Whatever happened to energy? by Tony Cullingham


  An interviewee arriving with some ideas at the next round of interviews.

 

An interviewee arriving with some ideas at the next round of interviews.

I have just completed a round of interviews for next year's course.

What was remarkable was the lack of work people bring to me on the day. A few pieces of paper, a couple of ad concepts, a script, a few photographs; the offerings on the interview table are usually thin.

It seems that there are many young people who say they are creative, yet they are unable to be productive.

They are not willing to put down idea after idea after idea after idea until their brain hurts. They are either idealists who want to get it right, or they are lazy.

Or they are too worried about being judged.

What I am talking about here is a lack of energy.

Energy is one of the four elements of The Creative Spirit. (I'll write about the other three elements later.)

Without sufficient mental energy, your creative pursuits suffer from flaws, caused by faulty logic.

Without sufficient physical energy, your creative ideas don’t get put into motion, they remain in the closet to gather dust.

All creativity begins as pure energy because the ideas that compose your creative thinking are nothing more than electrical impulses in your brain.

Without energy, creativity is impossible. The term energy also relates to the degree of passion you bring to everything you do.

When you are fascinated by a project, or personally invested in a subject or task, you feel charged and exuberant.

You are able to summon up as much energy as it takes to create dozens, scores, even hundreds of ideas to one brief. The energy you invest is repaid by results and positive feedback.

The more you love something, the more energy you will have to dedicate to it.

And so the more creative you will be.

When you are not energetic, the whole process may seem like a struggle, and your creativity will take a dive.

Energy is the force that drives you to write 6 campaigns when the the creative director asks for one.

Energy is what keeps you up all night writing great ideas that get bought the next morning, while the charlatans are in the pub.

Energy is what gets you to the top and keeps you there.

The Beatles played 3 gigs a day, 7 days a week in Hamburg.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made nearly 200 films as individuals before they made a film together.

Stephen King's first published novel was the 17th book he'd written.

You may be the most interesting and talented person around.

You might get a job in advertising.

You might even write one or two decent ads.

However, if you won't make your mark on the business you need energy.

Addendum for wanna-be creatives.

Get off the lap top.

Stop clicking on images and Youtube videos.

Put your Facebook life on hold for a while.

Get loads of paper and a pen. Now, think of the brand as your coal face and get digging.

You dig away at a brand.

Work to simple emotional truths.

Questions, insights and hunches are your tools of choice.

What's the brand's problem?

You produce a mound of paper rubble trying to find an answer.

You look at it.

Are there any nuggets in there?

No?

Keep digging.

Dig in a different place.

Dig with a different tool.

Get someone alongside to help you dig.

In no time at all you have 20 ideas.

If you think one of them is good, develop it.

If none of them are good, read The Sun, have a strong coffee, eat a biscuit and get back to work.

 

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