By Trent Rentsch
This month, the virtual Creative Tap Room continues to fill up, as Creatives from a variety of disciplines answer the question, “Where does your Creativity come from?”
You might remember that last month closed with some high-kicking shenanigans led by one of my more Avant-garde Creative buddies (the advantage of a virtual bar is not getting tossed out by some tattooed giant for such nonsense). As the lunacy comes to a crescendo, I see the front door open and a couple of familiar heads pop through it. While I wouldn’t blame them in the least for turning tail and running, they both begin to clap as they pull up chairs and join the party.
The first one to place an order is a guy I’ve known… well, quite a long time, since high school, in fact. I had lost track of him for some years, but thanks to the miracle of Facebook, we’ve reconnected. And what has Rich Woolworth been doing since we played Dungeons & Dragons and organized Science Fiction conventions back in the Stone Age? His Creative Muse lead him to a place you might not think of as all that Creative. He was career Army, a Trombonist for the 147th Army Band. Since retiring from the Service, he has been working as a Composer. You can hear some examples of his work at: www.matrixmusic.com (search Woolworth). As he puts it, “I compose original jazz ensemble music targeted towards high school musicians, with over twenty-five charts in print and more on the way. Serving all your big-band jazz needs since 2005!”
While all the Radio Creatives at the table throw up a little in their mouths at his last line, I remind them that he’s a Musician, not a Copywriter. So, where does a Musician’s Creativity come from?
“The creative process is a mysterious thing. Inspiration for music composition has to come from a personal experience. Sometimes melodies are conjured up by memories of people, places or events; other times, a title will occur to me, and the song seems to write itself around that title. When you hear a band performing ‘in your head’ constantly, as I do, it’s vital to get those notes down on paper as quickly as possible. Composing is a lot like practicing a musical instrument; you have to do it every day if you want to be any good. When you finally get to hear your piece played, it’s a very compelling experience!”
Creativity through hard work and discipline? It’s a concept many Creatives won’t admit to out loud, but the fact is Rich hits on a vital element to great Creative… ya gotta show up and do the work!
The other Creative who just joined the party is a Visual Creative. Jim Zito is a Motion Graphics Wizard. If you’re not sure what that means, check out his work at: web.me.com/james_zito/JimZito/HOME.html. I was lucky enough to work with Jim in my last Agency gig, and I was always amazed by how he could Create a visual story in :30 seconds, based on my admittedly “wordy” scripts. Despite the fact that most of my Creative life has been ruled by words and sound, I am fascinated by Jim’s Creative world of images. It feels like such a different Creative world, but is it? Where does Jim feel his Creativity comes from?
“As far as creativity, for me it comes from everywhere. Of course I get it from being inspired by other motion pieces I see on trade websites and demo reels and TV. But it also comes from unexpected places like signs on storefronts or even graffiti. Sometimes audio can even inspire, like the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” routine that I did with typography (which you can find on his website -TR). I think creativity comes from the world around me. I always try to keep an eye open for inspiration. I try to think of a simple trip to the flea market or museum as an opportunity to be inspired by something I see.”
Hmmmm. Audio inspiring video? Then why can’t the visual world inspire Audio Creatives? The fact is, it can… we simply must open our minds to it. In fact, to paraphrase Jim, we should always try to keep an eye AND ear open for inspiration.
So, the Creative party rages on. One would think we’d heard it all by now… when suddenly, the lights flash, there’s a puff of smoke, and, like magic, two more guests arrive. And that makes sense, considering who they are… more next month. Oh, and if you’d like to join the party and add some thoughts of your own, please email me at