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  • Writer's pictureJamie Roberts

So What’cha Want? 5 Things The Beastie Boys Want You To Do For Your Creative Career

Successfully steering your creative career means you must often go beyond your area of expertise in order to generate bigger, better and brighter ideas and also convey them effectively. Or, more aptly put by MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock: get the ill communication.

The New Style

Keep up on trends. This is usually a no-brainer for most creatives. The advertising profession requires us to accurately forecast fads and paradigm shifts in order to continually crank out mindful work that connects with a wide variety of audiences. But the trends I’m referring to are not just the ones featured in your WIRED subscription. Following and understanding trends in areas such as ecology, economics, finance, politics, etc. will allow you to develop keen content analysis skills, advance your overall concept development process and keep your creative juices flowing in all possible directions.

Skills To Pay The Bills

Learn how to articulate the business value of what you do. Business intelligence is crucial to sustained success in the creative field. Being an uber-talented creative is not enough these days, because companies need to have the willingness to make the on-going investments required to create powerful brands. This is where you come in. Learning to effectively demonstrate your process and frame your projects in the larger ecosystem within which they live will immediately help to position you as an asset. Additionally, you should track productivity, revisions and gather any other metrics that help to determine your overall creative velocity, so that you are viewed as a supplier of growth and a strategic partner within the company.

She’s Crafty

Do something whimsical. Giving yourself the chance to be creative when there is no possibility of failure helps to avoid buildup of the stress and anxiety that can often lead to burnout in your day job. Paint rocks. Embroider dog scarves. Carve soap. Build ridiculous birdhouses. Create shell sculpture art like it’s the 1970’s again. Doing something creative that you enjoy simply for the process and not necessarily the outcome will give you the opportunity to relax your mind while simultaneously enhancing your ability to focus and concentrate.

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

Travel simply for inspiration. Short, spontaneous trips that get you out of your routine can spark more creative inspiration than a long-awaited, heavily planned vacation week away. Grab a last-minute airfare discount and discover the local gallery scene in a different city. Gas up the car and go on a photographic tour of retro architecture. Pack your camping gear and sketch pad and look for bigfoot on a trail you’ve never walked before. Experiencing places you’re not familiar with impacts the entire way in which you view the world, and giving yourself the opportunity to randomly discover new things will stimulate your creativity. This magical combination will help you spark more ideas when you’re back in your regular work routine.

Fight For Your Right

Assert yourself as an expert in your field. Not everyone will immediately see the reasoning behind your careful creative decisions. So when a client loosely suggests that you should change your content or implement their idea, it can feel like they are slowly cutting out your heart with a grapefruit spoon. Learning to articulate your creative development process will decrease this helpless feeling while simultaneously increasing your value to clients. As you explain your work, identify relevant consumer research and use data to effectively show that you have the best interests of the customers in mind. This will increase trust and improve overall communication. It is also important to keep in mind that while you are the creative expert, you are not always right. Be open to opportunities to improve your creative as you absorb the client feedback–even if it is just the quintessential “make the logo bigger” suggestion.

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