The Limits of Creativity
Creative people in a variety of industries (design, photography, broadcast, writing, etc.) complain when they feel that client instructions and project guidelines somehow limits their ability to be innovative.
I completely disagree with the idea that there are limits on creativity
If anything, a project’s boundaries will likely force you to be more creative in that just “any” idea won’t work — the final concept has to fit within guidelines set by your client. You’re going to have to be innovative in the way you apply solutions to the problem they’ve hired you to solve, because only a solution that meets all the criteria will be accepted.
Even when a client says “do whatever you want — you have total creative freedom” they rarely mean it. Any creative thinker worth their salt is immediately going to go with some crazy idea they’ve been saving for just this moment and it is SO out there that the client will back off their original statement simply because they never envisioned an idea quite so outrageous or expensive to execute.
When a client sets parameters on a project they are essentially giving you permission to be as creative as you like within those boundaries.
The limits your client sets in place might be any number of things…
- Due Date
- Audience Demographics
- Word Count
- Video Length
- etc., etc.
Limits mean you probably won’t be able to use the first (or second, or third, or fourth…) idea that you think of. It will be “perfect except for this element…” and then the next idea will account for that first element but break the rule on a second element. It might take hours or days to arrive at the best idea that matches the customer’s project criteria.