Show up.

February 9, 2010

Working with other creative people is why I chose my career. Add working with some of the best creatives, judging some of the best work in the U.S. – it’s the makings of a perfect job.

My trip to Virgina Beach was one interesting event. Mostly due to the weather. It snowed almost a foot the weekend three other talented people and I were asked to judge their 2009 Addys. It also made for interesting travel. At one point, due to flight delays and over-booking, I had to board a plane by walking up to it via the tarmac.

The creative WOW was left to a few, as always, but what was more telling was the work… that wasn’t even close.

I guess it bothers me when some people call themselves creative and they don’t even understand the groundwork for what it takes to be good, let alone great. I’m talking about just getting the rules of graphic design and good ol’ advertising strategy down. We were judging the Addys right? I’m just sayn’.

I enjoy coaching people and their creativity. Especially when THEY define what is great and at the very least, good enough. That’s because they know how to set the bar is for what is great. Not because they just do know, but because they learned something along their journey of creativity to actually want to be talented, not just to be “creative”.

They show up ready to do what’s necessary to do great work.¬†They seek out others who inspire them and see the things they are creating. They look for mentors from whom they can learn from. They find others who challenge them and they challenge others. Quite simply, they give a shit. And these people aren’t always in the creative departments of where we work, they exist everywhere. From owners of companies and CEO’s to Marketing Directors and Account Executives, we’re all responsible for “great”. It’s the difference of whether or not you show up and work hard at what you believe you can achieve and what you can accomplish with others.

Are you “being creative” or are you a “creative being”? Everyone has the capacity to create, and to judge what’s “creative”. But just because you’re standing next to the President doesn’t make you the VP. In other words, just because you ran an ad doesn’t make you creative, let alone a creative great. It takes more than osmoses to actually understand how to be really good. It takes effort, you have to be obligated to it.

Talented people work hard at their skill. Their work shows it. It’s obvious. And it stands out against work that, well, doesn’t show up.

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