The Big Red Jelly team recently attended the Circles Conference in Dallas Texas and learned from brilliant design professionals. I got the chance to meet with Josh Webber, the co-founder of Big Red Jelly to hear what he learned from the conference.
He said, “The biggest thing that stood out to me was, I was so inspired by these head of creatives, there were three characteristics that just kept standing out to me that were common across all of them.”
Characteristic 1: Genuine Curiosity
People who are creative are genuinely curious and want to know as much as they can about their projects and everything that surrounds them. Josh used an example he heard about at Circles. A farmer had asked the speaker for help with new branding and packaging for their products.
“He just went on an hour-long presentation about the farm. Not about him, not about the creative process, not about the tools he used, but he went on an hour-long speech about how obsessed he became with the history of the farm. The materials they used to build the shed, the materials they used to build the bar, and the background of the owner. The background behind the previous owner… It was genuinely a deep dive of curiosity into this plot of land.”
Having such in-depth knowledge and genuine interest in the client speaks volumes about the designer as an individual and on a professional level. There is inspiration for your work all around. Taking this approach can help you find that unique angle and help your work have a deeper meaning to you and your audience.
Think of this as a skill. Because that’s what curiosity is! All skills are the same way. The more you do something, the easier your brain will adapt to it. Inspiration will become easier and easier to find.
“I think it is something that can be learned just like any other skill.” -Josh Webber
Characteristic 2: Worrying Less About the Tools, More About the Results
The tools we use in all creative fields bring to life a picture or a feeling that we created in our minds. It’s the beauty of the field, to communicate these things to others without having to say anything. But sometimes we might give these tools too much credit in the creative process.
Josh told me about a writer who was working on a book about nature.
“Being genuinely curious, he would walk a lot in the woods and try to get inspiration. He would pick up stones, mushrooms, pine cones, leaves and twigs. And he would use those as ink stamps and ways to get texture onto a page. Then he would vectorize and bring into Adobe and then create these really interesting animals using the textures from these elements that he found from nature.”
Knowing how to use computer programs is important. But the goal isn’t just to say ‘I’m a master at Indesign and Photoshop’. These programs are tools, not the root of creativity.
Josh quotes the writer from the conference, “No, no, no. It was more about what’s the outcome I want. I want some original nature-centric work and that’s what I’m going to do… I don’t care how I get there. I’m just going to get there. So again, worry less about the tools and the techniques.”
Characteristic 3: Depth of Storytelling
“In today’s day and age with these quick dopamine hits of I want an answer, I want an ad, I want content in 5 seconds or less… We are obsessed with short form content. I think we’ve lost the art of in-depth storytelling, bring multiple pieces together in a complex way to tell a story.”
Storytelling can take place in many forms. It can be effectively done in copywriting, brand messaging, brand identity, and in other formats as well. Something Josh consistently saw during the Circles conference was that all the speakers knew how to tell stories.
“I mean , they were good orators. They weren’t necessarily great at just speaking, but they were good at telling a story… And I think that is, again, an area that has been lost. “
Simple, short from content can only go so far with someone. It’s easier to scroll away because there is no emotional depth or interest beyond a few seconds. Then it’s on to the next dopamine hit. And so on.
“I think it’s ingrained in our DNA. I think it’s ingrained in who we are… That is going to be a superpower for you going forward in the creative space ” Josh remarks.
The Big Red Jelly team values creativity in every step of the brand, build, and grow process, and we will help you apply these aspects of creativity into your business. Big Red Jelly is full of top notch industry experts who can help you design your brand and website to be both functional and creative. To work with our creative team and learn from their expertise, schedule a consultation using this link.