

i hope you didnt mention campbells name because they will have to go back in to fucking therapy and they only just got out.

Comment by andy@cynic

The one his father knew. As for where – Shoreditch obviously – where the creatives of the future were being told how lucky they were.

Comment by John

I love how you made them sound like the seven dwarves. Anyway, I’m going to go out on a flyer and say the person he heard talk was the individual you referred to as ‘snorter’ … also known as your BFF. In a parallel universe.

Comment by Rob

in a parallel universe far far afuckingway.

Comment by andy@cynic

You mix in very esteemed company John.

Comment by George

hes a shoreditch groupie.

Comment by andy@cynic

Waiting tables does that.

Comment by John

I actuall disagree that creativity can’t be forced. Too much of culture within ‘creative agencies’ is lounging around doing groovy things and waiting for that flash of insight – even worse, waiting for it to come in the shower.
That ephipane moment only comes from, specifically,, hard work, the kind when you have banged you head against a brick wall and felt crushing failure.
The other kind is, again, hard work and more reliable, since that insight might still not come. It’s rolling your sleaved up and starting to make stuff, in the first instance, something crap then chipping away at it until becomes something special. It’s fucking hard, miserable work, but if you want to exist at the cutting edge, you have to bleed a little.
All that ‘don’t force creativity’ is an exciuse for flaneurs and I’d expect better from Hegarty, not just because of the quality of the stuff he’s done, but the sheer hard work his organisation is famous for. Observing life is right I guess, but observing lots and lots of it, so much it makes your head spin.

Comment by northern

Fair point … and I certainly agree that the problem with many people in adland is they think being ‘creative’ is a lifestyle rather than an application.

I should clarify that when I said ‘it can’t be forced’ I didn’t mean it from the Hegarty perspective [I worked at HHCL with Steve Henry, where he proved creativity could be produced through pushing, prodding and provoking] I meant it from the point of view that too many people think creativity is about ticking boxes and so by doing that, they are automatically worthy of their point of view being adopted, let alone being heard.

Or said another way, brainstorm meetings filled with people who believe there idea is automatically good because they were invited to attend.

This is not about creative snobbery – I genuinely believe anyone can have a good idea – but that is rarely because of some ‘process’ and more because of an instinctive understanding and ability to see problems in new ways. Or something.

Comment by Rob

Don’t worry I agree with you, it’s Dodds I take issue with

Comment by northern

As ever, you were right to do so. Bad phrasing on my part. I meant there aren’t any set presriptions that makes someone creative other than doing it and the harder you work, the more creative you become.

Comment by John

I’m not sure if creativity can be forced.
But it can be practised and perfected.
I watched ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’… and was truly humbled.

Comment by Martin Weigel

Nice recovery

Comment by northern

look at you boring fucks. this sort of debate makes you hard doesnt it. fucking freaks. more impressive news is that ive eaten at mr jiros fucking fish shack and the old bastard makes darth vader look like kermit the fucking frog. good nosh though. for 8 trillion bastard yen.

Comment by andy@cynic

Wasn’t a bad recovery was it? I seemingly can be as slippery as an account manager or one of those videos you watch in client meetings.

Comment by John

point 30. dont work with planners. especially planners called campbell and groper. one will bore you to fucking tears, the other will spend all his time looking at youporn then asking for a fucking loan. from the fucking tea lady.

this poster fucking makes me angry. actually fucking angry. its got nothing to do with creativity and everything to do with making creativity accessible to all. like shit reality shows like changing rooms.

you can argue that every fucker has some talent in them but some have a fucking lot less talent than others and fucking creative process bollocks like this doesnt do them any fucking good. all it does is sell false fucking hope and an industry filled with entitled twats who think they know how creative people behave, not what creative people do.

im going to get pissed.

Comment by andy@cynic

I like the argument of your last paragraph, especially the last sentence. Judging by John’s comment, you have hit the nail on the head.

Comment by Pete

Alcohol isn’t the answer, feedback is. Apparently.

Comment by John

shows what the fuck they know.

Comment by andy@cynic

Tha answer is actually tea.
And I only watch Youporn in client meetings.The story behind that is actually much funnier that the myth of my money shot addiction

Comment by northern

Changing Rooms? Is that still on? I know you’re making another genius point but changing rooms?

Comment by DH

Not to say I already said that, but I already said that:

Comment by Rob

which you probably ripped off me and took the credit for. afuckingain.

Comment by andy@cynic

Probably. Or George. Or someone.

