By Jack Rivers
Make no mistake about it: being able to work as an advertising creative at a great agency, is about as good as it gets in life.
Making a living out of coming up with cool ideas; I mean, what's not to love?
But, as has been the case for so many jobs over the past year or so, working from home has thrown the perennial spanner in the works.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. In the grand scheme of things, working from home has been fine — especially in comparison to so many other jobs.
But to say that things haven't been tougher as a result of not being in a creative environment – and physically surrounded by brilliantly creative people – would not only be naïve, but pretty dangerous for one’s mental health, too.
So, from one creative to however many are reading this: it’s completely normal to struggle with idea generation — during both current and ‘normal’ times.
Thankfully, help is only a bookshelf away.
As Albert Einstein so perfectly put it:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.”
And, for my money, there’s been no better way to spark imagination than reading.
Whilst others have turned to exercise or art, there’s something about reading – and reminding myself of various creative thinking techniques – that has proven to be much more beneficial for me over the past 12 months.
The following five reads have been particularly brilliant; meaning, if ever you find yourself stuck in a rut, creatively, hopefully you’ll find them just as useful, too.
1.) Hey Whipple, Squeeze This (Luke Sullivan)
Often the first recommendation on many an advertising course’s reading list (and with good reason), if you only buy one book on this list, make it Luke Sullivan’s timeless classic.
2.) Ogilvy on Advertising (David Ogilvy)
If ever you feel as though you just need to get back to the basics of what makes a great ad, then Ogilvy’s masterpiece is still as fresh today as it was after its release in 1985.
3.) One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking (Dave Trott)
A masterful collection of anecdotes from one of the greatest creatives of all-time, the beauty of Trott’s books is that they mirror his ads: to the point, yet highly impactful.
4.) Creative Advertising (Mario Pricken)
Filled to the brim with the creative processes behind some of the world’s greatest campaigns, this book is often referred to as a must-have — and with good reason.
5.) The Advertising Concept Book: Think Now, Design Later (Pete Barry)
In the same way as Ogilvy on Advertising, this is another one that will help you get back to basics, especially when it comes to seeing the bigger picture, creatively.