What does it take to be a great creative?

Published 27.11.2012

There’s a few things that you can see in all great creatives. I exclude myself from that category, before anyone thinks this is a self praising piece.

And before I get going, an old, but important quote: ‘Talented people are often hard to manage. But not all hard to manage people are talented.’

So it’s not about arrogance. Impatience. Aggressiveness. And it not about being humble. Saying yes. And doing what you think the client will buy.

Nor is it about stubble, checked shirts and thick rimmed black glasses. Trust me. I rock all three.

Talent, creative and commercial talent, is something that impossible to put a finger on. But…

All great creatives I know, are interesting. And they do interesting things. Even if they don’t talk about it.

They have taste. Maybe not their clothes, hair or beard. But they have taste nonetheless. They know what’s cool or clever. It’s innate in them. And what they see as cool or correct, others agree. They don’t nod politely. The nod in agreement.

They’re curious too. They want no know how things work. And why things happen. And why people do things. And why they don’t.

They enthusiastic. They want to create. They want to make special things. And do special things. And love a blank page. And when they get knocked down… Even when it hurts, they stand up and go again.

They’re bright. Not maybe in the classic sense. But there’s always a light on behind they’re eyes. And possess a quickness that most are jealous of.

They love advertising and creativity. They don’t pay lip service to it. They know they’re business. They know they’re subject intimately.

They do different things. New things. Things that haven’t been done. They invent.

They know the secret that makes someone great. Every job is a chance to do something special. Ad while it may feel like the client that holds us back, it’s not. It’s ourselves.


They’re special. And most of them, the true greats, don’t always act like it.