5 Stages of Creative Grief – By @joeyfraser95

By Joe Fraser

5 Stages of Creative Grief

So when we had to choose between New Covent Garden Soup, Gale’s Honey and Tilda Rice I thought it would be easy. “I’ve got a cuh-razy idea for the soup that’ll blow the other ones away like a leaf in the bloody wind”. Instead what I found was myself losing my idea, my baby, through the 5 stages of grief.


  1. Denial

I first got my idea shot down by Olly, who said almost instantly after reading my brief “well, it’s not exactly true is it?” I, of course, decided to fight back, protecting my baby like a mother goose. “What do you meeeean, mate?! That’s obviously what soup does! It brings people together and there’s a flavour for everyone.” He then said that if we’re focusing on the fact that there’s a range of options then we could make my idea work. I left this stage feeling a bit annoyed but ultimately determined to bring my idea to life.


  1. Anger

My next stage of losing my baby was anger, where I was met by Pete. He came over and weirdly enough quite liked the idea. He said the premise made sense and that putting the squabbling over dietary needs in an apocalyptic world was a massive jump but a fun and unique one. Well, fucking grand that innit? But then came the kicker. He said it wasn’t necessary. And that condensing that idea down into a case study video wasn’t the right way to approach the brief. I was livid. I was confused why my idea worked but not this time. I flipped chairs and I smashed windows (in my mind). My face was hot and my emotions volcanic.


  1. Bargaining

I went home that night feeling a bit defeated but determined. I knew my idea was good and I was going to convince people otherwise, regardless of what they thought initially. My housemate was sitting, eating his dinner in bliss, without a care of the advertising world when I came home and descended on him.


He seemed a bit shocked at first but once I slowly explained to him the world that my idea lived in and how I would advertise it he started nodding and said: “yeah I get it.”

I breathed a sigh of relief.

“But it’s not really what New Covent Garden Soup is like though is it? They’ve got a cute little cottage in the front and their packets are small and cutesy and -“

I’d heard enough,


  1. Depression

I came into school the next day defeated. No ad would ever come close to the greatness and world-changing world of post-apocalyptic New Covent Garden Soup. I didn’t want to think about bloody rice or honey – they seemed inferior to the mighty soup that could transcend genre and food preferences. When I sat down with Leli she had happily moved onto Gale’s Honey and was scamping away nicely into the day. I grumbled a bit and joined her, constantly thinking of my soup and how great it would’ve been if it had come to life. I was sad that an idea wasn’t right and that I had to start again. It felt exhausting, like a black cloud above you.


  1. Acceptance

When we started working on honey I was slow to it. I would work on looking up ads and the history behind the brand. And as I did more and more research I realised that, yeah, I actually do like honey. And bees. There’s something totally unique about the product. How it’s made by bees and how it lasts forever (it never goes off). And as I scamped more and got out the studio and into a coffee shop, and continued to scamp more I found myself now in the world of Gale’s Honey. Where new ideas were coming to me and I realised that this would always happen. I’m blessed to be a creative and to have fun ideas and I shouldn’t get caught up on the one because it may never come to be. It happens when I write plays and it happens when I try to draw something too – some things are not meant to be. And I have to accept that. And I have. It is difficult because ideas are something you’ve grown and nurtured…literally a baby, but it’s okay to let them go. Empty nest syndrome happens but it happens fast. You move onto a new brand and new idea and realise that everything is okay now. You are okay.

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