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10 Reasons your work doesn’t suck, 8 of 10

by / Monday, 12 August 2013 / Published in Inspiration

Reason 8: Creative work only looks easy

Design, art direction, illustration, copywriting – any creative act, really – can be described as follows:

Take a complex idea, and use social, pop-cultural, intellectual, comical references and insights and create a simple statement, graphic, headline, whatever, that delivers the idea in a way that does not appear complex.

Never mind good grammar, correct spelling, clean graphics, good colours, balanced layouts, uniform line weights, expressive line work, light, shadow, composition, alignment, clarity, proper communication, the right address, phone number, email, website, images or any other part of the process you can imagine …you have to be clairvoyant too.

Give yourself some breathing room …and a little credit for making it this far. The real gold is hard to dig up. It’s tough to be clever – to be “on” – all the time. I know a writer who is very good at doing this. One. I know plenty good writers, to be clear. But, only one who’s great at the lightning bolt simple idea. One, out of likely 50 writers I’ve worked with here and there. That speaks to how not-casual this skill set is.

The next time someone says to you, “Wow …you have it pretty good. I wish I could get paid to sit around and play with images and fonts all day, instead of the real job I have to do”, I want you to reach over your own shoulder and pat yourself on the back, and remind yourself that’s from me. The reason people say that to creatives (many have said it to me as well), is because you made it look easy. You deserve some credit right there, for nothing more than having developed enough skill to make it look effortless.

But, you know better.

When you make it look simple, you’re doing it right. Keep smiling when people say you have it easy – you might even mess with their heads by saying, “I know – this is so easy, I feel guilty”, but I’ll leave that up to your delicate conscience, and assure you that I’ve NEVER done that myself, of course.

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