8. Voice of a Child

We’ve been told that working in Advertising, we need to have a thick hide and not to get too attached to our ideas since they may be monkies (p.3). We have also been told that advertising is a demanding industry and if you don’t love the work, and doing the work all the time, you should get out now.

Defining creativity I think can easily turn into “What is art?” question, which never ends since art is so subjective. Steering away from that, I think what makes up ‘creativity,’ is the ability to approach things from new angles, the curiosity to keep looking and prodding and questioning, and the ability to try new things, and fall hard sometimes. It’s those that get back up to jump off until they reach what they were aiming for, that deserve the title “creative.”

Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot, shares a few tips about songwriting, which I think falls solidly under ”creative’ definition. I love what he says about listening to your inner voices.

He says there are two to listen to. “One is a creative, childlike voice that finds everything in life worthy of writing a song about.” The other voice is the editor. He says,’Oh that’s not that good’ or ‘You can do better.’ If you only have the child’s voice urging you on, you may write a bunch of terrible songs, so the editor is important, “But if you don’t have the voice of wonder then you don’t write music to begin with.”

I think everyone working in curious industries need that ‘child’s voice,’ to help guide new ideas. The hardest part is protecting the child from criticism and critique. When someone else is about to shooting down your baby, you have to get your arms up and shield your child from arrows and burns. Creative folks have a tough time of it, they have to be willing to make the jump without knowing something is there to catch them. And come back for more.

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