How am I supposed to find the big idea?
Finding the big idea is always something I’ve been terrified of, hell I didn’t even think I was capable of it when I first came to university. I always thought you’re either an ideas person, or you’re not. When I started my first brief in University I was sure it was just a fluke that I found an idea to run with, surely it wouldn’t happen again. During second year I was still convinced that the world of advertising and ideas wasn’t for me. I was a graphic designer and nothing more. Boy has that changed over the last year.
Spending the year working at an advertising agency has taught me that finding the big idea is a process, it’s not some kind of vision you instantly see in your head and run with. Sometimes you’re lucky and the first few ideas you work with are the right ones, and sometimes you have to push hard against a brick wall to get through your creative barrier.
But when you do find that big idea though, it feels like all that work was worth it. For one, there’s nothing more satisfying than looking at your work and thinking, yep, that really works. But secondly, nothing holds stronger with a client than a well thought out idea. As long as the framework and strategic thinking is there, everything else can be improved and developed.
So I guess what I’m saying is firstly, don’t be intimidated by the big idea. It seems scary in the first instance, but everyone is able to improve their creative thinking skills. The more practice you get, the easier it becomes to allow those creative thoughts to flow onto the page. When you start at University, you may be/have been thinking, why aren’t we designing logos and websites? Why are we doing all this conceptual stuff - I’m not a fine artist! But in actual fact, your first year or two at University tends to be all about learning how to think big and develop your ideas in a safe environment. The practical stuff comes later.
Lastly, be persistent. Just because you aren’t getting anywhere today or even tomorrow, doesn’t mean it won’t come in time. I recently spent a whole bank holiday weekend working on a concept and getting absolutely no where. I had nothing to show for my three days work, and by that point I was ready to throw my computer out the window. But low and behold, the next day I sat down at my computer and there it was staring at me, the answer to my problem! So be persistent, and let the ideas come to you!