Creativity and the Importance of Gameness

Our resident motionographer and I recently attended a talk by motion graphics art director Lauren Fisher, hosted by CreativeMornings/Cincinnati. In addition to showing examples of her work (very impressive!) and talking about her path, Lauren talked about the importance of being “game.”

As Lauren spoke, I was reminded of the little-known fact that gameness—while a useful concept— unfortunately comes from the abhorrent practice of dogfighting.Originally, gameness signalled a dog’s ability to fight on despite injury or adversity. Dogfights are rarely to the death or even incapacitation of one of the animals, but rather until one of them quits. This animal had less “gameness.” While I obviously don’t condone dogfighting or animal abuse of any kind, gameness is a quality that people in the creativity business can learn a lot from, and it’s something that we admire in the most successful people in our field.

For people who create, sell the creative product, or use the creative product to sell something else, being able to keep coming back with enthusiasm and ferocity in the face of adversity is a major key to success. Every stage of the process is rife with opposition, some healthy and constructive and some not.

Imagine if a creative folds every time his or her idea isn’t immediately adopted. Ideas that are easy to understand are ones that are easily forgotten. It takes gameness to fight for your idea and prove its merits.

The same goes for the account person charged with selling the idea in to a client or the client putting the idea into the world. You’re going to meet with pushback, so what are you going to do? Game individuals will champion good work.

The purpose of CreativeMornings is to foster bravery and fellowship among everyone whose livelihood relies on creativity, and I think Lauren’s theme of being game was a great lesson that we all can take to heart.