Unleashing limitless creativity: The new face of creative collaboration

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There’s a common misconception that the best creatives operate alone, shut away in private studios working toward a singular creative vision.

But in reality, this notion could not be further from the truth.

Collaboration powers creativity, and if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that working together under challenging circumstances can produce incredible results.

“Creativity loves constraints – to break boundaries we first need to grasp it, to imagine, bring colour to the status quo.” explains Grace Astari, Creative Lead, Global Innovation at Diageo.

Throughout the pandemic, creative collaboration has been a powerful force in driving Diageo’s campaigns and innovations across its portfolio of brands, including Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker.

“Working virtually has brought teams closer than ever before, enabling us to learn together and connect with depth, whether you’re in Singapore, China, Scotland or Amsterdam.” says Grace.

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“Our products have to be relevant to people’s lives, how they bond and socialise. Working with diverse people unlocks new perspectives, powerful insights and storytelling, and ultimately a more meaningful role for our brands to stand out.”

Diverse voices enhance the conversation

When creativity is being used to drive positive change in the world, the opportunity to elevate our work through diverse voices and perspectives has never been more acute.

Just ask Australian entrepreneur, content creator and best-selling author Jessica Holsman.

Jess’s debut book, ‘The High School Survival Guide,’ is an Amazon bestseller, while her YouTube channel, Study With Jess, has more than 417,000 subscribers.

 Jessica Holman (left) interviewing CEO of Smiling Mind Dr. Addie Wooten.

Jessica Holsman (left) interviewing CEO of Smiling Mind Dr. Addie Wooten.

Jess says creating the space to listen and collaborate with her growing and diverse audience is central to her business philosophy, and indeed, her success.

“For content creators, hearing and engaging with our communities is so important because they’re not just the people we’re creating for, but a source for our creative inspiration.”

“I have a responsibility to my audience to be a positive role model. I would never want for some people in my community to feel like I’m not representing them so I give everybody the freedom to participate and be heard,” says Jess.

Similarly, Grace uses creative collaboration in her work at Diageo to platform outstanding regional talent.

“I grew up in Southeast Asia and I feel as though visibility and global awareness is rare in respect to creativity and Asian art and culture,” she says. “I want to support the creative community where I am from and to inspire the next generation.”

Unlocking successful collaboration

If you’re looking to develop creativity within your teams or partner with creatives outside your regular domain, you might look to the experts for inspiration.

Joyce N. Ho is an Associate Creative Director at BUCK, a global creative company that brings brands, stories and experiences to life through art, design, and technology.

Joyce says that trust and self-awareness have been key to successful collaboration on creative projects throughout her career.

“In my experience, being open to asking for help makes for really effective collaboration. I can’t be good at everything, so I enjoy the process of learning other people’s strengths and bringing them together to form creative teams,” she explains.

“These kinds of environments help build the trust that everyone on the team is making the best work they can possibly make.”

Joyce points to a recent collaboration between BUCK and Microsoft as a creative project that put this philosophy to the test.

Microsoft sought a playful and fun ad campaign to showcase the idea of people coming together via their Teams program during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Joyce, a skilled motion designer and director, partnered with art director and photographer Emily Simms to create the campaign, combining colourful real-world sets with vibrant motion graphics to tell the story of a family coming together for a virtual birthday party.

Still taken from The Power of WE - a campaign by Microsoft and BUCK. Six frames with different people in each. Each frame is a different colour (orange, purple. blue, yellow, green, oraneg) and there is emoji hands clapping across the screen.

Joyce N. Ho partnered with Emily Simms to help produce a Microsoft and BUCK creative campaign under the name Power of WE.

We think you’ll agree, the results speak for themselves.

But how can creatives stay authentic while working within the constraints of brand messaging, guidelines and design?

“In each project you find that little area where you have the freedom to elevate it,” Joyce says. “After working in the industry for a number of years it just gets easier to spot where that area is.”

For Jess, Joyce, and Grace, collaboration sits at the heart of their creative pursuits, and it’s something we can all be inspired by.

“We know that the most important factor to human longevity is connection,” says Jess.

“When we invite more opportunities to engage and learn from others, to create something together or just brainstorm and bounce ideas off of one another, we’re inviting more genuine connection into our lives.”

Want to hear more? Join Grace Astari, Joyce N. Ho and Jess Holsman at Adobe MAX, a global virtual experience exploring creativity in all its forms. Register for free today and stream the event from 26-28 October.