The Cycle of Virtuous Creativity | ODEA

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The Cycle of Virtuous Creativity

As a marketing agency, you may think that creativity is oozing from our minds at all times. While we wish that was so, it’s not always the case. So, what do you do when you feel like the creativity is going through a dry spell? We like to think of creativity as a muscle. The more you exercise that muscle, the stronger it becomes.

Our storyteller, Amelia Dellos, had the opportunity to attend Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin this year where she participated in some amazing lectures. In this week’s episode of Brain Lava, she’s sharing what she learned and how she manufacturers creativity on demand.

Prefer to read instead of listen? We’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling for a transcript of this episode!

Hello and welcome to another episode of Brain Lava, the marketing and technology podcast for the curious mind. I’m Amelia Delos, the resident storyteller and brand strategist at ODEA. Today, I’m super excited to talk about one of my all-time favorite topics, creativity. I’m going to be honest there are times when I may have taken my creativity for granted, I still get that pinch of nerves when a new project crosses my desk. I wonder, will this be the project where all those creative ideas finally dry up? To keep those creative juices flowing, I attended Woman in the Woods, Let’s Camp 2018 at Camp Wandawega located in Elkhorn Wisconsin. It’s an Instagram darling rehab by Ogilvy ad execs Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez. In 2003, the couple bought David’s childhood summer camp from the Vatican. Camp Wandawega has a storied history, it was at one time a body house in the 1930s and a Latvian church camp in the 1970s before Tereasa and David evicted the raccoons and moved in their postcard perfect designs. Now, the camp is home to a sprawling site used for advertising campaigns, films, retreats and summer camps for adults. The camp that I attended was hosted by the Glossary and Feminest, it was designed for women from all walks of life entrepreneurs to lavender farmers to filmmakers to yoga teachers. The weekend featured canoeing time, management sessions, a baking demo and so much more. Tereasa presented the final session on a cycle of virtuous creativity.

Since I’m such a word nerd let’s take a moment to take a closer look at the words virtuous and creativity. I’m going to assume that Tereasa was referring to virtuous meaning exemplary and principled and of course creativity is the ability to use imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. If we are to create a cycle of virtuous creativity in or out of the office, we want to do creative work that is praiseworthy and honorable. That’s what we aim to do every day at ODEA; create bold ideas for our clients. According to Tereasa basically if you’re truly a creative person, you have to have a side hustle meaning creative projects outside of your work. The creativity from your side hustle fuels your creativity at work and vice versa. For me, as a filmmaker and novelist, this so spoke to me because I have at least three creative projects in various stages of development that I’m working on at any given time. I find, when I wake up before dawn and work on a creative project, by the time I get to work my creative pump has been primed. My creative work allows me a way that I can express myself that I might not be able to at work but yet, that creative freedom carries over into my work life. It gives me a fresh perspective on the work we do for our clients. Since my job is to manufacture creativity on demand there’s a common misconception that many people believe that you’re born creative. “Nurture may still account for the lion’s share of genius” wrote Dean Keith Simonton in his book The Science of Genius. Simonton said practice, training and exposure to unfamiliar ideas and experiences play essential roles in shaping creativity. Creativity is a muscle that you exercise like your glutes or forearms. The more you use it, the more creative you are. I know when I’m spending time working on my creative projects I have exponentially more creativity, and I would say even better ideas for my work and clients at ODEA.

The one single skill that I have that I feel makes me creative is that I’m always curious. I always want to know more and that fuels me whether I’m working on a documentary about the Great Chicago Fire or a branding campaign for a client. I always want to know what is the real story here. So before launching your next creative project remember this famous quote from writer, Maya Angelou. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.”

What are some ways you expressed your creativity outside of work? We’d love to hear from you. Tweet us @TeamODEA or email us at [email protected]. Thank you for listening to Brain Lava.