What is a Creative Crybaby?

by Tim McLaughlin (President)

I know this will ruffle some feathers, but it’s not what you think. I’m a self proclaimed “Creative Guy”, but I’m not a “Creative”. I’m not sure if I even know what that means, but that’s what I’m sticking with.

I’ve been talking about this topic for a while…. Why? Because I’ve been in the field long enough to coin my own term – and that term is “Creative Crybaby”. If we all could just embrace the creative process, we’d all be better off. But before I get into what makes someone a Creative Crybaby, it’s important to know that they can be on both the agency side…and wait for it…THE CLIENT SIDE.

I have an enormous amount of respect for the creative process. However I struggle when folks who don’t, minimize the value of good creative. I also struggle when folks don’t understand that the real world doesn’t have four weeks for you to tweak the colors. With that said, if you’re not sure if you’re a Creative Crybaby…. here are some signs.

  1. Have you spent a romantic evening with your significant other talking about how “This PITA was questioning why I billed him for 7 hours to get the proper kerning on his business card?” – Then you may be a Creative Crybaby.
  2. Have you ever needed to step away from a client meeting because they wanted to use PMS Green#430220 and you wanted to use PMS Green#430221. – Then you may be a Creative Crybaby.
  3. Have you argued about the font choice on the IPA label you’re drinking because it “didn’t make you ‘feel’ like it was 7.4% alcohol content” ? – Then you may be a Creative Crybaby.
  4. Have you given specific direction to your creative folks but when they delivered EXACTLY what you asked said “ This is exactly what I asked for…I thought you’d add something to it.” – Then you may be a Creative Crybaby.
  5. Have you ever given vague instructions of “ Wow me, I’m open to anything” …when you are not even remotely close to being open to anything? – Then you may be a Creative Crybaby.
  6. Have you used the terms “Slap it together” “It’s just a few clicks” or “My Nephew knows Publisher”? – Then you may be a Creative Crybaby.

 

Being a Creative Crybaby is ok, as long as you have a process and are flexible. There’s a lot of ways to get to a finished project, so respect that others may get there differently.

And for our client friends, it’s ok if you don’t want to follow a process and just want to “be wowed”- just know that without following the process, offering concise feedback, and letting the experts do their job, the only thing you’ll be saying “wow” about is the invoice you get at months end. Proper planning and respecting the process can save you bundles.

 

Suggested read: The Post-Production Butterfly Effect

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Published: January 26, 2018

Categories: advertising, creative

Tags: , , ,