Creatives = Risk Takers

Sometimes, creatives get a bad rap. There’s this conventional wisdom that they are difficult or have fragile egos. They are called prima donnas, although rarely to their faces. They are lumped together as a “type” as in, “oh, you know, he’s a creative type”. Of course, these behaviors are worth putting up with to receive the products of those problematic minds. To those claims I call bullshit – creatives are in fact the soul of marketing.

In reality, creatives inspire a thoughtful workplace.  They try things, push boundaries.  They are risk takers. And when they fall short, they always make it better the next time.

Creatives possess a unique capacity and are amazingly capable of taking critical feedback to their work. They have been trained to look at assignments as an evolutionary process, and are rarely pissed or disappointed when you provide constructive criticism.

In truth, I have enormous capacity for dumb ideas—my own and those of others. How will we get to the great ones if we don’t throw it all on the table? I don’t mean to imply that it’s a free-for-all and we do have discipline in place. We use creative briefs and other guiding tools to keep the team focused and on point. Chaos in the classic sense is not part of any creative process.

We mostly leave our creative team to its own devices. The account and strategy teams set-out to be clear in their expectations and direction with particular regard to deadlines. They classify and illuminate when needed. After that it’s the creatives’ responsibility to deliver.

King Fish just posted an infographic: The Top 16 Reasons to Work at a Small Agency. Except for two that are a bit tongue-in-cheek, all are meaningful to me. But I think the most important may be #6. When we challenge each other, it’s not company politics. It’s about doing our best work. For the client and for ourselves. There is enormous satisfaction in seeing an idea play out, through inspired graphic design, razor-sharp writing and overall execution that just crushes it.


To a person we all value everyone on our team, and we show that through words and actions. A core value here is to preach and practice respect; I appreciate generosity of spirit and hope that I exhibit the same. And I am grateful for the creatives who with their own interpretations bring our concepts to life.

I can’t be the only one. What’s your experience working with creatives? True to the stereotype or pleasant surprise?

Back to baiting the hook