I love the potential of emptiness. It isn't the nothingness itself that inspires me. It is what people can do with it that delights and surprises me.
What would you do with a white room?
Whenever I interview people, or if I get chance in conversation, I'll often ask them what they'll do with a white room. Imagine you were given a empty space, a white room, you have the chance and resources to shape it anyway you're capable of. As long as it is something that you can do, you can do it in that room.
The size and location of the room isn't important, what's outside in this situation isn't the driver of creation. It is white just to illuminate the emptiness of it.
In this scenario it is about you and the blank canvas that is the room in front of you. You can bring things, people, pens, paint, reshape and make that room however you please. You are the catalyst for creativity here. So what is it you create with your white room?
This is what you do when creativity is in your hands.
Now this might seem weird but I'm not interested in the answer as much as there is an answer. There is no right or wrong answer. The answer is not what I'm looking for. It is about creativity. Your process, your thinking. I'm not interested in the exact things that people would do but more that they have shaped a void into something creative. I make no judgement of the worth of that creation, only the drive to create.
Asking a question when you aren't worried about the answer might seem odd to some. For me though, I'm interested in what is the motivation to being creative. Where does that impulse to make come from? Where does it drive you? What are you like when you call the creative shots? What does the core of your creativity shape within you?
The best and most exciting creative people I've ever met are creative without the permission of any agency, job role or title. They create. They make. If our industry didn't exist, they'd still be creatives somewhere else. Asking the question for them is just a chance to create. To think and make something, the question excites them as it feels full of potential. They don't view it as a trick, or worry about a 'right' answer. They just race with ideas and thoughts.
Those are the people who I know are the problem solvers and nimble makers who will adapt and create no matter what faces them. They don't see absence as a blocker but a stepping stone to creation. Our jobs as Creative Directors and as agencies is to tap into that creativity and help it shape and flow in ways that solve the problems we and our clients face. Knowing that our creatives are motivated by potential is powerful.
Potential is powerful. The White room a canvas.
They just represent a chance to imprint your creativity. A chance to define what is around you. For people like me it is a chance to understand the way you approach creation and creativity.
Over the years, those who've jumped at the challenge of the white room question, who've been excited by the question itself, have gone on time and time to amaze me. Some have set up companies in fields that have only just emerged, others have shaped departments and companies with pitch wins and training. They've all shown me that their creativity is something that defines their job. Not their jobs ever defining their creativity.
So when you're faced with nothing use it as a jumping point for creation then no white room, blank canvas or brief will ever bore or intimidate you. Instead you'll be excited to shape things using the core of your creativity.