The real magic of creativity

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Real ‘magic’ is the fearlessness to create and to think differently. It requires a daring heart and an adventurous mind, but what it offers is the freedom to chart your own course and always move forward.

When discussing advertising, creativity and ideas – and almost every episode of Madmen – people talk about it as if it were magic. And this ‘magic’ has something to do with those ‘creative geniuses’ working late hours (perhaps with the aid of booze), striving to come up with a wonderful tagline, or brand idea, or the ‘world’s most successful’ execution.

According to Hegarty, magic does exist, but it is prefaced by something called ‘intelligence’. It’s not about a genius individual doing something ground-breaking at every turn – ‘magic’ comes from the hard work of people coming together to synthesise business problems, social trends, economic situations, and possible applications of technology. ‘Magic’ is a result of squeezing, distilling, re-arranging and re-shaping all available insights at that moment in time. So, is this still ‘magic’? Not really. It’s a process of creating something magical. But what is missing is the element of human EMOTION – of understanding motivations and mindsets, and being able to empathise with people and walk a mile in their shoes.

Real magic is more a matter of courage. Of embracing new things and daring to try and make them work. It’s a collection of positive minds, optimism, and sparks in the heart – all in synchronicity. Rather than being bound by rules, living by the book, or being fixated on perfection (which makes us afraid to make the wrong move and ‘fail’), magic is messy – it comes from trial-and-error.

When you unshackle yourself from conventions and expectations, people will look at the work you do – that work which is human, and intelligent, and brave – and see real magic in action.