What kind of Creative are you?

By Rebecca Miles on Thursday, 9 February 2017

This week we attended an inspiring ‘Creative Superpowers’ seminar held by the wonderful Creative Social at Digitas LBi.

The overarching idea was to highlight the sheer magnitude of change happening across not only the way ad agencies work, but also the role of being a ‘creative’.

The four speakers each had some really engaging and relatable stories about their careers and interesting ideas on the destiny of ‘creatives’ and how to essentially future-proof yourself!

For the purpose of finding your focus, they divided ‘Creatives’ into four stereotypes:

The Hacker, The Maker, The Teacher, & The Thief.

The Hacker

First up was Nicole Yershon – Founder of Innovation People. She spoke candidly about knowing her strengths and rolling with them to shape her career. She also presented ‘hacking’ as a developing culture, far more than simply computers. Hackers love a challenge and want to overcome any limitations of a system to achieve novel and creative solutions.

The Maker

Laura Bambach was next. She basically has her hands in every flippin’ creative pie… Co-Founder of SheSays, Creative Partner at Mr President and President (ironically) at D&AD. Laura emphasised the huge importance of being a maker (the DO-ER) creative. Combining experience of practical knowledge alongside experimentation is where the happy accidents can happen to propel creativity. I would summarise it as harnessing the mindset of an ‘inventor’ to really be brave about presenting new ideas…even if you’ve never tried them before.

The Teacher

Scott Morrison was particularly inspiring… a cross between an overly-confident motivational speaker and your dad giving you a kick up the arse for being lazy. Throughout his slot, he couldn’t reiterate enough how important being adaptable and agile within the creative environment will soon be and actually how I think creatives will be hired. The quote he numerously referred to was, “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who can’t read and write, but those who can’t learn, unlearn and relearn” by Alvin Toffler. In a nutshell – if you can’t stand back and evaluate the bigger picture frequently in order to adapt accordingly…you may be left behind.

The Thief

Finally, Mark Earls made everyone sing a couple of notes from a David Bowie chorus. Ridiculous. It did, however, begin a great talk about being a thief and utilising everything around you to develop and master your own skills. (The relevance of this is that David Bowie stole slash developed a lot of melodies from other famous songs, as do most artists). Copying isn’t always a bad thing either…in fact if you copy something that works extremely well, you can fast track your own success. A great example of this was the process used by a formula one pit-stop team (having to work extremely fast / under high pressure / where intricacy and perfection is paramount) was studied and repackaged for a hospital theatre of ten surgeons. The final 30 minutes of any surgery is the most crucial period with the highest percentage of errors - trialing this new process, their operation success rate increased by over 40%. Nifty.

Things of Interest:

The Co-Founder of Creative Social, Daniele Fiandaca hosted the event and I noted a few of his other interesting / obscure mentions during the evening:

  • My Beautiful Broken Brain – a documentary on Netflix. A great (and extreme) example of how you can retrain / rebuild you brain. An agile mindset is key.
  • The idea that everyone is now outsourcing long-term memory because we all know we can access anything 24/7. Pretty scary but true…however is it such a bad thing? Surely the space retained can allow you to be more creative… or even have other uses as technology advances?
  • Haptic surfaces. Just amazing. And where the future (particularly in product sales) is…
  • Want to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitised world? Then take a trip to Hyper Island!
  • Inspiration is everywhere. Free workshops to untap that creativity.
  • Where’s the best place to hold a creative talk? In the middle of the ocean… surely?

In summary:

  • Reflect - decide which kind of creative you are
  • Focus - decide which kind of creative you WANT to be
  • Research – the current creative landscape and stay on top of where it’s heading
  • Action - create your future in these exciting times!

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