Finding the Magic

Brian Collins posted something on Facebook a few weeks back that resonated with me:

To my grad students:

There are, in my experience, only two kinds of creative people.

There are those creative people who believe there is potential magic in every assignment – and always seem to find it.

They build a career.

Then there are those creative people who only get excited by the perfect assignment. The perfect client. The perfect budget. They whine, bitch and moan until it arrives. And, frankly, it never really arrives. They were so busy looking for it, they ignored projects flying past them every day where magic was hiding inside, waiting to be unlocked by imagination and hard work.

When they hit their late 30s, they start to wonder what the hell happened to their careers.

I’m not sure that anyone worth their salt is constantly in one state or the other. We are always in transition. Remember that one week when we thought the PT Cruiser was cool? Well, we all moved on, becoming stronger people in the process.

However, the most successful creatives, planners and account people that I’ve worked with have also been the most consistent at finding magic in whatever was thrown on their plate. Turning small projects into big opportunities. Chipping away on tough clients by providing valuable work in addition to what the client was asking for. Taking an assignment to make stadium signage for a paint brand and turning it into a huge idea.

I’m imploring my students to approach everything at the Brandcenter with that mindset. The reality is that not every assignment is going to turn out great, and even less will be book-worthy, but every single thing that they touch here has the potential to be a good story.

And a good story can go a long way towards getting that first job.