As a self-confessed sucker for craft, I often dangle between timelines and high-quality deliverables. How far will you go to ensure quality and how fast will you run to be able to deliver that? How much are you ready to burn for that and is it all worth it in the end? And after all, are there any more clients who are also ready to run with you for the same?
Like many junior advertising professionals who grew in the 90s and early 2000s crafting both in art and copy was the first step to becoming what you came to the industry for. We grew up hearing the number of lines thrashed by Mohammad Khan and witnessed printouts in the trash can that thrashed your ego with it by the likes of Elsie Nanji. Today those would equal to the number of resignations you would witness…well in your inbox. The egos became fragile, timelines shrunk and the likes of those who fret over craft shrunk with it.
Let me also give you some good news without sounding like a grandmama remembering the good old days.Turns out that the NFT-obsessed digital junkies of today thrive in craft delight too! As a judge in the D&Ad typography craft category, I was pleasantly surprised and excited like a child to find delight in fine craft. The mediums have changed but the human spirit to create beauty that lingers on in your mind stays. And this is something that will stay forever, after all as humans we find solace and joy in everything positive and beautiful. But the point is are you ready to push a little harder for that? And yes, there are a few brave clients who are ready to fight for it, grab them if you can!
But what can we do to let that spirit thrive? I’ve put down a few thought starters below, to begin with:
Choose your battles wisely
There will always be those daily templated posts and some projects that shout, ‘Do me well and I will give back’. Choose where you want to put that extra effort.
Listen to your heart
when identifying which are those projects. Big or small, you will know the projects that your soul is aligned with. These are the projects asking for something you are great at. After all, everyone is great at something.
Find your ‘something’
The good news is there is absolutely no one like you and now do a little dance with that! I want you to move that booty when reading this and feel the freedom that comes with it. That feeling of lifting that pressure of competition, what will people say blah blah out of the window. And now embrace how light your soul feels! Do this every morning and every time you feel burdened by the world and what social media throws at you.
Unravel those layers to reach within and embrace what is truly unique within you. That’s your north star. That’s where you will find where you can shine. And now create with that light. What you will create with that honesty has to be beautiful and this is what will linger on in people's minds and find space in their hearts.
When you find something you love, worship it
Yes, after finding what your heart desires how can you cheat on it? Be it a story that will pass by in a jiffy, a long passion project or just a side hustle, when you find something that makes you forget the world…push harder, and the fruits are there. Sharpen, sharpen further till you are happy with it. Listen to your heart again, it will know if it is not there yet. No cheating here again!
Lastly, sell with the same honesty
When presenting your ideas to the client or the decision maker share them with the same honesty you created them with. I’ve often seen clients receiving ideas best from the creators themselves. Show them the value, share the pains you went through to find them that magical solution and now dare them to reject it..even if they do, they will never forget you or that idea.
There is magic in creating, crafting, communicating and seeing it well received. From one heart to another. And didn’t we all become creative professionals in search of this magic?
The author is ECD and head of art at Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi.