On Creative Confidence and Trusting Your Ideas

With Quiet Storm's Trevor Robinson

Multi-Lion-winner Quiet Storm’s Founder and Creative Director Trevor Robinson’s ‘What I’ve Learnt’ film was another open and sincere account of what he had discovered on his journey through creativity. He explored how to become more aware of who you are, and how to use this knowledge to fuel your thinking. Here, he responds to your questions on finding your creative confidence and trusting your ideas.

Founder and Creative Director Quiet Storm

What’s your take on creatives being jack of all trades vs just having a “speciality”?

I can only answer for myself and I am a jack of all trades as I love directing and love the process of making commercials. Sometimes, I can be all over the shop but I enjoy what I do and hopefully people like my work too. Am I greedy? I think you need to do what you enjoy and if this falls across multiple areas then so be it, I can’t judge others.

How do you find yourself in the work you produce when you’re at the start of your creative journey?

I start by submerging myself in the brief, who the consumer is, what the demographic is and what the competition is doing - then forget it all, so as not to get burdened with it. I know it might be a cliché but you have to know the rules to break the rules.

When you know that your idea is creative but your client thinks otherwise, how do you change the perception of the client?

This depends on the perception and the client. Sometimes it can be hard to know how good an idea is at the beginning, it can be a good idea to prepare the client before-hand for a new idea, with stimulus. Show other things that are similar and don’t be scared to get a bit more creative. When doing Haribo’s 'Kids Voices', we had to do a test film for them to understand it, it’s such a subtle idea you could easily think it is cringeworthy but we believed in it, and my creative partner and office workers filmed a version and we sent it to the client – without doing this, the idea might never have happened.

How do you know your idea is good enough to believe in it?

You know it when you start kicking around ideas. When you share it and hear it back, you can start to get a strong idea of whether it will have an effect out in the world. That’s what's going to get my brother to approach me and ask me: “did you do that?”

Further insights from LIONS Live and WeTransfer’s Ideas Report

Natascha Chamuleau

Chief Advertising Officer, WeTransfer

Based on our insights, I think most people will recognise what Trevor is saying about the creative journey. The world of ideas is a mysterious place and perhaps the beauty is that we’ll never be able to fully grasp it—but it’s also a wonderful experience to be able to explore it. Doing the Ideas Report teaches us so much about the creative processes of people all over the world—from various backgrounds and age groups and across different professions—and how they compare with one another. We tend to believe good ideas just happen to the lucky few we call “creative”. That you either think outside the box or you don’t. But our research shows it’s actually more of a numbers game; you just need more ideas than you think. Most people (72%) end up using half or less of their ideas. So instead of thinking ourselves away from idea generation, we should focus on sharing ideas and making them better together. When it comes to ideas, more actually is better.

Simon Cook

Managing Director, Cannes Lions

It’s evident that there is no right or wrong way to “do creativity” or “be creative”. Trevor, Josy and the other leading creatives that shared their perspectives in the LIONS Live What I’ve Learnt series talked of the approaches that work for them and something else entirely might work for you. It’s a lifelong commitment and one that’s boosted by support from a diverse community who are similarly committed in their pursuit of creative excellence. It’s a beautiful and often nebulous process. In this age of uncertainty we are even more certain of its value in the business. But of course, others will always need convincing. And how can we quantify the value of creativity when measuring it is still an inexact science? So, whilst we know that creativity drives growth, there has been a stark absence of a common language around, and approach to, evaluating “creative effectiveness”. This is why we worked with James Hurman and Peter Field to form a universal framework for creativity, The Creative Effectiveness Ladder. It has been created to help you benchmark your work against some of the very best (and most commercially effective). It’s a free resource: please explore it and use it to enhance your work.

Each year, the creative community continues to produce Lion-winning work that pushes the boundaries and makes us all wonder “how on earth was that even possible?” At LIONS we will continue to exist for everyone on that journey, those in the business of creativity, who believe in its potential for progress.