THE THIN LINE BETWEEN CREATIVITY AND COMMERCIAL ART
by Nikolay Ranguelov, Director of CG
All artists who find themselves inevitably interconnected in daily interactions with clients know very well how hard it is to pitch a brand new creative idea. Putting on the table various concepts and approaches on how to realize an idea quite often seems to be a futile effort. Clients simply insist on receiving a “straightforward” service, prefer to play it safe and are rarely inclined to take on any chances.
As artists, we are aware that the best products and/or designs come to life thanks to the audacity of their creators, and even to some extent – due to this audacity bordering with recklessness. But that is not how clients see things. Clients are very reluctant when it comes to new concepts and there is a reason for that – it is called “money”. Let’s name this in a more elegant way – “available budget”. A budget is what’s being invested by the clients in the artists’ skills and the clients’ expectation is to have good growth and return of this investment. The aim to invest in low risk projects with maximum benefit is the common rule.
This is the main challenge all artists face nowadays. We live and create in a digital era where few things are considered new and surprising. How can a balance between a satisfied client and a unique design be reached? A design that both sides would be proud of?
Our studio faces this challenge every single day and as an artist who has been deeply involved in this process for the past 7 years, I have both good and bad news.
The good news is this balance is not fictional. It has been reached and maintained by many artists and studios. In this digital art era, we do come across many examples where creative approach meets return of investment. In order to be successful, such examples must be thoroughly analyzed and customized to clients’ needs and demands. As Picasso once said – “Good artists are copycats; great artists plagiarize”.
The bad news is that if you rely only on copycatting or plagiarizing, that would prove to be detrimental in the long run. This kind of tactics will strip you off of the opportunity to be authentic. Without authenticity, the clients will not be able to tell the difference between you and everyone else doing what you do. Adopting someone else’s ideas must be moderate and very well thought through.
REDVERTEX has more than 12 years’ experience in resolving precisely such matters and it is safe to say we have learned quite a few things which I would like to share. Here are a few steps which could enable you to be more successful in bringing your ideas to life:
◊ Know your clients.
In order to sell your idea, you need to be fully aware who you are talking to at the other end. Figure out why the client has chosen you and what are his expectations. The more you know, the easier it would be to convert your ideas into reality.
◊ Know the project.
Although most of the projects you are working on seem very similar to one another, every single one of them has its own specifics and different nuances. Get to the bottom of those specifics and nuances and use them to your advantage. That would help you create an authentic project which would separate it from the rest. The bottom line is this is what we aim at – authenticity.
◊ Quality over quantity is what counts.
Minimize the window where the client can go for the wrong choice. If you have prepared 5 concepts, for example, and you believe that only 2 of them are actually good, while the rest are heavy and pompous in a way, it is quite possible that the client might go for any of the other 3 not so good ones. In this case you will find yourself in the situation where you would need to persuade the client that concepts you have worked on and prepared are not good at all, and that may shatter your credibility. It is very important that the first person who is convinced that all proposed ideas are very good – is you. Quality over quantity is what counts.
◊ Share the experience with the client.
The process of creation is exciting. When you share that part with the clients, the chances to pitch your ideas grow substantially. Keep clients in the loop and share with them updates on the progress. Involve clients enough for them to share with you their views during this process and adapt your ideas in accordance to that feedback. The biggest setback is when great effort, work and time are being invested in a creative idea which gets rejected at the end only because there is a lack of understanding of this idea on the client side.
◊ Despite rejections, do not give up on your ideas.
If at the end the client opts for the “straightforward/common” concept after all, do not hold a grudge. Clients have their own motives and arguments. Instead, do the task exactly as the client requires it to be done – to the very best of your abilities, and at the same time go the extra mile and work on the concept which you deem the better option and just submit it to the client as well, free of charge. That will bring your relationship with this client to a higher level of trust and integrity in the long run. This approach proves how invested you are in a particular project and your level of commitment to your own ideas and will increase the level of trust on the client side for all upcoming projects as well.
When we discuss the relationship between business and creativity, creativity will always come second. It is important, however, for us, the artists in this business, not to define things in black and white colors only. The act of creation will always be subject to a particular business need and this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we – the artists – manage to reach a level of equality and balance between commercial art and creativity, that would make us successful on both fronts.
For the past 10 years, Nikki Ranguelov has played a role in almost every project at REDVERTEX, using visualization to realize the company’s architectural vision, and is currently Director of CG and Head of Post Production. He makes each project a new challenge with a fresh technical and artistic approach. He’s passionate about recreating real-world atmospheres. Nikki has always had an interest in the visual recreation of stories. He also takes an active role in development and technical integration to create a smooth, fast-working environment.
#innovation #creativity #future #branding #investing #motivation #sustainabillity #education #customerrelations #whatinspiresme #productivity #bestadvice #businessinteligence #design #strategy #visualdesign #newspapers #culture #publicrelations #creativity #concept #digitalagency #communitymanagement