Comment by Rob

A good old fashioned, angry and sarcastic Rob Campbell post. It’s good to have you back and I agree with every word.

Comment by Pete

Very true Peter.

Comment by George

It appears the holiday did you good Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

Well if you like this one, you’ll love tomorrow’s.

Or at least find it equally as sarcastic.

Comment by Rob

Now I know what I’ve been doing wrong.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That poster doesn’t cover everything you’ve been doing wrong.

Comment by DH

+ Like.

Comment by Rob

The smiley face the designer has incorporated in the letter U (#28) makes me want to destroy things. Good post Rob, I agree #4 and #29 are the only points worth highlighting.

Comment by Bazza

Instead of writing comments on here, shouldn’t you be fixing imaps and finding a way to stop your shiny new phones having scratches on them?

Comment by DH

Maybe this blog is the reason iphone 5 isn’t even as good as a bad version of the samsung s2.

Comment by Billy Whizz

If only that were true – it would be one of my greatest ever achievements. And for the record, I am someone with an iPhone 5, with crap iMaps and a scratch right out of the box.


Comment by Rob

Cue vitriol:

I hate everything about that infographic.

Not you.

Just that infographic.

Not least of all because it’s another example of confusing quantity of ink expended on graphics for quality of insight.

If I gave that to any creative worth their salt, they’d rightly punch me in the face.

But beyond that, it makes be angry because we (in the communications industry) are the only people who worry about being ‘creative’… and how to be more ‘creative’.

Van Gogh didn’t fret about being more ‘creative’. But about mastering colour.

Bernini didn’t worry about how to be ‘creative’. But how to render human emotion in marble.

And have a read of this brilliant two-part piece from the Guardian that shares writers’ advice on how to write fiction. Very little self-help ‘creativity’ nonsense, and lots of practical guidance:

I’d argue that we should worry a little less about how to be ‘creative’ and fret a little more about how to solve our client’s business and marketing issues.

If we focused on that, rather than consuming vapid cod psychology as contained in that piece of graphical nonsense, we might actually find ourselves being a) more useful and b) more ‘creative’.

Here ends the vitriol.

Comment by Martin Weigel

Fuck me, Sir Martin [not THAT Sir Martin, the smarter, younger, better looking one] has written on my blog.

Are you ill?

You must be because you say you don’t hate me, but I know you do so on behalf of my Mum, I’m very touched you said you don’t.

I completely agree with your view that we’re the only industry obsessed with being ‘creative’.

It’s a bit like planners being obsessed with being interested instead of doing interesting stuff.

A while ago a client [I believe it was Lee, who comments on here] said something I loved which was something like:

“Adland is the only industry that talks about ‘being creative’. Writers don’t call themselves creative. Artists don’t call themselves creative. Directors don’t call themselves creative. The only people who do are the ones who think saying it means you are it.”

Pretty much nails things on the head.

Oh, and I love that link, but then it’s always interesting to hear things from people who have done it and do it … rather than just talk about it.

Comment by Rob

Actually I’ve got a rotten cold.

But most of the time I’m too bloody timid to enter the shark-infested waters that is the Comments section of your blog. I worry about fucking off Mr. Parker or something.

I do lurk.

Quite a lot.

And chuckle.

Even more.

My favourite piece of advice from that Guardian piece was from the genius Philip Pullman:

“My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.”

Comment by Martin Weigel

So you’re a peeping tom? Perv.

Yes, that quote is bloody awesome. Advice that could benefit management in all business, not just ‘creative’ industries.

Comment by Rob

I like to watch. What can I say.

I dedicate that quote to anybody in the business of Saying, not Doing.

They know who they are.

Comment by Martin Weigel

Yes, they’re probably writing blogs.

Boom Tish.

Comment by Rob

always been a Say-er, not a Do-er, me

Comment by Martin Weigel

fuck being scared of the other bastards on here mr unpronounceable surname, think of your boss, uncle dan. its bad enough he has campbell to contend with but if he finds out another one of his planning supremos is adding to the bollocks that goes on here, it might push his carefully fucking crafted 30 year reputation into the bucket marked “property of draft/fcb,”

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes Martin … think of the effect your comment is having on Dan!

Comment by Rob

Don’t get sucked in Martin. It’s bad enough having one WK planner blog like this without another following suit

Comment by northern

Martin is not as stupid as the rest of us. Us = me, but it makes me feel better being ‘blame generous’.

Comment by Rob

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