Creative Jam

A column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage

Remember this all came about because two guys said 'Hey, imagine if . . .'

One of the great things you can do for your career?

Indulge in those strange moments were you when your friends go “wouldn't it be cool if...”

You know what I mean. You sit down and say “wouldn't it be great if this character did that”. Or you sit down and talk about how you would do things differently than certain authors, or publishers. We do this all the time.

These are valuable moments for you as a creative professional. It may just be times to sit around and jam with your friends or let your imagination fly wild, but I find there are a lot of advantages to doing these little brainstorming-for-fun sessions. Hell, how many of my posts here have just been organized versions of "what if" and "how I'd do it?"

Every time you and your friends think of a new cool idea, you make Professor X happy.

These moments are valuable because our imaginations are in overdrive. We'll come up with great ideas, wild ideas, ideas we may use in one form or another. We may just not be aware of how many great ideas were having–take a moment to look over your latest “what if” to him and ask yourself how many truly good ideas you had.

Probably quite a few.

These are moments were we may explore ideas in incredible detail–how many times have you had discussions over particular comic book character or property that went into amazing depth about the past, present, future, and alternate implementations? Every time you have a discussion or jam like those you are exploring concepts - and reviewing the past. You're learning and recalling a lot - and things you may use in the future as a creative professional.

These are moments where you may be thinking as a creative professional–what will work, what will appeal to audiences, what will sell, what will appeal. For my money, not enough creative professionals actually do this, and just churn out the same old same old. These moments where you talk with your friends or imagine new ideas on your own are exercise of both your creative and business abilities.

Besides, these are also the moments where you may come up with a viable business plan! Remember how many ideas came from the simple question of “what if?”

OK, some creative jams don't always lead to good ideas, but still . . .

How many times here have I posted what is nothing more than extended, organized statement on what I would do with certain properties? Quite a few times but they're fun, informative, great practice, and away I try to inspire other people to think about their creative interests in a businesslike manner. But in the end, it's just you and me going “wouldn't it be cool if.”

And there's nothing wrong with that.

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