Thiago’s masterclass was one of the first ones at SCA and I found it not only very inspiring but beyond helpful. As an aspiring art director I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him share his work and go into depth about his own creative process. I feel like everyone who has spoken about their own process so far has such an individual approach and I look forward to seeing how mine develops and grows over this year.
Thiago spoke about many aspects of art direction from not allowing your visual work to cancel out the copy to the basic fact of allowing your mind to imagine and develop thoughts before you put pen to paper, or finger to trackpad. But, the aspect of his class I found most useful was his advice on getting started and what to do when you get stuck.
As we all have, I have experienced crazy anxiety about starting a project and actually getting out that initial idea, (which is usually a load of shit, but it’s good to purge these!) Throughout my life I have constantly had to remind myself that I will never be in a worse position as I am before I start. Any idea is a helpful idea, it gets the brain moving. Getting stuff down is the hardest part of project for many people, including myself and it is also one of the most important! Sharing, developing, reproducing and growing those ideas with others is such a great part of the creative process. Sharing, I find, is especially useful; I’m glad he put emphasis on this. Bouncing ideas off a work partner or a friend or even my Dad is fantastic, they point out things that you would have never noticed but as soon as they mention it, it seems so simple and obvious. You inspire them and they inspire you.
But …. Sometimes it happens ….. The dreaded thing… you’re stuck. It can happen to all of us, we are at the beginning of our ideas purging process and 4 ideas deep we get completely stuck. I hate that feeling. Thirty seconds ago you were doing great, your ideas were flowing and for whatever reason your brain sort of just turns to mush ( that’s how I feel anyway). This is usually the point I get anxious again but I thought Thiago pointed out the wonders of fully immersing your brain and body in a completely new activity for as long as you need until those magical brain juices start going again. By doing this you are distracting yourself from what you are stuck on and newer, more natural ideas are a lot more likely to occur.
I have decided to make a list of other activities I can apply myself to for next time I find myself in this position.
- Work on a different brief ( so obvious but can be so helpful )
- Go on a walk
- Go on a cycle
- Go for a swim at the gym
- Go for a swim in the ocean (if you can, cold water swimming is always great)
- Watch a film
- Watch an episode of Come Dine with me
- Make a sandwich
- Make iced tea
- Call my Grandpa
- Play piano
- Try and make an origami swan
- Teach yourself how to do a headstand
- Practice subconscious drawing
- Sort out your spice cupboard
- Deep clean the dishwasher
- Take magic mushrooms
- Make a bonfire
- Go to a casino and play roulette, put all your money on red
- Go to the park and stroke exactly 7 different breeds of dogs.
Now this is just a vague list, its definitely depends on the circumstances in which you are working, the urgency to get your stuff done, what you’re working on and who you’re working with but I can confirm from experience that 95% will help with some sort of brain block and I’m prepared to try the other 5% out sometime this year. Bonfire night is pretty soon….