The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 3

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?

justicemitchell_care_feeding_professionals3.jpg
  • IMPORTANT: Young creatives think they understand the client and the agency. They think they could do 'all of this' better and will often not stick around long as they seek to emerge from this boring chrysalis of doom and make the coolest agency ever — and it will have a beer tap in the kitchen (and a foosball table). 

  • If in the rarest of circumstances you find someone that believes in your clients, is great at what they do, is well liked by the clients and can show a consistent effort – place golden-handcuffs on them ASAP and bring them up in the org chart. NOTE: this person is usually a woman.

  • We hate revisions. Client: "Well, what do you think of this design?" Us: <thinking> I think it's fucking brilliant bitch, that's why I'm presenting it. </thinking>


"As I’ve moderated ideation sessions over the past two decades, I’ve noticed one shocking point about creatives. They tend to come up with far fewer ideas than everyone else. 

It’s not because they can’t; it’s because they become too attached to every idea. Rather than jot it down and move to the next, creatives keep working on and rereading their own ideas. 

You know which discipline consistently comes up with the most ideas? Developers."Dave Linabury

This point is well suited for this conversation. Creatives (as outlined above) often get too attached to a concept. Therefore, external (of the creative department) concept sessions are not only valuable, but they're also essential.

ANY PERSON can make an idea great. It could be the front desk guy, the janitor or CFO. Create a think tank session, even if it's just one time, where anyone can participate. 

EXAMPLE: I was working a project for the US Navy, we were to create an immersive experiential training simulation for them. We emailed everyone and asked if anyone in the office had any insight into training, past or current. Turns out that friend of the agency had a family member that had a lifetime career of creating these types of scenarios. We brought them in and the project rapidly took off from there. Had that room been simply creatives folks with no real-world experience, I believe our results would have been a failure.


You might ask yourself at this point "how is this helping me avoiding mistakes?" It usually takes years for people to come to the understanding that most mistakes 'take a village' to create. The better you understand yourself, and those around you, the better you can apply your skills to actual work.


Lastly, I think it's important to add that this is not a list of deficiencies, or short-comings – it's who we are as a people. Creatives are a very special breed of people, we create emotion, education, allow others to journey through our visions to unexplored destinations.