Objectivity in the Creative Process:

Have you ever struggled to stay objective about something? It’s tough, especially when creating for others.

Given how many projects we can potentially be working on at once, staying objective can be a challenge for a creative professional but is essential for a designer’s healthy perspective, especially in the early and valuable stages of the creative process.

Part of this challenge that we see occurring frequently when beginning our work is: how do we remain focused on research, ideation, and stay inspired while separating recommendation from opinion in a positive and useful way? Everyone understandably has opinions, but they aren’t essential to producing creative work. Producing creative work is built of process, objectivity, abstraction, experience, and skill. As passionate designers, it’s hard to not care about what we do and at the same time also not let opinion replace objectivity, especially when we are under pressure and working towards a looming deadline. Recommendations come from a place of professional experience, knowledge, and fact. Opinions do not. So something to consider is: where do these opinions and essentially “distractions” come from, and how should we handle them in the creative process?

Firstly, we must acknowledge habit. Whether they are pre-established good or bad habits, they always exist. The good thing is that even if they are not good habits that have evolved over time, sometimes we can change them. We can use our experience to work towards adaptation, to overcome our opinions and leave behind preconceptions that may creatively inhibit us. This doesn’t mean we must deviate from method or something that’s already working well, but we must be open to learning new things and new ways of telling a story. Especially if we’re tasked with the responsibility of using our creative process for storytelling. This willingness to adapt is ultimately a skill we can use to not let habit and tradition dictate or limit how and why we think. And if we can do this, we’ll become better storytellers.

As designers, we must always be open to new thoughts, especially if the work demands it. And when we are, we’ll adapt and change to become better. Otherwise, resistance is simply unwillingness and is our waste. Even if we must deviate from method, maintaining objectivity in our creative process will make us better designers and produce better work for ourselves and our clients. And that, is something we can all be proud of.

Chris Montigne, Creative Director