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Creativity and Getting Outside of the Box


Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper? Wondering where in the world to start? I have a suggestion. Turn the page upside down. Or better yet flip it over onto it's backside. Let it know who's boss. If your first idea is terrible, write it down anyway. If the next one is silly, redundant or stupid, write it down. Who knows, it may end up being a comedy direction and that first terrible line may end up being the punch line. You never know. You are jumping off a precipice into the unknown world of creativity and you need to be a leaf at the mercy of the wind or you will come crashing down with your fears in a ball flames every time.

Throw as much as you can against the wall and see what sticks. I own a jingle and music production company and I had an assignment to create a jingle, positioning statement (slogan), campaign for Petaluma Auto Plaza in Northern California. They have a huge electronic sign on Hwy 101 and we decided that this landmark was our key. So, what do you do with a big sign? It's huge and you can see it from everywhere. It's so big, it's like a monument. And what do you do with a monument? We decided to worship it. So I brought into the studio Jeannie Tracy (from Whitney Houston's band), a gospel singing Diva, to sing the following full-on hand clapping gospel jingle I SAW THE SIGN: "I was lost in the gloom of auto dealers and sales pitches, then I saw a light shining bright standing tall (Where to turn?)... I saw the sign (chorus answers 'I saw the sign') in Petaluma ('Petaluma Auto Plaza')" and on and on... If you'd like to hear it go to: http://soundad.com/sounds/ and click on Pet Auto Plaza. It's a smashingly successful campaign.

Sometimes "getting outside of the box" is about simplicity. I had a chain of camera stores in need of a jingle to brand their company name and a positioning statement (slogan) to bring people in. We did a market analysis and concluded that they were trying to reach two buyers: #1)Professional photographers who were developing their film. #2)New camera buyers who were serious about learning the craft. We came up with a simple line that appealed and spoke to both: WE DEVELOP PHOTOGRAPHERS

Creativity is not something I pull out of thin air. There is a process that I trust will lead me to something spectacular. I throw everything possible up against that wall without judgement or self criticism. If doubt creeps in, I throw doubt up against the wall. If I'm getting bored, I throw boredom against the wall and suddenly there is a humorous side that begins to appear. If I don't need humor, I throw it up against the wall and a new perspective opens up.

It's all good in the creative process and those of us who live it should honor it. It keeps us young because it's all about letting go, letting things flow and crawling outside of the box for a few moments.

Barry Volk - EzineArticles.com Expert Author

Barry Volk is a former producer/staff songwriter for ABC, MCA & Screen Gems-EMI Music Publishing, a 20th Century Fox solo recording artist, Musical Director for the West Coast Theater Company and National Director of Marketing for Metro Networks/Westwood One. His music production company, Barry Volk's Sound Advantage http://soundad.com, creates and produces musical identities and jingles for radio and TV advertisers worldwide from small market to national campaigns.


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