We took in the IDEA Grad Show last night and all I can say is WOW! Each and every time we connect with that crazy group from the North Shore I’m inspired and amazed; they’re likeminded folks for sure.

The depth of creativity that IDEA graduates bring to the table is exceptional and the diversity amoung the group is really something special. What stood out to us this year was how eloquent the new grads were. They spoke about their lives, their work, and most importantly their process and they left us with a deeper impression of who they are and what they offer the market far more than any promotional effort could ever pull off.

That’s where the rubber hits the road as far as I’m concerned: talk about the process I always say (well, I’m saying it now anyway).

When artists and creatives want to market themselves they often make the fatal error of either 1. hiding in a closet (believing their work will speak for itself) or 2. they talk about the end result and how awesome it is (a noisy and desperate plea). The “true” artist and the shameless self-promoter are not all that effective at trying to elicit curiosity in their work or generate demand for their creative skills. Both of those approaches fail to create genuine interest.

In a market full of other talented souls the battle to garner attention is hard. From my perspective, what is, in fact, interesting about creative work, is the process. HOW they arrived at the final result is what makes me pay attention.

“Story” is always a good way to approach a marketing effort but I’ve been increasingly intrigued by raw guts of the creative process and I’m attracted to creatives who can expose themselves and their methods (or chaos) in order to share their creative spirit.

Take Drew Young for example. Sean Carter (Hangar 18 Creative Group) pointed him out to us and so we buzzed over to his display. Within seconds he was telling us about how he went about creating a collaborative illustration project that wasn’t even featured on his wall! Brilliant!

My advice? Be like Drew.

If you don’t know much about the IDEA program then here’s a snapshot: IDEA is a career-based three-year advanced diploma program offering instruction in both communication design and applied illustration. This dual curriculum sets IDEA apart from other post-secondary design programs and gives graduates a lifelong edge in the job market. In this demanding, full-time cohort program, students gain a strong theoretical foundation and learn how to develop and apply concepts, manage complex projects and meet current industry expectations, both creatively and technologically. To find out more about the IDEA program and its graduates visit capilanou.ca/idea.

So, a shout out to the IDEA grads for all their hard work – we wish you continued success; to the faculty… you’re doing important work, thank you for your leadership – the quality of the Grad Show is a reflection of your dedication to excellence and community.

Speaking of process, if you’re working on a creative project or entrepreneurial endeavour and you need help taking it to the next level… you’ll want to check out the Connect, Learn, Grow workshop series by Emotus Operandi. It’s happening Saturday, April 30th on Granville Island and you can register here.

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