I’ve been lucky to work alongside a lot of great creative people in my career. And for the record, yes, we are all creative but have different creative personalities. I recently was speaking at the AAF Birmingham and AAF Lexington ad clubs and shared my point of view on the Four Types of Creative Styles. Everyone exercises a little of each but usually we have one dominant style. Let’s review and see which one best fits you.
The Dumper vomits ideas by the dozens. They speak first and often. They believe the best ideas happen as a result of volume; therefore, they do not hold back in throwing out anything that hits their mind. Good ideas. Bad ideas. Silly ideas. Squirrel? If you need someone to break the awkward silence at the beginning of a brainstorm, a Dumper, is the one to get things going. Beware, a dumper can polarize the rest of the group and they are not controlled. A dumper is great for generating lots of ideas quickly.
Examples of Dumpers are the “mad scientist” types. Think Tasmanian Devil.
A Processor takes their time. They understand and embrace the subconscious. They believe that a great idea happens when you feed the brain and let it percolate. First, they hate brainstorm meetings (it requires spontaneity) and they detest Dumpers. They probably think Dumpers are not “real creative” and are unsophisticated in their process. Do not be fooled by the quietness of a Processor. They may not speak often but when they do great things follow. Their ideas are also fewer in numbers but more thought through. Ideas from Processors often are already thought through to the level of implementation.
Examples of Processors are the “Yodas” of the workplace. Quiet but wise.
Drama. Everything. The ideas are dramatic. The presentation of the idea is equally large. No one has ever heard of such as great idea as the one that is about to be heard from a Thespian. In brainstorms Thespians will sit back and wait for others to get their petty ideas out of the way. Then, at just the right time, they will seize the room (standing no doubt) to tell you the best idea you’ve ever heard. Truth is, they do bring great ideas. Sure, they’re pompous but they deliver.
Examples of Thespians are the stereotypical Creative Director from a big ad agency.
The Rip-Off Artist (also known as the Elbow Guy)
The Rip-Off Artist has never seen an idea that they couldn’t use for themselves. They have no problems borrowing from others. “Got Ideas?”. “Just Think It”. “I don’t usually steal other people’s ideas, but when I do they’re from the Dos Eqquis commercials”. Get it? These people are also nice to have at brainstorm meetings because they will throw the most obvious thing onto the table, freeing your minds to fresh thinking. Just laugh at their cheesy version of the trendy tagline and then move on.
One great thing about the Rip-Off Artist is they are great at jumping on the ideas of others. They are great collaborators and team players.
Examples of Rip-Off Artists are most local radio commercials, roadside retailers (car lots) and home-based business signs.
So which one are you? Be honest. Yes, I am a Dumper with a hint of Thespian. A dramatic mad scientist? Yes I am.