What is it that draws a person to create, to experiment with graphics, play with typography and mess with colour? What makes a designer want to design? And how can we encourage and support that creativity while at the same time producing a commercially viable product for our clients?
At their core, designers are artists. In order to create, artists need to find their peaceful place – often known as their Zen or zone. There’s a uniquely intimate relationship between a designer and their creation. Once a designer is in their Zen – there is no stopping them.
Eric Maisel, PhD, author of Creativity for Life which talks about the challenges of making a living being a creative says: “Artists are not introspective – meditative, thoughtful, lost in time and space – because they wish to ignore the world. They’re introspective because out of that attitude artistic answers flow.”
But to find that ‘flow’ we, as businesses, need to give our designers time and space. The idea that people are only working when they are sat at their desk is a false economy in creative industries. To do their best work, designers have to have inspiration and that won’t necessarily come staring at a computer screen.
It may seem commercially controversial to give your designers half a day to walk around an art gallery, or take a hike into the surrounding countryside. But it will pay dividends. Or you might like to consider suggesting they take some time out to work on a personal project. The idea being that they will come back to their desk refreshed and bursting with new ideas.
Look at Google and Facebook. They do exactly that and no-one can say they are not commercially viable.
Our clients at MBC Group love our creative energy, so we have to trust and allow our designers time to find their creative space. In return the designers have to motivate themselves and take on the responsibility that working in a business environment demands.
But with the demands within a company, and especially working with extreme time pressures, how can a designer ensure their creative flows and they express themselves while still meeting their clients’ needs? How do professionals in the business of design create an environment that produces great creative work within the constraints of their client’s budget? I guess that’s a slightly different debate and one for next month’s blog.