Creative people and tantrums!

31 Oct 2004 - 1:20pm
9 years ago
6 replies
675 reads
Pradyot Rai
2004

CNN sunday --

"LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Pop star Elton John says he doesn't mean
to throw tantrums -- it just comes with the territory of being
creative."

http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Music/10/31/elton.john.reut/index.html

Is that true that creative people through tantrums?
Is that justified, given that they need passion and fire within themselves?

I recall many instances of debate/discussions with folks on other
sides as they asked me how one manages creative people(?), or how one
deals with them on project(?). I thought this is widely held
perceptions that creative people that they unreasonably throw their
weights or choose wrong fights.

BTW, I am not perticularly crazy about Sir Elton John's creative virtuoso :-)

Prady

Comments

31 Oct 2004 - 1:35pm
Dave Malouf
2005

> I recall many instances of debate/discussions with folks on other
> sides as they asked me how one manages creative people(?), or how one
> deals with them on project(?). I thought this is widely held
> perceptions that creative people that they unreasonably throw their
> weights or choose wrong fights.

I think that creatives (people who usually take on the role of "artist" tend
to be more "emotional". This doesn't always lead to tantrums.

What leads to tantrums is that there is more of a sense of "ownership" when
it comes to the things we do and create.

"emotional" + "ownership" can lead to outbreaks.

As for the "unreasonably" and "wrong" fights ... I agree w/ the latter, but
not the former. I know I struggle to try and find the "right" fights. This
is usually b/c of some sense of short-sightedness on my part, but that is
b/c the short-term arguments leave my work not the way I want it, and since
it is "mine" I want it the way I want it.

The "reasonable" piece ... I would say 9 times out of 10, my arguments are
sound if not well communicated but that my timing is off. If all things
being equal and time, money, and man-power are not planes in our existence,
I'm probably quite reasonable. ;)

Again, I think it has to do w/ the ownership factor. Designers die in an
environment where they feel they are purely service agents. If none of what
is important to them in their work can't be brought out into the
implementation, it is like "why bother?"

-- dave

31 Oct 2004 - 2:44pm
Nathan Moody
2004

David's commentaries on creativity, project/IP ownership, and the
emotional nature of creative people are IMHO very astute observations.
I'd be cautious in assigning such characteristics to only designers.

The worst tantrums I've seen professionally are from people who reflect
all of these things...but precious few of them have been "designers" in
the traditional/disciplinary sense. I've seen this behavior from one
creative director, a small handful of designers, several project
managers, and many software developers; all creative people, but not
necessarily in the usual "design" roles. (Richard Florida's "Rise of
the Creative Class" is interesting related reading here...)

In my experience, a key way of avoiding this problem is having a
project lead (administrative, creative, or otherwise) whose vision can
place the good of the end user as a higher goal than the satisfaction
of the team members' individual egos. This also must be stated
point-blank to all team members at the outset to set the tone. If this
can be cemented in a firm's culture and ethos - and, most importantly,
applied in the hiring process - that's the best case scenario.

Objective problem solving (the designer's most core skill) must triumph
over personal preferences and ego-driven "design heroism." I've seen
many a project, large and small, scuttled when the opposite is true.

Although usually considered a business requirement, clear success
metrics can do wonders for morale... ;-)

Best,
-Nathan

-------------------------------------------------
director of interactive media - fluid, inc.
http://www.fluid.com

creative dictator - atomick industries
http://www.atomick.net
-------------------------------------------------

31 Oct 2004 - 4:02pm
Listera
2004

Prady Rai:

> Is that true that creative people through tantrums?

I read this as I was watching on TV a montage of the second highest office
holder in the U.S. throwing tantrums at various times over the last two
years. Does that mean he's an artist? :-)

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

31 Oct 2004 - 5:58pm
dmitryn
2004

On Sun, 31 Oct 2004 16:02:19 -0500, Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:

> I read this as I was watching on TV a montage of the second highest office
> holder in the U.S. throwing tantrums at various times over the last two
> years. Does that mean he's an artist? :-)

All creative people (sometimes) throw tantrums, but not all those who
throw tantrums are creative. :)

--
Dmitry Nekrasovski
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~dmitry

31 Oct 2004 - 7:12pm
Pradyot Rai
2004

Nathan Moody <nathan at atomick.net> wrote:

> David's commentaries on creativity, project/IP ownership, and the
> emotional nature of creative people are IMHO very astute observations.
> I'd be cautious in assigning such characteristics to only designers.

True. I have seen unreasonable behaviours from Chief Executives,
Managers, Designers and Software developers alike. Infact, I believe
artistic expressions is just one part of being creative. Most of the
software developers are creative too by their job requirements.Many a
time, I have often come across software developers who are very
passionate to their work, throws lots of tentrums.

I am not sure yet, but this is forming some kind of theory here that
passionate job, fear of loosing ownership, lack of clarity/goals does
something to creative people where they seem helpless.

Prady

31 Oct 2004 - 7:14pm
Pradyot Rai
2004

Nathan Moody <nathan at atomick.net> wrote:

> David's commentaries on creativity, project/IP ownership, and the
> emotional nature of creative people are IMHO very astute observations.
> I'd be cautious in assigning such characteristics to only designers.

True. I have seen unreasonable behaviours from Chief Executives,
Managers, Designers and Software developers alike. Infact, I believe
artistic expressions is just one part of being creative. Most of the
software developers are creative too by their job requirements.Many a
time, I have often come across software developers who are very
passionate to their work, throws lots of tentrums.

I am not sure yet, but this is forming some kind of theory here that
passionate job, fear of loosing ownership, lack of clarity/goals does
something to creative people where they seem helpless.

Prady

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