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The Creative Click

Bill Denham

Creative Director

It’s a phrase you tend to often hear when working your way through a degree in art, design, architecture, or even music and performing arts…”You’ll know it when you see it.” Sure sounds great. Like all the energy expended on the process will suddenly just ‘click’ into the right form or shape it desired all along. In many cases, this feeling does actually happen and it’s something that many experienced artists, designers, and the like both enjoy and struggle with on a daily basis. If you have a moment to follow along, we’d like to explain a bit about our interpretation of the ‘click’ after 15 years as digital artists.

You’ve Been Designing All Along

What you may or may not realize is that you have been designing and crafting for much of your life. It began early on with the choices you made learning to match your outfits, assimilation with animated characters throughout the years, or shaping your preferred music style after discovering what friends are listening to in the hallways at school. As we grow, we make even more decisions, like subconsciously appreciating the styling choices a designer has made that drew you to buy your first car, or more importantly, where we see ourselves going after high school. When we reach adulthood and begin our careers, it seems like we make less creative or artistic decisions and instead focus on houses, finances, job prospects, and more. While certainly not as crafty, all along these choices have been shaping the way you live your life. Many of them take place without even recognizing it, while others require more dedication, understanding, and commitment to a chosen path. In a similar process, we as digital designers and artists make choices that impact how our ability to perceive a client’s vision is judged. Try as we might, we can never appease everyone. However, what we can do is draw on our education, our experience, and our own unique ability to create visual elements that exceed client or audience expectations. With this expectation comes the reality that not every project is successful, and it’s far more likely that multiple rounds of revisions will happen rather than nailing it on the first try. Revisions are where the ‘click’ often lies.

Infinite Possibilities, Finite Time

If you’ve ever had a conversation with an artist of any medium and asked them if their creation is finished, you’ll likely get a half-convincing head tilting “yes”. As artists, nothing is ever truly finished. We are constantly revising, constantly visualizing, and constantly creating. While we would love every opportunity to create an infinite number of possibilities, the reality is that we are limited to a finite amount of time in which a client is expecting completion. So where is the happy medium then? How do artists avoid a revision rabbit hole and instead arrive at a desired outcome? The key is communication and collaboration. Somewhere along the line when working with clients these two actions join and in it, we find the “You’ll know it when you see it” opportunity. In our experience, there is a certain type of energy that is felt when a project arrives at this turning point. It’s the ability to align the swirl of thoughts in our right brain into a clear, concise path forward. One that encompasses critical conversation points and the back-and-forth teamwork of working through various tweaks and changes to reach a result.

Affirmation In Creative Choices

Ensuring a desired outcome is the common goal and early on in our careers we often lack the experience in understanding the best questions to ask and what cues to pick up on from our customers. As years progress, our process becomes more refined, and we learn to capitalize on past interactions in order to offer a more well-rounded visual approach to new projects. It is our job as designers to not only listen with our ears but also our eyes. As odd as that may sound, the visual cues we receive during discovery and feedback sessions help us navigate a project’s timeline and remain confident in our creative choices that lead to ah-ha moments. With 15+ years of experience designing for multiple industries and audience groups, the ah-ha moments are what continue to energize us. The clients and brands we have been fortunate enough to work with have allowed us to expand our knowledge and skillset in ways we never thought possible. To be able to step back, look at a project, and really understand how each element has led to a whole…that is what happens during our idea of a “You’ll know it when you see it” moment. So, regardless of the artistic talent you believe you have or don’t have, each of us has been designing in some way, shape, or form all along.

Whether you have 1 or 100 ah-ha moments during your life, the most important thing we can share with you is to use those moments to continue creating your vision forward. Thank you for taking the time to share in our ideas and thought processes. Please let us know your thoughts or ah-ha moments by continuing the conversation on our social media outlets.

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