The Creative Process – Introduction

Before I start with the keyboard hammering, let me first establish the intentions behind this blog. If you are in the creative industry, regardless of which link in the chain you may be, please know, my intentions are not to insult and condemn, but to educate and inform.

Often people confuse ignorance and stupidity and prefer to rather label simpletons with the latter, when in all actuality, it’s more often than not, the former. In the world of today, I don’t believe we continue to breed stupid people. I believe there are ignorant people due to a lack of knowledge in certain or most areas of life, but stupidity, in my opinion, is more associated with an act of idiocy or doing stupid things rather than based on intellectual capacity. In the work place, ignorance often leads to one being labeled as the office idiot. As experts, it is our duty to inform and educate those in the areas where they may be experiencing weakness and empower them with the knowledge so they can ask the right questions with confidence.

We have, over the years, had all different kinds of experiences with creatives, producers, client service departments and clients themselves. While I studied to gain the knowledge I now have, I learnt my most valuable lessons on the job. I was taught the tools in college and university, but I was taught how to apply the tools when I entered my working career as a junior 2D & 3D animator. Starting from the bottom and working my way up to be  a company owner and creative director was the best way to grow and develop. Why? Because I have the experience and knowledge to talk to the big dogs and the entry level junior wet behind the ears, because I have walked a thousand miles in their shoes. It is the evolution I endured which has lead me to being the person I am today. It is my background knowledge that has helped me communicate to the artists, animators and designers I love working with. My history in this industry has given me the quick reference to manage timing plans and our studio creatives. It is this knowledge that I want to share with everyone.

I am of the opinion that every creative director, producer, client service department and to some extent, clients, need to know the creative process, particularly the production process. I believe that a creative crash course is the foundation of efficient agency management for their suppliers, their clients and the internal staff of the agency. The ability to communicate correctly is vital. It is the basis on which almost all relationships are formed and it serves as the means to give feedback and or changes. The vital importance of the previously mentioned point can not be over looked. Being able to correctly communicate a creative change, is the difference between customer satisfaction and prompt delivery of a project or complete disaster and missed deadlines. I’m not saying that every producer and client service person needs to know how to make use of Maya, Realflow, Illustrator or Photoshop, but a quick introduction into how the software works and what it is used for, can equip you to ask your client the right questions, to better cost them and essentially brief it into the production team – All of which ensure the budget, the creative execution and delivery timeline are all adhered to.

As this process is not just a simple explanation, I’m going to break it down into bite sized chunks to help digest the process to better assist you in the your creative world. The break down is:

Agency and Client Briefing

Agency and Production House Briefing

Production and Feedback

Delivery

While this break down is only a few simple steps, I will illustrate the difference between a smooth creative process and one where the agency producers and creatives don’t know how to communicate their requests due to a lack of knowledge. While this is a generalised scenario I will be demonstrating, if you feel I have missed a point/step and its had a huge impact on your job, weather it be from a timing perspective, a budgetary hurdle or a creative dilution from brief to delivery, please comment about it so I can improve on these teachings and better educate people to help us all.