How to Work with a Creative

Working with a Creative can be a rewarding experience: Being part of a process where you watch an idea crystallise, be given form, and then released into the world is exciting. This article has been written to help you get the most from your experience of working with a Creative.

Get ready

Before meeting with the Creative for the first time, be clear what the particular challenge is that you will be asking him to address.

  • What will undertaking this process mean to you and your organisation?
  • What would happen if you don’t undertake this process?
  • What is at stake?

Collect examples of similar work already out there. For example. if you are commissioning a video production project, you may have seen a clip on youtube for an organisation in a similar industry that has impressed you. Show it to the Creative and describe what works about it.

  • How does it connect with its audience?
  • What problem does it solve?


When first meeting with a Creative, be prepared to answer a number of questions about you, your business and your product or service. It is the job of the Creative to uncover, in as much detail as possible, what you’re about, what you want to communicate, your personality, and the personality of your brand. This will help him to engineer the solution that best represents you.

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • How do you measure success?

You may not know all of the answers to these questions at this stage. That’s ok. But this is the time to start exploring them.

Define the relationship

Make it clear what level of autonomy you want to give the creative. Do you want to entrust him with the role of dreaming up the concept, or even solving a problem you don’t know exists? Or do you want him to work within strict confines to undertake a process that you have already developed or mapped out? Do you simply want him to follow directions and pursue a technical approach?

Make your expectations of the working relationship clear. How comfortable would you be in having the Creative challenge your ideas if he disagrees? To what extent do you invite the Creative to pose alternate solutions? Defining clear expectations will set the tone for your working relationship.

Set the timeline

Consult with the Creative to set a realistic timeline. Be sure to leave enough time at the end of the production for finessing, final changes and testing.


Working with a Creative is essentially the same as maintaining any relationship. Each party will get the most from the relationship if they communicate well. At an early stage in the relationship, define how often you would like the Creative to report back to you.

  • Would you like daily/weekly/monthly updates?
  • At what milestones in the production process would you like to give feedback and sign-off?

Give Feedback

Give honest and direct feedback. If you don’t like something, explain what in particular you don’t feel is working, and why. if you are concerned about elements of the production process, let the Creative know about it. The Creative wants to know how to serve you best. Your feedback will help him to deliver a final product to you that best fits your needs.

An experienced Creative welcomes feedback, both positive and negative, because it helps him to hone the project to best meet your needs.

An experienced Creative does not take feedback personally, and welcomes it as useful data to enhance the project.

Enjoy the process

Being part of a healthy, creative collaboration is liberating. Enjoy watching your ideas come alive!


 Ryan Spanger


Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-profit sector to connect with their audience by using video.

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