At a Crossroads – By @CharlesHueWill1

By Charles Hue Williams 


At a Crossroads


What are we looking for when we judge each other’s work? 


Are we looking for the potential of what an idea could be or the finalisation of what an idea has produced thus far?


As relevant a question as this might seem, it is not one that had previously dawned on me to ask. 


It actually came up in a conversation I was having with my peers. I was surprised to find that I had different points of view and that mine was in the minority. 


Their perspective was that the work we show, should be judged on its delivery and how well the idea has been communicated. 


I completely agree with this approach and see the value in how a well presented case study, can be helpful in communicating our ideas. 


We have even seen examples of well communicated work that hasn’t necessarily been built from the strongest of ideas but has still grabbed our attention, showing the importance of good craft. 


It is for this reason, however, why I disagree with my colleagues. We are taught to be yes people and therefore should always be on the hunt for the potential in an idea. Even if we see it in only part of the original, I believe we should be judging that potential. 


When we have our own ideas, they may not be initially perfect but many of the parts we start with, become the blocks for much better ideas. 


I appreciate that we are given deadlines, just like we would in the industry and from this aspect I understand the method of judging the work as a whole. We are not the client however, we are fellow creatives. Yes our work is shown to clients in these raw forms but that should not mean the idea can’t grow from that point on.


I feel we shouldn’t just be looking at the work as completed pieces but also be searching for their potential. The areas where these ideas can be developed further. The parts that surprised us. The prospects that can change them from good to great. We need to try and understand the vision that led the creative team to that execution and then build upon the worth we see.


I certainly see the importance of looking at the work from the clients perspective but personally see more value in viewing it as a Creative Director, deciding what you could work with and what you wouldn’t. This seems the most obvious way to hone one’s own skill, recognising the potential in our ideas. 


This questioning however, has also shown me the importance of craft. If I am part of the few inclined to think this way, it means I need to remember that my ideas are being seen for what they are, not what they could be. This is an invaluable lesson, which has helped me identify why potentially some of my own ideas have not been received in the way I had initially hoped.


Even writing this I am unsure as to which is the right way to approach each other’s ideas. Should our deadlines be seen as final submissions or initial communications?


Personally I will continue to look at work with an open mind, but will remember that people may be looking at mine for what it is, rather than what it could be. 


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