Creativity is perceived as something that can’t be taught — a spontaneous and unorganized spark that can strike at any moment.
It can be a messy process, full of rewrites, crumpled pieces of paper, and maybe a panic attack or two.
However, when creativity is your business, the inherent chaos must be tamed.
Creativity can and should be a process that follows a defined set of procedures and steps.
Employing the following steps won’t eliminate the drama completely, but should spare you the Greek tragedy that sometimes takes place behind the scenes.
1. Define Your Workflow
The first step to streamlining the creative process is providing a comprehensive guide that outlines each step in the development of your work.
As a content creator for hire, this guide could outline when and how your client will receive, review, and approve the work you created for them.
Doing so takes the guesswork out of the workflow.
There is a fear that applying a set of steps to creativity means conforming to a one-size-fits-all approach.
However, by instilling efficiencies and presenting a cohesive plan upfront, you’ll spend less time convincing key stakeholders they’ll love an idea, and more time creating something they actually will.
If knowledge is power, then communication is muscle. There’s nothing worse than a surprise outcome in this business.
By the time your first edit is done, the only outbursts should be those of enjoyment and satisfaction.
This is because style, tone, and flow all will have been agreed upon and communicated before your editor has even turned on her computer. And remember, communication works both ways.
You, as the creative professional, have a handle on what will work and what won’t from a creative standpoint. But the subject knows their messaging better than you ever will.
Asking the right questions and getting them to communicate their needs early will help unlock key pieces of information necessary to be successful.
3. Remember: Risks Reap Rewards
There’s a reason robots aren’t taking over our industry.
Innovators have tried, but the second you remove human beings from the equation you also remove a lot of the emotion that we respond to.
Happiness, sadness, and fear aren’t easily replicated by non-sentient beings. But establishing a workflow and communicating the process shouldn’t completely eliminate the risk and fear that comes with creativity.
We know, for example, that if an idea doesn’t make everyone a little uncomfortable, chances are we’re playing it too safe.
A messy work space, sloppy outfit, and illegible note-taking all are acceptable in the creative industry. But when it’s time to show your ideas and your progress, take our advice and clean it up.
For more strategies and best practices from our industry experts, check out our sister-site Beyond Broadcast.
Jillian Breslin has been a MultiVu creative producer for seven years. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from Fordham University and has been with MultiVu ever since. She oversees and produces most of MultiVu’s animated videos and leads the team’s ideation sessions and workflow strategies.