Welcome to the Jungle. It’s a world where unauthorized people do what they want and destroy entire marketing campaigns based on their biases toward color, style, and whatever suits them for a given day. People have a tendency to qualify things without attempting to understand their purpose or audience. If it doesn’t appeal to them, they immediately criticize it. I believe this is the Number Two reason creativity is stifled. The creator is discouraged by an uninformed opinion from someone outside the intended audience.
Photo Credit weesam2010
How Did I Do It?
So how did I improve my creativity? I stopped caring about those people’s opinions. That’s not to say I stopped respecting those people – I simply realized they were giving advice they rightfully could not give. When I ignored their criticisms, my creative boundaries were lowered, allowing me to explore deeper in another jungle – a jungle forbidden by people with big opinions and little insight. I came back from my safaris bearing beasts of solutions, some a bit outlandish, but all exotic and beautiful in their own right. At times these solutions were magnificent simply because they were different, fresh, creative. The best part? It was me deciding what stays and what was released back into the jungle. This made all the difference and brought me to another level.
How Can You Do It?
I want you to know what to do, so here’s a starting point.
1. The Naysayers
“Well, I just don’t like it.” Ignore these people. They are the naysayers. They poach your idea and leave it to die in your bewildered arms. The naysayers give you no reason for their attempts to make you doubt yourself or feel foolish. Often they don’t even give a reason for their distaste. If they do, it is usually purely subjective, but they present it with an objective matter-of-fact attitude.
Photo Credit Marv!
2. Your Freedom
Remember this, though: the Naysayers may criticize your current project, but future projects can be damaged also. They are tearing you down and replacing your state of mind. When your work is skinned ruthlessly without solid reasons, you tread lightly on the next project. That is the real problem because it goes back to that fear of freedom. Your survival fear kicks in and you avoid the threat. The thing is, when they killed your idea, they planted the real threat inside you. Rip that thing out and crush it before it’s too late. Do not let them jeopardize your future work.
3. Think About the Stupid Things
The naysayers make you think this part of the process is foolish and thereby prevent you from doing it. If you don’t explore the silly, stupid, cliche, predictable, obvious, and tangent solutions, they will haunt you throughout your process. Get a sense of closure with these ideas. Sketch them out quickly so you can move on to bigger and better things. Sometimes they inspire other solutions, leading you down hidden paths of the jungle. Sometimes they just get the mind going.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Mess Up
No one is perfect, but the best trappers miss their game more than anyone else. That’s how they got to be the best. Their failings are little victories that teach them what to do and what not to do. Jump in and give it your best. The worst thing that could happen is you have to get out there and try again.
5. Marketing to Your Target Audience vs a Naysayer
Remember, the naysayers I’m talking about are not part of your audience and that is the problem. They don’t understand the tastes and preferences of the people you are trying to reach. Focus on your audience, not your naysayers. Make sure you have the audience’s ideals in mind.
Photo Credit weesam2010
So tell me, what’s your jungle like? Do you feel like your creativity is compromised because of your feelings towards what other people will think? How do you overcome these challenges? Let’s talk in the comments.