Inspire, develop & celebrate creativity

Unreasonably Creative

Unreasonable Trust in the Creative Process

Taking risks are often considered unreasonable, yet to do creative work there is a level of risk. The unpredictability of creative work are at times to others, outside of the field, not reasonable. That is the kind of unreasonable that creatives learn to enjoy.

Working from a mixture of hard data and intuition. I’ve had clients, and I expect -I am not alone, to express that they found it far from reasonable. Yet creatives do this. They draw from a deeper well than predictably.

Guitarist and creative thinker Robert Fripp said “In strange and uncertain times such as those we are living in, sometimes a reasonable person might despair. But hope is unreasonable and love is greater even than this. May we trust the inexpressible benevolence of the creative impulse”. In an previously unaired and uncut interview from 1979 Robert explains: “if one accepts the idea that in any situation it is not likely that, if the situation is genuinely creative, it is not likely that one can actually predict the outcome”.

Change is Unreasonable

Creatives, pushes the boundaries. Affects change. Change is rarely considered reasonable. George Bernard Shaw famously said it well: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Rob Siltanen & Ken Segall admen and creative geniuses behind the iconic Apple commercial “Here’s to the crazy ones”, arguably one of the best if not the best ad of all time. Wrote:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

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Keeping a creative team growing, improving, and not resting on their laurels, requires that the creative director at the tactical right moments belays being reasonable . That kind of unreasonable, when not pushed too far, is of benefit to each creative and the projects.

Unreasonable vs Being an Asshole

Being unreasonable is not the same as being an asshole, even if assholes mostly are unreasonable. Being unreasonable, is not being unprofessional, even if unprofessional people are habitually unreasonable.

In “Malone Dies” Samuel Beckett pens a precise portrait on how it feels to discover that one were an asshole: “And I was wondering how to depart without self-loathing or sadness, or with as little as possible, when a kind of immense sigh all around me announced it was not I who was departing, but the flock.”

Don’t confuse unreasonable with bad behaviour. Loose the attitude that unreasonable is unacceptable. 

Appreciate unreasonable. At times, expect it. On accession, you will need it. When cumbersome, try to work around it.


Credits Where Credits are Due

Header photo gracefully supplied by Qi Feng, and is of a modern dance show performed by Zhejiang Song and Dance Theater .