Jealousy as Creative Motivation?

by Stacy Allen | 16 May 2014

Creative Print Ads

I love these print ads. (For the most part.)
They make you think.
They make you smile (or grimace).
They make you think differently.
They may even make you act.

For me, they make me jealous.

I wish I’d done these ads. And the opportunity to occasionally—even if the client won’t buy it—create something close to this type of work is why I still enjoy advertising. That’s significant, because advertising is a business that routinely spits out the middle aged, depositing them as in-house marketing managers or lecturers at local colleges. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)

I can’t do it every day, or even every week, but thinking I might come up with ideas like this once in a while is what keeps me going. When day-to-day activities—and getting things crossed off my to-do list—have overtaken creativity in my work life, I need to see work like this to reboot my desire.

So I’ve made a pledge to myself to treat more tasks as opportunities to flex my creativity. Consider a quick flyer promoting a customer appreciation event? It’s temping to use the headline “Customer Appreciation Lunch” and list the key info. But that’s not why our clients trust us with their marketing communications. Work like that will be consumed and forgotten. If we start to think that our job is repurposing information and making it look nice then we’re not worth our fees. We have a duty to our clients and ourselves to elevate the message, making it memorable and actionable, like the writers and designers on this print work have done.

Apparently jealousy motivates me. What re-lights your creative fire?

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