A creative network of the idea, by the idea, for the idea

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The life cycle of a creative idea.

I found an interesting analogy on The Pixar Touch by David A. Price that I think applies to creativity and how is handled by agencies and clients.
The cycle of a film is like that of fruits and vegetables. You try to plan it well in advance and you lay your seeds, put your fertilizer on, you water it, make sure it is nourished and all that. When it is ready to pick, it is ready to pick.
I think its brilliant because the creative process (or any other process for that matter) is this simple and this useful when you follow it.
  • Plan it well in advance means understanding that creativity (like fruit and vegetables) follows a process that takes time and doesn't happen overnight.
  • Laying the seed is about picking the raw materials with the best quality. This is about the hiring of the right creative minds, building the right team, selecting the type of "fruit" you will be picking up later on. You can't plant a potato and expect an onion.
  • Put your fertilizer on. Without nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium the plant simply cannot grow because it cannot make the pieces it needs. The chemicals elements of the creative mind are a defined and simple goal, confidence, freedom to explore and collaboration.
  • Water it, make sure it is nourished and all that. In one word: love. Achieving a balance of love is important though. Just like with water, too much or to little could ruin the outcome. It's love given to small ideas and big ones, for ugly ones and cute ones. Love as in providing room for an idea to grow. And believe me, is all about love.
  • When it is ready to pick, it is ready to pick. If you have done everything right, the weather helped, the soil was good and you got lucky, you can go and pick the idea up. Its amazing to me how many people inside the business think that creativity is just the action of going to the field and picking up ideas.
Every creative enterprise goes through this cycle. If you respect it and follow it, you'll pick up great fruits and vegetables.

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