Creativity is so much more than drawing, painting, photography, etc.
Creativity is a state of mind that everyone possesses in some way shape or form. Here’s how I’ve found having a creative mind can help with the most mundane thing, paperwork. As Production Coordinator, my role is to make sure productions get planned and executed as efficiently as possible. This involves a lot of emails and spreadsheets. You may even wonder why a creative mind is needed for that job. In theory, it’s just putting information in boxes. I think of planning a production like a story, there is always a beginning, middle, and end.
Before you do anything it’s important to go into any situation with a plan, especially with a client. Note-taking is a creative skill that often goes overlooked. They need to be organized, but what if you remember something you should’ve asked earlier and now it’s out of order? They also need to be detailed, but not so much detail that your focus is pulled away. A great way to keep notes organized is to make each question you ask its own heading. This allows me to easily see key points that were talked about. Keeping your notes detailed, but not overwhelming comes from trimming some of the fluff.
If a client says, “we would like to keep our budget in the realm of $1,000 to $1,500 for this project if at all possible”, you don’t need to write all that. A simple way to capture all that detail could be writing, “budget $1,000-1,500”, it’s a lot shorter and clearly states what was asked.
Your notes are essentially the story’s outline. You know all the details which you can then add to your “script” which for most can look like a spreadsheet or some sort of informational document. The better your notes the easier it’ll be to craft your script.
Once your plan has been developed it’s time to take action, it’s time to put things in boxes. People who spend a lot of time in spreadsheets, realize it’s not such a straightforward task. Solving a puzzle is a rather creative task because it forces you to look at everything from multiple angles and on different scales. This is the puzzle of organization which can require a lot of creativity. In my world, I have to look at every production like a puzzle. You understand what the end product should look like so you work your way up from the smaller pieces. Looking at times when people can meet, scheduling the most efficient route to get to multiple locations, and even scheduling out time to just chat with the client are all smaller pieces to this larger puzzle.
Once the notes have been taken, the spreadsheets filled out, and the project is completed you realize how elaborate a job can be. The story has come to an end and what may have seemed like the longest day ever, was actually the easiest day for your client. Creativity is so much more than creating art. It’s problem-solving, organization, and thinking skills that allow you to turn a complex project into something simple. People are more creative than they like to think and I think it’s time to give out some well-deserved creative credits.