From artists to speakers, authors, and marketing minds, we have all experienced it. That moment when you need a brilliant concept or just the right words to capture an audience and your mind offers nothing. You're stuck so you try to force it, and now every idea you come up with feels weak--even lame.
Well, there's good news. This happens to even the most creative minds; people whose livelihood and reputation depend on the next novel idea. Here's how these advertising execs battle their creative blocks and remain at the top of their game.
Pete Favat, Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch North America.
Clients include: Taco Bell and Volkswagen
"Go do something you've never done before to stretch yourself. Stuff your face with culture. Right now we're in competition with the Internet and the general public has become as creative if not more creative than agencies. Don't use advertising as an influence--that's a trap. What we shoot for is original and shareable. Be a sponge. If you're always curious, you'll never have a creative block."
Aaron Sanchez, Associate Creative Director, Cutwater
Clients include: Brawny, Peets Coffee & Tea, Jeep, Ray Ban, and LensCrafters
"My greatest fuel comes from being curious. When we were little, we had these boundless imaginations. But, rules, fears, and inhibitions suppressed them. By being curious today, I'm adding more and more information and insights that fuels today's imagination. Curiosity takes me into new worlds, becoming a precursor to creativity. I just finished a project where we brought on an up-and-coming director to helm three different commercials. There was this one intriguing nugget from previous work that made us consider her, even though we had two other well-known commercial directors who were very interested. Without being curious, we would have never chosen her. We did and the end-product was better than we could have hoped for."
Michael Hart, Founder & Managing Creative Director, mono
Clients include: Pepsico, Google, Walmart and Sperry
"While we've always valued a true work/life balance, six years ago, we took it to the next level and created what we call mono's Mid-Summer Dream. For the whole week of the 4th of July, we close the entire company down. It's a mid-year break for everyone to spend time with family, unplug, or chase a dream. Unlike most vacations, when the rest of the office (and your work) continues, this week feels utterly different. Work truly stops. And. It's. Awesome. Subsequently, we come back recharged and ready for the next creative challenge."
Courtney Buechert, CEO of Eleven
Clients include: Apple, Virgin America and Lyft
"Creative blocks can come from too much thinking or not enough information to find a point-of-entry into a subject. At Eleven, we encourage people to "pause" their efforts when they hit a wall and find new stimulation--whether that be joining another agency team for a while to hear how they're attacking their assignment, or going to a movie, concert or event to jump into someone else's story. Even simply sitting in a cafe or bar and watching people go by or eavesdropping on their conversations can help our creative folks to stop trying to be ad people and go back to be being anthropologists. Overall, we invite our creatives to get up from their work and rejoin their world we're trying to market into, only then can they see things through fresh eyes."
Which approach(es) do you think would work for you? Do you have any other solutions to share?