Robert: Today’s Theme is creativity.
You are a creative. You have studied design in university and are constantly learning and researching all things design and innovation – So – Are you born with it or is it something you have to work on?
Michael: I definitely believe that there is an aspect of creativity that you are born with. Imagining the unimaginable is something that not everyone can do and to be able to think of a new idea every day is not something in my experience every one can do.
But you definitely have to work on it. You have to be aware of as many things past and present so you can evolve that thinking.
RD: Do you believe anyone can be creative?
MM: Yes I believe anyone can be creative – after all creativity takes a great many forms. So, even though there are aspects of creativity that may be innate there is still room for everyone.
RD: What’s your process for being creative when you are designing?
Is it different depending on the job – UX, Design, Branding, Campaign and ideation?
MM: I am quite driven by solving problems and thinking what a proposed audience may expect to happen – remembering that their expectation may be to be amazed.
I think for me the approach to a problem is often led by a desire to lead someone to a place where there expectation is met; for a logo, that may be the feeling of connection to the brand or the services the business provides. For Campaigns, its about conveying an insight that engages a consumer and inspires them to act etc.
RD: Like most creatives (except for those really annoying ones that lie) I am sure you get stretches without inspiration – how do you deal with “writers block” – any tricks you can share?
MM: The block you describe often comes from being over-focussed on the solution for too long. My best advice and this is why design is so much more complex than the average joe gives it credit for – and hence, why not being at your desk or just doodling or surfing the net is often the catalyst for the lightbulb moment.
RD: I know we often talk budgets about marketing but in your mind how big of a % of a campaign budget should be given to just the ideation and creativity phase? Do you think this is valued enough by clients?
MM: Well I think that is a tough one to answer because in some ways it may vary depending on the scale of the project.
For instance when you have a very small budget, there is in some ways even more strategic thinking required to find solutions that maximise the inherent limitation of the budget itself.
And for big projects – well you have a huge budget, now the balance is finding how to deliver a truely impactful idea and having enough money to amplify it.
But I would say between 25 – 50%
Do clients value it? I think some do and when they do the outcomes are often preferential.
But in many cases no. And I think that’s because often what we do is so intangible or easy.
If I make a product and it sits on a shelf and it costs a thousand dollars – that is an easily understood concept.
If I am designing a logo, or a piece of graphic art and it costs a thousand dollars – what if I don’t like it or in the case of a campaign it doesn’t work? For clients its these intangible variables that often impact on the perceived value of our “product”.
Often there is personal preferences or bigger broader influences that have an impact on the viability of a solution and that can sometimes make what we do difficult to quantify?
RD: The proof is in the eating sometimes and not just looking at the cake you have to see how it does in the real world I guess.