Creatives reveal – biggest challenges and some advice

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Here some more true insights into the thinking of some talented creatives in our area…

In part 1 we found out about their picks of tools and places that inspire. Next, we asked about their favorite pieces of commercial creative, their biggest challenges and some advice they would give their younger selves. We caught up with some of our friends that work within creative…

Emma Amato, Lead Global Designer at Affordable Art Fair; Georgia Byron, Graphic Designer at Graham & Green and Shari Robertshaw, Creative Designer at Omobono.

ADLIB: What’s your favourite piece of commercial creative and why?

Georgia Byron: I like what Dove did with their ‘real women’ stuff, I think that was a brave piece of marketing at the time and they were ahead of the curve. I’ve always liked all of Honda’s creative. People brand themselves these days, so the personal, cuddly, matey approach doesn’t work as well as it used to for big brands. I like commercial creative that is brave and funny instead; the advertising equivalent of that one person in the room who is confident and comfortable enough with themselves not to be loud; they just do their particular thing really well and it makes you want to talk to them. Charities do a LOT of good stuff, but of course you’re talking commercial….

Emma Amato: I love a witty turn of phrase, so for me Moor Beer Company’s ‘Drink Moor beer’ line, or dating site for lonely hearts eating al desko, Lovestruck.com’s ‘Where busy people click’ are faves. I also really loved that time when a camping/outdoor retailer bastardised ol’ Billy Shakespeare with ‘Now is the Winter of our discount tents’. That was wonderful, a bit like being in an episode of Frasier.

Shari Robertshaw: Favourite of all time? It’s a bit cliche but I think the VW “Think Small” and “Lemon” ads are still great and they changed the way we approach advertising.

ADLIB: What’s your biggest challenge?

Emma Amato: The biggest challenge for any creative person is convincing other people that your idea is as brilliant as you think it is. If it truly is a brilliant idea, it will be undeniably brilliant and it’ll naturally come to life without too much intervention. If it’s not so brilliant, then listen to your client, to other people in your team, to your mum.. their reasons for thinking it’s not brilliant will help you make it stronger and more brilliant than it was before. Brilliant!

Shari Robertshaw: Clients want high quality work in the shortest time possible. So the challenge is balancing how to meet their needs within their budget, while still offering quality solutions that solve the larger problem.

Georgia Byron: In my line of work – with fashion brands and charities, often in house – it’s always time. Lack of it. Creative control can always be made a case for; budgets are useful to creativity (narrows down the infinite), Creative Directors are amusing if they’re tyrants (and the ones that nick your ideas don’t last), but you can’t argue with a deadline that only gives you half a day to come up with something.

There’s no room for the ideas stage there, the bit where I get to dig in deep enough to find the niche that generates something new; so lack of time and appropriate planning is basically death to originality. Lack of originality means people ignore it and the product doesn’t sell.

ADLIB: What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Georgia Byron: Don’t rush. There are no shortcuts to becoming ‘ A good designer’ any more than there are shortcuts for becoming a ‘proper’ grown up. It just takes time, and a bit of obsessiveness here and there to get a bit better than other people. Read as well as look. Be patient and remember that no one is a particularly ‘good’ (or a reliably good) designer until you’re thirty. You just haven’t seen enough of the world or how life works until then. Really, trust me. Also, you can’t sell stuff to people who are wiser than you on the subject you’re trying to sell in. So get to know it inside out. Don’t burn out too often – quality not quantity. No one likes a dull workaholic (I’d know): Lastly, be nice to people consistently. Not creepy nice, just a regular decent helpful will do. It’s ALL so much easier if you aren’t tired all the time.

Shari Robertshaw: Fully understand something before you start working on it, and come up with as many ideas as possible each time.

Emma Amato: Get pet Guinea pigs sooner. They are the best.

On that note…Thank you very much Emma, Shari and Georgia!

This piece previously appeared on the ADLIB Blog.


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