I am a big fan of the creative process, I always have been.
I love gathering with other ‘creatives’ and throwing ideas back and forth, dreaming and scheming to find the best way to tell the story. Chasing rabbits and finding dragons in clouds is one of my favorite past times.
In the creative process, it is very easy, especially when surrounded by other creatives, to come up with some really amazing concepts, that if not careful, make no sense. Don’t get me wrong - they are brilliant ideas…but without proper communication and bridges, something gets lost in translation.
Creatives have to remember that all people often see is the final product, not the process. So while something might make perfect sense in a brainstorming session, how many ideas from the original did it take to get there? If it is too many, chances are, the idea won’t translate. Often, creatives over create. Church is not an art gallery (although that would be awesome). It isn’t filled with people wanting to experience something abstract or inspiring, it is filled with people needing to encounter God, and if your creative moment does not have enough bridges, they will not only not understand it, chances are it will not point them to the cross. The creative process must always keep in mind, how will this translate?
Tricks to making sure it translates…
- share your idea with a complete outsider. Find the ‘average joe’ who isn’t trendy or creative, and see if they get it. My dad is often this person for me - he is not in my generation, doesn’t have a clue about pop culture, and wears white reeboks. Remember, they are your audience.
- sleep on it. I never decide something while in a creative meeting, that isn’t what they are designed for. I take a day or two, and look back at ideas and concepts after I have exited the glorious environment of the dreaming stage.
- choose your lingo wisely. Diction is HUGE! Sometimes, all it takes is some wise wording to bridge the gap between broken creativity and brilliant creativity.
Unfortunately, as most things in life, I’ve learned this the hard way. But it is a great, and necessary, lesson to learn. Creativity means nothing if no one understands it.