For my job, we often do creative brainstorms. I find that I usually assume that the big idea will come from someone else. I often dismiss my ideas as not being BIG enough.
We've been tasked with updating the office decor. We found out a week ago that our general manager, Boss Lady, wants everything done for a potential internal event in March. One of my coworkers is affectionately known as Eeyore (truly), the other is called T1gger. Gentle Man doesn't have a nickname, nor do I, since we're somewhere in the middle of their two extremes.
In the absence of a Studio Lead/Creative Director, we've been meeting weekly via phone with Enthusiastic Creative Exec out of our Bost0n office. He suggested we take the decor cue from our location overlooking a regional airport. So we went away and started mulling around the idea of an Aviat1on theme for the office.
When we had our brainstorm conversation on Monday, T1gger had some very specific ideas. I'd been up in the middle of the night thanks to Brex on Friday and had written down concepts for an hour and a half. I let T1gger take the lead but nothing was sparking. Then I mentioned my ideas as well as wanting to show three mood boards to our internal people. I've learned the hard way that it never pays to shortcut the 'client' process just because we're doing something internal.
Eeyore and Gentle Man both started saying things like, "Well, we don't want to rush this just because she has a deadline." And, "We need to make sure that it's innovative and not just decor based."
Right. If I let them go on and on around those themes, as they are prone to do, we'd have squat for actionable items. So I jumped in, "I completely agree. Give me some tangible ideas for what innovation looks like."
Eeyore started generating (great) ideas instead of just shooting everything down. I'd found a couple key photos that I shared and we all loved the ideas and started building off of them.
After that call I got really excited and dived into creating mockups and gathering assets. Eeyore kept telling me that it was too soon for mockups, but I kept going.
Yesterday we did a conference call with Enthusiastic Creative Exec. Eeyore went through the three mood boards and ECE was really excited about one of them and pulled elements from the other two. I ended up showing him the mockups as well as some of the jpgs I'd found. He loved where we were going and added in some other ideas that were great additions.
The thing is, as I did the mockups, I felt like all I was doing was the decor based solution that Eeyore wanted to avoid. It's another level where I'm a very pragmatic designer. I felt like our main mission by March is to get rid of white walls and gray cubicle surfaces. I don't think my solutions were/are ground shattering, but they'll change the feel of the office. I also found a site that sells furniture made from airplane parts. NOT cheap, but changing the desk in the reception area and the table in our main conference room would be worthwhile hero pieces. What was affirming was how much ECE liked my mockups.
I guess I shouldn't dismiss myself so readily.