So, I have just finished reading Creativity, Inc. by the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, Ed Catmull. I can’t tell you how much I adored this book! Well, I guess I just did!
Anyway, on the eve of the release of the company’s latest production, Inside Out, which I can’t wait to see tomorrow, I thought I would share with you some insights I took away from it.
Now, if you have read it I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me how fabulous it is. And if you haven’t, you may be thinking it’s about the history of Pixar. And that is certainly part of it – and that journey is fascinating in its own right – but it’s so much more than that!
Creativity, Inc. is a story about how to make an impact in the world, be financially successful and still maintain your creative integrity. It’s a story about innovation and taking your art form “to infinity and beyond!”. Okay, I had to put that in there! It’s a story about leadership – about taking a group of people who each have their own gifts to offer and drawing the best out of them so that the company prospers and the employees go to sleep at the end of the day feeling like they have been a part of something meaningful and magical.
Who wouldn’t want that, I ask you?
But how did they do it?
They created an environment where people were heard and they felt like their opinions were valued. These days, I have been taking on my first directing gig for a theatrical production and I learned a lot about how directors are encouraged to deal with input from everyone involved in a film. When you feel like you are a valued contributor to a project, you will be more inclined to give your all to it.
They allowed employees to decorate their workspaces however they wished, realizing that one’s surroundings can help or hinder inspiration and creativity.
They created a workplace that encouraged connection and collaboration among people in different departments, acknowledging the fact that being aware of how other people do their jobs can affect how you relate to them when it comes to doing your job.
And one of my favourites, they allowed for, even encouraged, mistakes with an often used phrase being “be wrong as fast as you can” so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t and try something else. There’s an understanding at Pixar that, in order to be innovative and unique, you are going to have some things that don’t turn out so well. That’s part of the deal. If you want a failproof system, you will just end up regurgitating what was successful in the past and you won’t grow or learn from it. To move forward you have to take risks!
These are just a few lessons I took from Creativity, Inc. – there is so much more in there – and I wholeheartedly encourage you to read it if you haven’t already. It’s inspiring and enlightening and you might find you become a better artist because of it.
Okay, that’s it for today! I hope you’re enjoying the download of Ladybug Crossings I posted last time. More to come!
Have a great day!