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The Importance of Growing 8 Arms

Ah creativity. So many ways to interpret it. So many different meanings. It’s often looked at as an ability to bring something new to life. For others it is not an ability, but a psychological process by which novel and valuable products are fashioned. No? Right on. Because for others, creativity is not the process but the product. Definitions of creativity range every which way because really there is no definitive expression that is right or wrong. One would be ill advised to think otherwise and believe there is a best single definition of creativity since creativity carries so many meanings. Creativity is, indeed, a multi-faceted phenomenon.

Admittedly, that is a long-winded introduction to my point. My wife has often said I am full of hot air and can go off willy nilly on tangents. See, I was about to go off on another one there. But back to my point. The importance of becoming as multi-faceted as creativity is itself. As a partner in my own ad agency, and long-time copywriter by trade, I’ve learned along the way to become just that. Multi-faceted. But years and years before I took this leap into the unknown, I always felt I was more than just a copywriter. That seemed so limiting to me. I kept learning lots of other disciplines. Not necessarily because I felt it was important but because I enjoyed it. I’ve since come to realize it is both. In the early years of my career, I learned Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator) and got pretty good at it. I was fortunate to have an extremely talented Art Director partner for many years who taught me lots of tricks so I was lucky there. But I learned on my own. I became capable of laying out my ideas, designing and retouching photography pretty well and enjoy it very much. Recently I have begun diving into After Effects and Premier to learn video editing and motion graphics techniques. It certainly piles on the weight on your shoulders but it’s a good weight. It has empowered me with an ability to expand my thinking as I have learned of new technology that opens the doors to new ideas. Being more skilled in these technologies makes your brain bigger, fatter and in the words of Kramer from Seinfeld, “mossy”! When concepting alone, with a partner or in a group, knowing other disciplines will lead you down roads to more novel, original and innovative thought, And so I truly believe it’s important to keep growing those arms. The resources to learn are everywhere. Lynda, Skillshare and Tutsplus are great obviously. But every program has tutorials of their own. Even further, all you really need to do is Google whatever it is you want to learn. Tutorials are just sitting there waiting for your little finger to press the video play button.

It’s an invaluable philosophy to hold true to, at any level.  If young creatives develop additional skills, and understand more than just their craft, as they move onward and upward they will, in my opinion, become more valuable to their clients and better teachers themselves.

So grow some more arms. And use one of them to crack open a beer and another one to pat yourself on the back because you’re making yourself one very powerful, highly valuable creative.

-James Rosene

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