The Drawing Board

Someone once asked me what my favorite part of the creative process was and to that I answered ‘nothing.’

I don’t despise what I do, quite the contrary. Turning an idea into reality (or a close facsimile) is one of the most exciting things I can think of, especially when I look back at what I started with… nothing. A blank canvas, a clean slate, call it what you will. Every project starts there, and for me there's no other place I'd rather be.

Think about it, from here you can literally go anywhere. Perhaps you might decide to ‘this’ in place of ‘that’ or ‘zig’ where others might ‘zag’. The paths are many and the possibilities endless! That’s why I love brainstorming so much. There are no wrong answers, just ones that seem, for some reason or another, more true. In a way, it’s a lot like fishing, you wait (for what sometimes seems like forever) for a bite. And like fishing, the more lines you cast out, the greater your chance of catching the big one. But before you set your boat adrift among the hypothetical waves of your imagination, it’s important to carve out a little place where your thoughts can gather and organize. Socrates had his scrolls. Galileo collected manuscripts. We have our white boards. Way back in the early days of cycle 1, the freshly painted walls of our Launchpad office began to quickly subside into the ranks of obscurity. Research documents, Post-It notes and cat memes hung from every corner of the office with all of the spontaneity that might remind one of the set of the movie Se7en. It became apparent that our creative process, while spirited, could benefit from a little organization. You can imagine my astonishment when, following a simple ‘wouldn’t it be great if’ moment, Bill Hughes, the H in HLK, stopped by to tell us he’d ordered whiteboards for our office.

A critical part of working in a group is making sure everyone is on the same page. When balanced with regular time to regroup and reflect, collaboration can be a beautiful thing. Did the success of our team hinge upon and a piece of laminate and set of dry erase markets? Of course not, like most anything it’s merely a tool to facilitate productivity. But for me, nothing beats a creative brief, a cup of coffee and a good old whiteboard.