What is a Creative?

“Creative is an interesting profession because it’s a little bit like singing in the shower. Everybody thinks they can sing because they have a voice in the same way that everybody thinks that they’re a chef because they have a mouth and everybody thinks they’re a graphic designer because they have eyes.”

So says creative director and former podcast guest Jonathan Deiss. He goes on to point out about how the idea of being a creative is hard for some to grasp. “The truth is it’s a profession where the professional ethos and the things you learn as a professional are not immediately obvious to a person looking in from the outside.”

So, what is a creative then?

How do you explain what you do? Can you?

On this episode of Creative Mind, we start to look deeper at what our guests are pointing out, what their experience has taught them and what advice they in turn have for us.

For example, Reis O’Brien, creative director at Funko has this to say about where your ideas should come from:

“The best ideas I come up with while I’m walking the dog or I’m taking a shower.  Somebody makes a silly joke, like a bad pun at lunchtime and I’m just like, oh, that’s hilarious. And then I got to go home and draw it. They come out of nowhere.”

Reis O’ Brien, Creative Director – Funko, Creative Mind, Episode 50

But when you think about it, that is not “nowhere”. Reis said. “I’m just going to goof off and draw what makes me happy and makes me laugh and I’ll pitch it. And if something gets greenlit, it gets lit. Great. But otherwise, you know, I’m just going to wing this guitar solo.”

A Matter of Resource

If you think about that it can be scary, like where do I even get ideas from at this point? For ILM veteran and VFX master, Charmaine Chan, the answer is to simply get up and take a walk.

“A lot of times I actually tell a lot of the artists on my team to literally turn off your computer step away and go outside. It’s just one of those things where you get so much inspiration by things in the real world. I can literally sit on a bench somewhere and just like stare at the corner of a building and see like how the light just goes across that building, throughout the day.  It’s just one of those things that I find very relaxing and being able to just like study how light interacts with a lot of things in real life.” 

Then comes that other question:

What if no one likes what I do?

Again, Reis has some great advice on this. “Enjoy the rejection letters, it means you’re on the right path. As long as your voice is true and you’re getting rejections, your true voice will one day, be seen by the right people. And the payoff is astronomical. And I don’t mean just like your paycheck, I mean your emotional payoff.  The creative satisfaction is astronomical. If you stay true to yourself and find your voice and stick to your guns, you’ll be fine.”

Check out this episode for some more great advice from past podcast guests including Reis O’Brien, Jeremy Saliba, Charmaine Chan, and Aaron Guadamuz.


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