The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 2

What are some of the common mistakes that you see people who seek a career in any of these fields make as they pursue that career?

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  • We often assume that something was done by someone else. Make no mistake, if we think something's done and we can start something new – it's dead to us. 

  • We only like our creative [in the moment]; long creative projects will make creatives very unhappy.
    We don't want to dress up, our office is a mess, and we always want the latest gear, tools, fonts, apps, etc. But we're afraid of using them because that creates change, and we fear change. We're overly protective of the creative we make – the byproduct of the creative process is like making a child, or a 'thing' we have a passion for. 

  • Therefore, we'll needlessly defend it and often aggravate the client in the process. Moreover, make sure that within the creative practice you do the 'holy trinity' regarding concepts

    1) EXACTLY what the client asked for.

    2) Use the client's request as a basis for the creative but feel free to take strong liberties with it.

    3) A total wildcard idea that's completely unexpected and something the creative will enjoy doing.

  • We want to be humble but we also want positive affirmation for our efforts. 

  • Creatives are not morning people. 

  • A sense of "play" is important. Treating them too ‘adult’ can be counter productive.

  • Timelines are important.

  • While clients are not always right, we need them to believe they are.

  • When a creative asks you to see something (even if it's not completed) they usually DON'T want constructive criticism, they want to be petted. That said, start with "I like what you've done ..." and ease into the suggestion process.

  • We have problem finishing designs — we think "Has it (the design) been pushed far enough? Could it be better? What needs to change?" Often convincing that "if we add too much more it could kill it", will get them to settle.

  • Creatives SUCK at time tracking. Give them tools and techniques to clock-in and out of projects. Monitor this properly as we often drift from one directive to another, having come up with awesome addition (of course), but we'll virtually never stop to splice time.

  • Keep them caffeinated.