Not long ago, I was at a gathering with a bunch of creative directors. Trying, just for a moment, to not talk about work, we discovered that we all had outside creative outlets.
At our table, we found a variety of passions — painting, fiction writing, photography, screen printing and drawing. Each of these passions was, at most, obliquely related to what we do everyday as creative directors.
This all got me thinking. I think it’s critical that creatives — and indeed anyone in this business — have a creative outlet outside work. Without this outlet you lose perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as committed to great creative solutions as anyone — and we’ve been amassing an enviable collection of awards to prove it. But when advertising is your “art,” it’s very hard to be clear about your motivations.
We have one job, really. It’s to drive forward the success of our clients whether they are businesses or causes. It’s all about effectiveness. Make no mistake, I (and we) believe that the most creative solutions are often also the most effective solutions. But when your whole artistic being is tied up in your solution for your client, and then they question or kill it, the loss can be unbearable.
So, creatives, get a hobby. It’ll give you some perspective.