Monday, 1 September 2014

There Is No Creativity In Group Workshops

I know this is not a particularly controversial or new opinion (for most people working in agencies) but the other day something clicked whilst reading Enrique Lafuente Ferrari in Goya’s Complete Etchings, Aquatints, and lithographs and I think I’ve got a clear articulation as to why not.

‘To be truly great, an artist must be able to create a world of his own, born from that driving urge which is the very essence of all art. In conception, this world must be coherent, and full of the instincts, intuitions, and passions that move humanity. To bring it all to life, the artist must depend not only upon his graphic talent and creative ability, but on his fantasy and imagination. Then, if it is his fortune to be gifted in this way, the most secretive workings of his soul and mind will find expression in line and form, light and shade, all inspired by that inner vision without which mere competence is nothing’ 

I am not trying to say that people who work in advertising are truly great artists, I am trying to say that I think we can learn from them, especially artists that have been commercially successful. Because we are also in the business of selling stuff and we are already mimicking what they do. We already try to create [brand] worlds that are coherent and so over time consistent, whilst also full of the ‘passions that move humanity’ that can make our work distinctive.

The most commercially successful artists are without doubt consistent and distinctive, which according to Professor Byron Sharp is exactly what advertising should be.

Think of Hirst or Picasso - this list could be endless but for brevity's sake I’ve picked two people who made a fuck load of cash whilst alive.

They are nothing if not instantly recognisable because they are distinctive and consistent.

Maintaining a consistent and distinctive [brand] world is SO difficult for a group of people to do that we need all sorts of tools (onions, guidelines, archetypes, keys, pyramids…) to do it and even then it still goes wrong sometimes.

The fact that it is so difficult even to maintain something as a group should be an indicator of how impossible it is to create something great.

Because a group of people can not have one ‘inner vision without which mere competence is nothing'.

What do you think? Give me a shout @LucianTrestler

P.S. If you liked the post and fancy giving it a shout out on twitter you'll make my day!

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