Terence D’Costa is a very dear friend and a top-notch creative in the Himalayas.
The advertising world is replete with just two types of people. Pirates and victims. If you have nothing to do with the ideation process, you aren’t a victim. Avast! Go fiddle with your bones or swing an albatross but spare our sea-sick souls and stop reading right here. For the rest of you jolly folks out there still nodding vigorously to the ideation role question, here’s why you are that victim. You call it a brief. I call it a plank. Shiver me timbers, guess who walks it?
You walk the plank every time you take a creative brief and try to respond to it. And if you think it’s okay to come up with the idea half way down that oaken strip just so that you could traipse back to the dry confines of the deck, think again. Down’s the only way up and that’s where you’re designed to go. So take the plunge now. Sail past the gleeful savages, as they clap and holler every distraction you thought there never was, and plummet. Plummet deep into the dark void of your imagination. As you hit the swirling foam your senses reel past the pain of knowing you’ve been there before. All that matters now is finding what you’ve been sent out to discover and deliver i.e. the original idea.
The seas within which you delve for ideas aren’t quite the uncharted waters you imagine them to be. They are the sum of all that has flowed past. They are your knowledge and comprehension of all you know and comprehend. Your experiences of all you’ve ever experienced. Your hopes, your desires, your aspirations and certainly all your fears. They are all your emotions and thoughts – as many, as one. And all the patterns that they lie within. They are all your set reactions. All your attitudes. All your perspectives. They are what make you, essentially you. Everything circumstance and choice has presented, you’ve placed into that bottomless chasm of your mind. And somewhere out there, beyond the palpable horizon, lies that creative solution.
Your intelligence is your scuba gear. Blame it on nurture if all you’ve got is a snorkel kit and a puddle to fathom. Your seas are only as large as your life makes it. Read more. Do more. Discover more. Enrich yourself every day. Recognize your comfort zone. Then expand it. Look for the lines you never cross. Then obliterate them. If you want to think outside the box, learn to live beyond it.
Ideas are like pearls. Not every clam has one. Your ability to find and deliver one, on time every time, is the reason your boat’s still afloat. Quit cribbing about deadlines. They will always be yesterday. Swim with it. And if you can’t, get a mermaid to swim with you. Choose from Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania. They are amusing to say the least. Arr, must resurface now, matey. We’re way past plausible depth here. Unless of course, you’d rather stay and feed the fish.