13 May 2020

If you want new creativity or new ideas, you are not going to find them by searching or researching. New ideas don’t exist… they need creating. This is the difference between curation (searching or looking for ideas) and creation – creating new ideas and creativity.

This second video in the More Creativity two-parter explores the 4 ingredients necessary for new creativity to flourish.


Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, I’m a producer, writer, designer and director.

This is the second video in a two-parter looking at how you, if you’re a brand, government, agency or even a freelancer – how you can be more creative, find more creativity or nurture it.

As we come out of this crisis, people are going to be wanting more creativity, creative working and ideas.

In the first video of this two-parter, we looked at transpositioning, transposing yourself or people into different roles or skills, so do take a look at what that can do for you if you’ve not already watched it.

In the pursuit of more, better, new or different creativity, in this second video we’re looking at the difference between curation and creativity.

Again, I’m not going to start a debate about what constitutes good or bad curation or creativity. That’s purely subjective, what we are looking at is how to find it and how to nurture it.

There is a huge difference between curation and creativity. Creating appropriate new ideas, designs and creative thinking. Curation involves jumping on Google, visiting trade shows, asking for ideas or searching them out or doing other research and finding products and services that can be put together to create an event, festival or exhibition. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, if that’s what you’re looking for.

If, however, you’re looking for new ideas, new designs or new creativity, you are not going to find it through research, you’re looking for something new. Therefore inherently, it doesn’t exist. It needs creating. Who knew?

Creativity, new creativity that is, needs four ingredients: Time, an open mind, freedom and leadership. We’ll look at each briefly.

Firstly, time. Creativity doesn’t just happen. It needs the right environment. It needs nurturing and in all but the rarest circumstances, it needs time. If you put out a tender or RFP for a large event with two weeks to respond though, unless you’re simply looking for the idea, you’re extremely unlikely to get any amazing creativity. There isn’t the time for the ideas to form, be nurtured into something tangible and then presented. Whether it’s your own team looking at it or you’re putting out a tender, the amount of time required depends on how ambitious, how different or creative you’re looking to be. It’s a judgement call, but be realistic.

Secondly, an open mind. Ideas can come from anywhere. The initial ideas don’t have to come from the event or exhibition ideas person. They can come from anywhere. Why not see what a poet, sculptor, coder, musician, dancer, inventor or anyone else with a creative or inquisitive mind thinks. You’re only looking for ideas at this stage, not the final creative. You’re looking for ideas. Ideas that can then be developed. I worked with a designer once, who had no idea how to make something happen, I told them just not to worry about it, just paint what they wanted to see happen. How we do it or a version of it can come later. Keep an open mind about where your own, your team or your agencies ideas could actually come from.

Thirdly, freedom. If you genuinely want new creative thinking and ideas, the people you have working with or for you need the freedom to explore, to make mistakes and work through ideas. Many of which of course, won’t be good enough. How often have you heard authors talk about writing poor novels before the one that people love emerges, or artists creating numerous works before the one that had merit materialises. This is how creativity evolves. When I was younger and less well informed or experienced, I was frustrated with the design studio I was working with as they kept churning out insane and impossible ideas. I was rightly put in my place though by the person I was working for. They pointed out that it was necessary the team had the freedom to develop all the bad and implausible ideas to lead to the idea that was appropriate or had merit.

Here’s another example, the same disapproval could be leveled at student art shows. Often the finished articles are hard to appreciate given their unfinished or rough around the edges appearance. This however is the wrong view. It’s what they are trying to say, the thoughts, opinions and ideas behind the end result that’s important. Those ideas, once they’re developed with more resources and means, imagine! Of course, if you are pressed for time, or not sure where to turn, why limit yourself to one designer, one creative or one opinion? Have a number of creatives look at it, see where they’re at early on in the process and then run with the one that resonates the most at that early stage.

The final ingredient, leadership, or guidance. At the end of the day, you of course need to deliver something. Something affordable, tangible and appropriate. This is where you need relevant expertise to lead the idea and nurture it into more than just an idea. Lead it that is, not manage it. Importantly, this guidance or direction needs to come from people not only with relevant experience, but with empathy for the creative process and people involved, to encourage and lead them. It needs producers, directors or similar, able to identify the infancy of an idea which could just be a comment, a sketch, a muttering, a second of music or part of a model, and turn it into something tangible. It’s the ideas that need to be found. They need to push other people’s boundaries and have the expertise and willingness to produce and develop something tangible, often against numerous obstacles and objections.

Those are the four ingredients you need to better nurture new creativity, ideally all four of them, but adding or improving any can help. Some of these ingredients you may be able to look at straight away, others, like having enough time, may be trickier to achieve. That’s where awareness and insight comes in. In this current crisis, for some time is easier to find, at the very least there’s time to understand more and the world we’re emerging into is going to demand new thinking and approaches.

So if you think any clients, agencies, colleagues or friends might find this video useful, feel free to share it. As ever, I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions about either this video or the previous one in this two-parter.

And of course, if you think anyone else would find it useful, feel free to share it.

What’s been your biggest challenge in finding or nurturing new ideas or creativity?

Thanks for your time, thanks for watching and I’ll speak to you again soon.