July 16, 2008

Are You 'Copying' When You Are 'Referring'?

Reference is a dirty word for most in our profession. Everybody does it and yet it remains a dirty word.

You get this brief. And then you get into gear, into ideating mode. To help you along, you sneak into the library to look up books and websites. Sneaking is fine when you are doing something you shouldn't be doing. But when you are doing the right thing, why must you slink into the library or walk into one under any other pretext? Walk in there and do your referencing openly.

Looking up references:
- Helps you get into a creative frame of mind.
- Helps your mind drift unbound (provided you are doing all that driftin’ under the influence of nothing stronger than an inspiring creative brief, as opposed to a verbose yet hazy client brief or other such mind-altering substance).
- Opens up possibilities you could never have imagined.

Looking up references:
- Is not copying. Skin the rat that suggests you might be copying unless your immaculate intention was to brazenly copy a creative in the first place. If so shame on you. And yes, you must continue with the "slinking into the library" bit that you have perfected into an art form by now.
- Is not beneath you since people from all creative professions; advertising, film, art do so and get the most of it in terms of creative output.
- Is a smart thing to do, especially in our times when one form is combined with another to bring out a brighter, smarter offspring.

So go out there and do your bit of referencing more often and not just when you are constipated for ideas. And do it openly, without pulling a hood on. You are only trying to bring out the best in you with a little help from books and websites that shift you into the right creative gear for the task ahead.


Websatan said...

Gr8 work dude, though it is the scenario of our Internet advertising companies. And even the clients-- with their lack of knowledge-- expect the agencies to copy something that they had seen in some foreign website.......

Rage Communications said...

websatan: True. It's not just confined to Internet advertising though. It's the same story offline as well. But that aside, I still maintain that referencing opens up a world of possibilities besides putting you in the right frame of mind.