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From Days to Hours to Minutes: Streamlining the Creative Process 

For over 16 years, David Leopold, the Senior Director of Creative Experience Technologies at ViacomCBS, has worked as an editor, producer, motion graphic designer and almost everything in between. Needless to say, David knows creativity like the back of his hand. 

In his Adobe Max presentation, Leopold broke down the creative process and gave wise wisdom for those of us who want things done quickly, efficiently, yet with quality at the forefront. 

It’s time to streamline the creative process; and it’s time to learn how…

The 4 Pillars of Creativity 

Being creative can be stressful at times, and making sure your workflow doesn’t come with hurdles makes that process all the sweeter. 

Leopold highlighted 4 pillars that maintain a creative mindset throughout the production timeline, which are: 

  1. Start your research: Investigate the problems. Are you struggling with something specific, such as software or a muddled mindset? Analyse the issues and explore the existing tools that could help ease the stress.  
  1. Develop: But wait, what if the right tool doesn’t exist? Then make the right tool for you! Adobe software, for example, can be used in all matters, not just the ones they’re advertised for.
  1. Innovate: Don’t break the rules – ignore them. Your creative process should start with a blue sky of endless possibilities. Avoid limiting yourself to the rules laid down beforehand – pay no interest to them and explore all avenues.    
  1. Educate: To make an impact on the creative world, you can’t keep secrets. Share what you’ve learned with others – they’ll return the favour down the line. 

Get in the Zone! 

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting stuck into something and then getting distracted. A lot of time can be taken up just getting back into that meditative zone of making magic. Leopold raised this subject and questioned how we get to that mindset faster and stay in it longer. 

Firstly, don’t focus on efficiency – strive for productivity. It’s true, sometimes ideas can pop out of thin air, but even so, it’s vital to plan out your time and maximize all the resources at hand. Play around with what you have and steer clear of the creative process becoming repetitive. Use tools that are exciting and invigorate your passion for uniqueness.  

Additionally, don’t worry about saving time – center your attention on reallocating it. If you finish a draft earlier than expected, you’re not done! This is an opportunity to polish things up and even look at your work from a different perspective. At Arke, we pride ourselves on sharing our work internally and bringing in eyes, thoughts and ideas from multiple departments. This can generate new ideas and frameworks that you hadn’t thought of that can be integrated into your work. 

Last, but certainly not least, get rid of those pesky distractions! Leopold puts it best himself, stating, “creativeness comes from a stream of consciousness”. The more we focus on the product, the better it’s going to be. This is a crucial factor, as if you leave that state of flow, you might never get back to it.  

Creating as fast as you can think is one of the best mindsets to be in. With these factors taken into account, your productivity will be at its best and brightest. 

The Final Steps 

Before we get busy being creative, Leopold’s last words resonated with us and are something we’ll consider before we ever finish making something. 

“If it isn’t familiar or magical, put it back on the shelf.” 

If the process is uncertain, don’t force it to be finished. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and analyse where we can improve the process.  

If you’d like to view the entire seminar, you can watch it here. And, if you’d like help in streamlining your creative process, let us help you implement the four pillars of creativity smoothly into your current workflow by contacting our creatives today.   


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