There is always one person who’s perspective is so different, so unique, and so well articulated that it forces us to reconsider our own view of the world. It encourages us to consider a new perspective, giving us this unusual sense of “discovery.”
When we sat down with Chris Hunter, Creative Director at Trisect, we realized that we weren’t getting the answers that we expected. In fact, he made us think about the world in a completely different way.
As a creative in advertising, you’re often tasked with thinking outside the box. You have to be willing to consider new ideas and explore uncharted territory. For Chris, it’s all about putting those ideas to work, making them bigger, practical, and relatable.
When most people think of fashion, they think of lights, runways, and big-name artists who are responsible for shifting perception and driving the latest trends. They might think of colors, patterns, and style. Chris Hunter considers a completely different perspective when discussing his love of fashion.
It’s all about how you present yourself to the world.
When you dress the way you do, you’re providing a visual experience for those that you interact with on a daily basis. Whether you’re on the train, at work, or at a restaurant, you’re presenting yourself to the people around you. At the end of the day, even the most fundamental dressers would avoid putting certain colors together or mixing between specific patterns because it is uncomfortable to look at.
We have always thought about fashion as a way of identifying oneself, but Chris thinks about it almost as a way of providing an experience for those that are around you.
The Idea Process
Coming up with an idea is not always the most frustrating part of the idea process. I think the frustration comes after you get the idea in trying to keep it alive.
When beginning to formulate ideas, having freedom is one of the most frustrating parts of any idea process. Having the ability to do anything you’d like can lead to crappy work. Having rules, constraints, and guardrails with any process or decision creates a limited space, which helps you to start solving problems.
Imagine sitting down with a pen and a blank sheet of paper. It’s daunting. Where do you start, what do you draw, what do you write? What the hell do you do? We feel more comfortable as soon as something is added prior to us sitting in front of the paper.
Think about individuals living in small spaces. With a mansion, it’s easy to fill up empty space with nothing. The furniture could be tacky and colors could clash. With a smaller space, however, you have to get creative to address and solve specific needs that arise within the constraints of the space. Those who live in small spaces can often be the most creative, inventive and inspiring. This is because they can’t have everything and anything they want.
They have to be tactful and creative. With this concept of freedom and space, Chris offers advice if you are confronted with a “paradox of choice”.
If anyone ever gives you too much freedom, run the other direction or ask for some rules.
Everything in Your Environment Reflects a Decision
Whenever you see anything inspiring, if you started reverse engineering and asked “why were those choices made?” you can see that decisions were made with a purpose.
Decisions won’t appear out of thin air. They are choices made from meeting a need, solving a problem, and/or delivering some kind of end result that was predetermined by others. Chris likens this concept to a very simple example of chairs, relating it to architecture.
At one point, a group of people sat down and said, “This is why this table is the size it is, the color it is, the weight it is, and why it’s put together the way it is.” Furniture is simply a form of architecture that also happens to be utilitarian.
If you think about the engineering that went into why that chair was made, it usually comes from the problem of creating it better, cheaper, and faster. If you look at an ancient throne, made completely of gold, it may seem tacky, but it was also made by people making decisions, even if they were for other reasons than yours.
Whenever you see something created that is beautiful or inspiring, it’s meeting a brief (similar to an advertising brief). When you reverse engineer it, you see there was a lot of creativity. You will see why those decisions were made. You can apply that to anything.
That kind of creative thinking is portable. This is the environment in which Chris Hunter thrives.
-This has been a Between Two Interns update with Ryan Parker and Max Braun.
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Trisect is an Independent advertising agency with over 140 people across our two offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. Simply put, we are a change agency. As one of the country’s fastest growing independent shops, we help brands navigate a constantly changing marketplace, adapt and win. We listen harder. Collaborate better. And infuse business with exhilaration.