Unlocking Creativity

Creative Director Billy Henshaw has seen our industry change and adapt in a lot of unexpected ways over the past months, here is what he’s learned about fostering creativity from home. 

I often think back to the creative directors I’ve worked with over the years and wonder just how they would have coped over the past few months. 

Some would certainly have struggled with adapting to the new way of working from home, let alone communicating on Zoom, while others would have just said, “fuck it, lets get on with it!”

One thing they and I would have been able to agree on during these strange times is that being creative becomes a reassurance. It’s a way to lose yourself thanks to the process of answering a problem with an idea, no matter how big or small. 

This seed of creativity – of positivity – if nurtured correctly can grow immeasurably. It may not be fully able to withstand all the difficulties the post Covid-19 world will throw at us, but there’s no reason that it can’t help to make a difference to every part of our lives, and hopefully help us have some fun again along the way.

Sometimes it’s good to be creative when you’re alone with your thoughts, having a quiet moment to focus on an idea. But from being an agency team used to brainstorming, creating and presenting together we’re now on our own – not all of the time, but still partly disconnected. This can be a struggle, lonely and frustrating. You might find yourself thinking out loud “is what I’m doing right? I can’t focus working with the family around, I could do with a change of scene!” These are normal things to think, but can be combated thanks to the collaborative nature of creative work.    

In our enforced separation it’s been so important to keep the team together, connected, communicating and aware of what we’re all doing and how we’re all feeling. It’s something that sometimes got lost in the office, even when we sat next to each other. 

Positives have to be taken from what we’ve been through, one of the main ones being that technology and social channels exist and have enabled us to have relatively normal working lives. 

But now in this new normal there have been a lot of benefits to working from home over these past few months. No commute, no meetings for the sake of meetings and no getting sidetracked with agency politics has allowed for more creative brain capacity. I can go and walk the dog to try and get some inspiration whenever I need to (he has a lot of walks by the way) and we can still brainstorm together whenever we need to, we just do it on Zoom.  

It’s really made me consider my colleagues more, how we work together, our relationships with clients, the office, my family, my friends, my world. It’s made me think a lot more of how we all work and communicate together and apart, and it’s made for so many more focussed and dynamic actions both individually and as a collective team. 

I’m seeing people empowered, not micromanaged, not seeing or doing things as they always have. In other words, it’s made room for us all to be that little bit more creative every single day.

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