You know that feeling when you look at your work again after a long night of sitting at your computer? ‘What was I thinking!?’ you say, and then you go forth and make it better than it ever was. Well this week, that’s kind of what Stan’s (http://branddna NULL.blogspot NULL.com) getting at.
Apologies for the name drop, but last weekend I went to the football with Dave Bell, the creative director of KesselsKramer (http://www NULL.kesselskramer NULL.com/).
He’s a Scot who’s lived in Amsterdam for a large part of his adult life. So as you can imagine, he knows bugger all about AFL footy.
Prior to kick off, I tried to explain a bit about the rules of the game to him. Much of what I told him was quite straightforward. At least it seemed that way to me.
Because of his complete lack of knowledge, many of the game’s idiosyncrasies became sources for discussion during the game.
“Why” said Dave, “are those guys in fluoro jackets running onto the pitch during the game?”
They’re runners, I explained. “What are runners?” he asked.
“Did you see that!” he exclaimed, after a player laid a hip and shoulder, causing a player without the ball to hit the turf.
That’s a shepherd, I explained. “A what?” he asked, puzzled.
Those are just two of the many things we discussed during the game. Which was kind of weird to be honest, because I’d never discussed them before. And I go to the football a lot.
This is because I was discovering the game anew, because I was seeing it through fresh eyes.
Fresh eyes sees things you don’t. Fresh eyes see things you can’t. Fresh eyes see things you may never have noticed. But most of all fresh eyes see things you may actually have stopped noticing.
That’s why it’s so important to get someone with a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at your work.
If you want to be a writer, show your work to a designer. If you’re a young art director, show your work to a photographer. Just show your work to someone with a different mindset to yourself.
Now this may sound like the worse advice ever, but it’s not. It’s about getting people with a completely unbiased viewpoint (a fresh set of eyes) to take a look at your ideas.
I guarantee you’ll come away from the meeting with a completely different view of your work. And also, hopefully, a couple of totally unexpected directions to pursue.