There is no formula for creating interesting work. If there were, everything would be interesting, which is clearly not the case. So how do you align the stars for interesting to happen? How can you improve the chances that it will come out of you consistently and often?
“Interesting” happens at unexpected intersections, fresh combinations, two disparate things crashing together to create a new thing. Based on that, the more interesting bits you put into yourself, the better the odds they will collide in new ways and result in creative, original output. And the more varied the input, the more unique combinations that become possible. So you must draw from as many different sources as possible. Be an intense student of your particular industry. Digest all there is, soak in all the trades, study all the past greats, read all the current stars. But also reach out well beyond your chosen field, because often times, this is where the most powerful inspirations come from. For example, I’m in advertising. I have studied and read the past greats Ogilvy, Bernbach, Burnett, I have gone to Cannes many years and seen the world’s best work, but my most influential inspirations have come from art, poetry, music, martial arts, not from other “ads”. You get to more interesting, not by copying the way of your industry, but by introducing new influences that take your industry to new places.
When you randomly juxtapose unlike elements it usually generates an interesting result. So in your waking, working hours, push them together, line them up next to each other, the odd, short one with the tall, conservative one, pair the Krav Maga with the Barber for Strings, seat the E*Trade Baby next to Confucius, hang the Goya next to the Successory, mix the Oscar Meyer jingle and the Sex Pistols. See what happens. Do they suddenly and strangely get along? Spark something never seen or heard before? (Which is always the goal.) Now go to sleep and let them dance together in your dreams, then wake to their magical amalgam.
Interesting doesn’t come from sitting next to someone interesting. It doesn’t come from showing someone else’s interesting youtube video, or from telling someone else’s joke. It comes from you, ingesting and combining things in a singular way, a way that creates your “ness.” the special mix that is you and only you. Your Joe-ness, Your Emma-ness, your Rob-ness, your Sofia-ness, your Tariq-ness.
You are a crock pot. Put all sorts of assorted ingredients in there and let them stew and cook together. Create your own unique concoction, Original Recipe You, then serve it up in helpings of interesting work.
Rob Baiocco, CCO/Co-Founder, The BAM Connection