It’s now week 9 of the course, with just over 4 weeks to go. Even typing that feels a little bit surreal. The ups and downs of the creative process continue to have an impact on all of us – highs of a new brief, the frustration of idea generation and mixed feelings depending on the results. I came across an excellent Ted talk at a perfect moment of frustration at the end of last week. A few of us had definitely hit a wall working on a film festival leaflet; limited time to come up with a concept meant some of us were left floundering staring at a blank page. Whilst feeling moderately deflated, aimless Facebook browsing* (*stalking) led me to this talk:
If you have a spare 15 minutes, I highly recommend watching it; my overview is unlikely to do it justice. There are three salient points he makes which resonated:
- Procrastination is okay. Not only is it okay, it’s scientifically proven to increase creativity. A small amount of procrastination before a task (with the task in mind) results in more creative ideas due to the fact your mind has already begun to subconsciously problem-solve. I have always been a procrastinator, but I’m also not the type of person who regularly does things last minute. Thinking over how I’ve approached briefs in this course, I can see the theory in practice – when I did leave it to the night before, my brain is being forced to think too hard and the panic overtakes the thought process. The best ideas have come several days before the deadline and often when doing something completely unrelated. So doodle, have a snack, go for a walk, let your brain do its thing.
- You don’t have to be first to the party. Not all ideas will be completely original, sometimes it’s okay to take inspiration from others and improve on them to make them your own. I read something similar in ‘Hegarty on creativity. There are no rules’, his opinion being that there is no such thing as ‘original’. We are all too influenced by the world around us and work we see, whether consciously or subconsciously. There is just an idea of ‘freshness’ – a new way of looking at something previously interpreted differently. So if you have an incredible idea, but see it’s been done before, it’s not the end of the world. Come at it from a different angle, put your stamp on it and run with it.
- Failure is natural and self-belief is useful. Both are a necessity. Clearly there’s a theme given I was discussing it in my last post, but the more ideas you have, the more ways you give your brain to approach the problem. Probability says the more ideas you produce, the higher chance you have of producing something you’re happy with. Equally, understanding that if you produce something terrible, it doesn’t define you.
Predictably (and I’m sure befitting the creative stereotype) I identified most closely with his final point. It can be incredibly hard to distance yourself from your work and remember that just because a brief didn’t turn out the way you expected, it doesn’t mean you are incompetent.
All of the above feels like it could become incredibly relevant in the next 3-4 weeks. Today we began discussing portfolios; how they are produced, the printing process and the madness that will be the rush to get everything done by the deadline.
There’s definitely a mix of feelings now that the time has come. I’m in denial that the course is almost coming to a end – it’s quite crazy to think just how much things have changed for me in the last 6 months to now. Terrified about whether I will be up to scratch and produce a folio that will take me on the next step. Excited to see the final product, along with everyone else’s work. However, the main and overriding feeling is one of determination. A phrase comes to mind that is common in the rugby world – whether you’re on the pitch for the full 80 minutes or the last 10, it’s about giving everything you’ve got and making sure in that last stretch of time that you ‘leave absolutely everything out on the pitch’. And that is what I intend to do!