Over the years, my creative team and I have had many discussions about what sparks and engages the creative mind to produce ideas. One theme has come up repeatedly, and it deserves to be shared. Anyone who is not tasked with “making things” everyday may be under the impression that the best thing for creativity is having anything go – you know – free rein, an open range, if you will. However, if you’ve ever faced a blank screen when you need to write content or have to come up with something from nothing, there’s a paralysis of nothingness that can happen given a lack of subject, time limit, audience or goal.
Blank screen (or paper) syndrome is a thing. If you google it, you’ll see pages of advice on how to get past it. This reaction to “nothing” holds true for developing any kind of creative with no constraints. Because, well, creative abhors a vacuum, and a blank screen is a vacuum that sucks the life out of idea generation. Fortunately, we here at d.trio are curious and we let that drive our creative process. This is why we ask questions about goals, audience, brand and many other things. These questions allow us to start putting the constraints down on paper that will help us develop the big idea. Constraints give us something to push against, think around or a deadline to get something done. They help give context to idea generation and inspire creativity.
But don’t just take my word for it, here’s an article from Pocket that illustrates a very famous Dr. Seuss example and suggests some ways to use constraints to your advantage.
In case you’re wondering, I also gave myself some constraints so I’d finish this blog post today. So the next time you are frustrated because your agency account manager is asking you many questions about your latest creative project, have mercy on them and answer to the best of your ability. They just want to find the constraints that will ultimately bring you their best creative work.