Since we are talking about happiness and creativity, Ji Lee probably has the best creative job (that requires a title) in the world: Creative Director at Google Labs in NYC. He was a speaker at The 99 percent conference last week and gave us some of the reasons for his creative joy.
He talked about some of his independent guerrilla projects, which evolved from his frustration as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi, where his best ideas kept getting killed.
As a creative Ji Lee is an especially prolific idea generator that consistently executes ideas in remarkable ways. Like most creative minds, Lee has tons of ideas. However, when it comes to actualization, Lee actually makes ideas happen. Lee’s fundamental secret, as he describes it, is “an element of fun.”
For the WTC Logo Preservation Project, the ongoing game to find at least one logo every day kept the project alive. People would hear about the project and take part in the personal challenge as a sort of ongoing game. “Games,” Lee explains, “keep things simple and keep people engaged.” It turns out that games and some element of fun have fueled Lee’s loyalty in projects in and out of the office.
Lee uses games to foster learning and motivation. Throughout the day there is an ongoing exchange of links - little findings that stretch the mind in some way - that Lee’s team and students send him. From these, Lee culls certain links that are especially interesting and blasts them out to the whole group.
These are some of the quotes from his conference.
- "Personal & Professional projects compliment each other."
- "Sharing is Rewarding."
- "I cannot depend on others to make things happen."
- “When everything else falls apart in the workplace, I can always fall back on my personal project,”
- “These were campaigns that became viral; I discovered that creating platforms for other artists is powerful!”