If you value creativity, you will be able to relate with this. You pour out your talent, you innovation, and your passion into a product. You are excited to present that product to the client and then you ship it out to them. Then it happens. They don’t like it. This does not appeal. That doesn’t feel right. You pass along your best work, and the client just doesn’t feel like it fits with where they are going.
Here is the list of things you are thinking, but can’t say:
- Are you CRAZY?!?
- You don’t deserve my talent.
- That’s it…I’m finished! If I ever see your stupid faces again, it will be too soon.
- You REALLY don’t pay me enough to deal with this.
Ever been there?
Moments like this are what test your character as a creative. Moments like this are what test your motive as a creative. These are the times that push you to question why you do what you do. When the client rejects your work, you are at the starting line of a different race. You are beginning the race of service oriented creativity. Mind you, this is a very different race than the one you thought you would be running.
Here are some ways to become a service oriented creative:
Shirk Selfish Creativity
The current culture of creativity is overpoweringly me-oriented. But that’s the nature of art, isn’t it? We don’t create for the sake of others, we create for ourselves. I think that might be part of the problem. If you are a creative, you can’t create for others while focused on yourself. You cannot work for others and expect them to like what you like. You will find yourself consistently frustrated with situations like the one played out above. A change must take place in the realm of mindset. Service oriented creativity is the mindset of creating for the service and desire of others. If you can let go of me-oriented creativity, you will find that service oriented creativity will become second nature.
Create With Others In Mind
After you change your mindset, you will find yourself slowly becoming free. You will be free to create with others in mind. In order to do that, you will have to try to think like your clients. You will try to see the world from their eyes. You will bring their perspective toward your craft. It will change you for the better. As a service oriented creative, you will begin to bring products to the table that they love. Sometimes you will miss, but for the most part you will be focused on creating products that match the passion they have. Service oriented creativity hits the needs of the client because it is client focused.
Create For The Best Of Others
Once you put the client at the forefront of your thinking in the creative process, you will begin to hone your skills in service oriented creativity. You will know you are making that move when you make one last mindset shift. You have arrived when you begin to create for the best of the client. You will think in terms of what will be the best for the future of the client, not just a product the client will like best. When you do great work for the best of the client, you will develop a reputation. You will be the best at making clients better. You will be the type of creative that clients seek out.
For most of us, the type of creative you become, me-oriented or service oriented, will determine the demand for your work. You can always create for yourself, but you will be your only client. Your job at that point is helping others see the world the way you do. You will sell your creativity to the people who want to buy you, and you will build your value. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Or, you can create for the sake of others. You can create with clients in mind. The work you do might not always look exactly the way you would want it, but it will reflect the desire of your clients. You will sell your creativity to a broad range of clients, and you will build their value. There is nothing wrong with that either.
So, who is the client for your creativity?