There are three types of creatives. Those who are creative by their name but are in fact laborers. Don’t get me wrong – our industry couldn’t make it without them. As one of my former CDs used to say, “we all work in service business”.
On the other end of the scale you find fuckheads who are certain about their pure creative genius. Most of them are unbearable, but at the end of the day it’s mostly them who end up on the red carpet. Or in a rehab. Or both.
In the middle there are the Doubters. I’m one of them.
Ever since I started my advertising adventure, I keep asking myself “am I creative or just lucky?”. Was this idea a strike of god, or a coincidence? Was this award well deserved, or my competitors had a weak year? Does this promotion reflect my talent or nepotism?
Fortunately, this is not a permanent condition. After all, they don’t pay us enough to justify nail biting on a daily basis. There are periods when I think nobody can beat my ideas. They may last for several weeks. Actually, despite all day to day shit shovelling, there always are more ups than downs.
And then BANG! All self-confidence is gone, briefs seem impossible to crack and my juniors appear to be way more enthusiastic than me.
A lot of my colleagues share the same creative schizophrenia. One day they feel (and act) like rockstars, the other day they’re a bunch of miserable losers with strong idea anxiety.
What does it say about us? First of all, it indicates we are intelligent. I’ve never met anyone who is both dumb and doubtful. Second of all, it helps me believe that our industry is a little more than just service. After all, Michelangelo was doing layouts for his clients and yet we all remember him as the creator.
So, don’t be afraid to doubt. Enjoy every self-confidence-less second of your career. Doubt makes you seek. Doubt makes you human. Doubt makes you creative. However weak you may feel, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re lucky enough, it doesn’t necessarily come from an approaching train.
And if that doesn’t help, you can always reach for the final solution: parenthood.
Yes, your children’s passion for life will affect you. Yes, their curiosity is contagious. Yes, you’ll feel purer looking at the world through their eyes.
But the real secret is, you’ll simply be too damn tired for some stupid dilemmas.
Bartek Klimaszewski, Creative Director, McCann Worldgroup, Poland