Can producing scratch your creative itch? Senior Producer Natalie Studdert on how expanding the definition of creativity unlocks its potential.
In the world of branding and design, there's often a perceived divide between the creators, the imaginative right -brainers, and the organizers, the logical planners. But what if I told you that it's possible not only to thrive at the intersection of these seemingly contrasting worlds but to find a unique and fulfilling career path? Welcome to the wonderful world of producing.
Growing up, I was always equal parts creative and planner. I would design a new outfit out of Mum’s old material, rally the entire neighborhood to watch my first hit play “Mr. Scadoodlepopple,” or film and present the latest news report on our VHS. I’d manage to wrangle my friends to join me and the neighbors to watch and produce the whole event without a hitch.
As I got older, the pressure to choose between creative and logical pursuits intensified. I had to fight my school to convince them to let me keep my design subject along with my extended mathematics—it was more than possible to excel in both without compromising either.
When it came to university, I remember attending the Architecture school's annual open day and was instantly drawn to the tangible nature of design—a chance to shape spaces with meaning and purpose, merging design and logic. I was captivated by the meticulously designed models, vibrant renders, and intricate diagrams. However, in hindsight, I realized that it was the presentation, representing logical plans in a creative way that truly hooked me.
As I embarked on my journey, I delved deeper into the realms of creativity, immersing myself in the fascinating world of 3D techniques. Countless nights were spent in computer labs, experimenting with Photoshop, honing my skills. I realized quickly that I wasn't a great budding architect–I was just good at talking the talk and making my (quite honestly) average designs look spectacular on paper. So I said goodbye to Architecture and jumped head first into the world of 3D visualization–working as a 3D and photoshop artist. As much as I loved the creative side of things, I was equally drawn to the orchestration of it all. I yearned to be in client meetings, assist in pitches, manage shoots, and streamline staff schedules. I needed to talk to people! But it wasn't just about the conversations; it was about my somewhat unhealthy love of spreadsheets and meticulous planning. I found immense satisfaction in organizing every detail, ensuring that all the pieces of a project fit together seamlessly. Lucky for me, the need for producers with a technical understanding was apparent, someone who could bridge the gap between architects, engineers, developers, marketing teams, and creatives.
I have to admit, I was nervous about making the switch to production. I had always identified as a creative, and I didn't want to let go of that part of me. I was concerned that people might discount my input because I wasn't in the creative team anymore.
Yet, as I delved deeper into the world of production, it all started to make sense. Producing wasn't saying goodbye to my creativity; it was giving it another life.
It meant I could help bring out creativity in others, enable them to imagine what our clients' needs were and come up with inventive solutions—all while being immersed in a creative world. This not only inspired me daily but also became a powerful tool for problem-solving. When faced with challenges, I could approach them with an intuitive and creative mindset, using empathy to understand root issues, anticipate client needs, and find innovative solutions. It made me realize that producing is inherently creative, involving the craft of tailoring experiences and solutions to the unique requirements of each project.
This realization transformed my perspective on creativity. I now understand that creativity encompasses much more than traditional artistic expression. It's about problem-solving, empathetic communication, and innovative thinking in all aspects of life and work. Recognizing the depth of creativity has expanded my toolbox, allowing me to approach every task with a fresh, creative lens.
At Trollback + Company, our motto is simple yet profound— "beauty + logic." It's a reflection of our belief that true excellence emerges when thinking and making work hand in hand. My journey has only reinforced this belief, reminding me that the sweet spot, the nexus of true potential, lies in the delicate balance between creativity and practicality.
Whether you're a creator or a producer, or simply someone navigating their unique path, remember that creativity and logic are not adversaries; they are partners in a grand symphony of innovation. Embrace both worlds – it's in their harmonious blend that we unlock the full spectrum of human potential.
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