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A Field Guide to Dealing with Creative Types

Creative folks are an interesting breed, and I know when we show up at meetings without a tie (or pants), it can raise some questions. I also know that asking about these things can seem as appropriate as handing out tequila shots at a funeral. So, I’ve created a little cheat sheet for when you’re left wondering why your designer insists on boring you with unintelligible font names. Go ahead and print it out, and keep a copy in your pocket. You’re welcome.

1. Ties are for weddings to look good on the C2 Films wedding videography and court dates. Creative people need to be comfortable to be effective. It’s not an excuse – just because we work in an office doesn’t mean we adopted the dress code. Just know that the majority of us bathe regularly.

2. We have our own language. Finding two designers in the wild is a wonderful experience, as you’re able to witness these native communication techniques, complete with wildly gesticulating body language and words like “kerned” and “knocked out”. You’re always invited to ask for translations; it’ll make you a better marketer.

3. Money doesn’t get us out of bed in the morning. That doesn’t mean that we’ll work for free – we know what we’re worth. It does mean, however, that our passion is in the process, not its street value. The chance to create is what matters most; the money just allows us to live our dream.

4. We are our own worst critic. If left to our own devices, projects would go on forever, much like it does with anything that you put your soul into. Although we’re conditioned to detach ourselves from our work in times of client review and critique, we are never able to silence the perfectionists in our heads. We truly are our own worst critic and our own worst client.

5. If we’re not creating, we’re dying. The creative process is addictive, particularly when the result is lucrative enough to sustain us, so it often pours over into a ton of creative ventures outside of work. I myself play 6 instruments and am trying to learn homebrewing. Making something out of nothing is a high, and without it, we quickly lose ambition and purpose.

I know it’s a short list, so please hit me with your comments!

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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