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

Monday, June 8, 2009

Do you have it?

"it" is an amazing word.

It means everything and nothing. The difference between success and failure. Between accomplishment and defeat. And in my case, the difference between getting a job and not getting it.

When I was a younger version of myself and looking for a job in advertising I got a 3 month "trial" period at an agency in Dallas. I really liked the agency and the people and the things they stood for (true creativity and real thinking outside the box) so I desperately wanted to come on board.

After 2 months of brainstorming for every account they had, staying late, learning everything there was to learned about the business and the people, I was called to the Creative Director's office.

He has a brilliant creative, with the ability to make something happen out of any small idea you brought up to his attention. I admired him and I wanted to get a good report on my performance, so I walked in nervous and aware of the significance of the moment.

After a small talk about workload and common friends, he told me: Iñaki, we decide to bring you in full time. People like you, you work hard and you have potential to be a great creative. You know? you get it. Some people get it and some people don't. But you get it.

Wow, I thought. I get IT. I really had no idea of what that meant. "IT" whatever it was, I understood it. Great.

The thing is, 'It' means so much. It has taken me over 13 years to fully understand it, and I wanted to put it on paper for future generations to read it, process get it, use it and benefit form it.

In advertising and in creativity "it" means the creative process, the fragility of ideas, the exploration as a mindset, the conceptual world, the world of concepts and the concept as a driver of executions.

It means that you know that you are not alone and that your creative partner is your life partner. That you know that it takes time to do magic, no tricks, no magic dust, no mirrors, just old fashioned hard work and sweat.

It means that Accounst services has a job to do and that it is a nasty job. That is not your job and that they need to do their job so you can do yours. And you get this and expect them to get it too.

It means that clients are a mess, and unfair and hard and they don't get it. But they can afford not to get it because they are the client and the pay the bills, and the y don't care about creativity.

It means that you understand passions and egos and discussions and conversations and heated arguments and blown up talks and soft points.

"it" also means that you respect the process, the traffic department, conference reports, briefs and written directions. they are a pain but important and the lifeblood of an agency.

I didn't know I had all this in me, but my boss saw beyond and he hired me.

When we interview creatives I look for it. And I hope they have it.

It makes everything so much easier.

I had been struggling to find an image that would compliment this post, but when I saw photographer Erin Hanson's site I knew I had found it.

This is a person who gets "it"