Machado de Assis, one the most important and genius Brazilian writers of all time wrote in his classic “Dom Casmurro”: “Humans like to complicate things, is just a breeze, maybe it will mess it up your hair, or maybe will cuddle your face, who knows, who knows…”.
I like to think about the breeze cuddling my face, I don’t like to complicate things.
Some people think smart is when we complicate things, but for me smart is when we do the simple.
There are two kinds of people. The ones with opinions and the ones who execute the work.
People who complicate things are generally the ones with lots of opinions.
And people who do the work are trying to make it simple.
I’m not saying that we should do boring stuff. That’s not even considered.
In advertising / design we have some scale of quality.
Bad. Ignorable. Boring. Ordinary. Ok. Nice. Good. Great!
The step from good to great is the hardest one.
It’s when you should create something that is not only what people haven’t seen it yet, but actually create something they haven’t thought about it yet, but they have seen it somehow.
What do I mean with that?
Creativity it’s about connecting things to create something different or new. It’s about combinations.
When you connect two or more elements from existing things, some people will recognise one of those elements and think “wow, that’s interesting, I haven’t seen this before”.
But actually they did, but in a different context.
When we complicate things we tend to put too much of these elements and then the recognition is harder, so the idea just don’t have enough attention, it’s not funny enough, there are no emotions involved or no human truth.
When you combine two or more things people already like, the message is easier to understand.
Last week I had one of those simple ideas.
I asked myself: “What if I create Emojis for music artists and bands?”
My first though was: “Not possible, someone probably made that already.
So I made an intense research and figure out that no one have done it before.
But it was so obvious!
I spent couple of hours and made the first one and liked it.
Now I just need more eleven or twelve bands / artist and publish this before someone does it.
I created the “Music Emojis” Tumblr, published it and sent to some good friends and journalists. It was great.
Here it is the link to the project: http://musicemojis.tumblr.com/
The project was published in some of the most important sites of design, music, fashion and news. Made me feel so happy and proud.
But this is so simple. How come?
I think that’s the reason. People like Emojis and like Music. So I combined those two.
It was something they have seen before, but not together.
I once heard Marcello Serpa, my favourite art director of all time, saying:
“We should do the obvious for the first time”.
And that is the lesson I’m trying to learn everyday.