Support Your Goals with a Creativity Brief

Disciplined Dreaming by Josh Linkner

A Creativity Brief can help you make any creative project more successful.

Caution: It’s hard work!
In his book Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, Josh Linkner, founder of ePrize, shares an outline for a Creativity Brief that you can use for any project – a major installation, an exhibit, a workshop, or a new blog or website.
Linker writes:

Warning: the Creativity Brief is intense and will take real work to complete. But that work is a good investment. By taking the time up front to get it right, you will yield an exponentially better end result.

He’s not kidding! It’s an intense process that isn’t for the weak. I’d compare it to writing a grant application.
Defining, in detail, the major components of your project gives you a blueprint to take action. You don’t worry about your next step(s) because it’s all mapped out for you.
I started the Creativity Brief last week to help me define a major art-marketing workshop in Golden, Colorado for October 15-16. My Brief isn’t completed, but the process has already yielded big results. I’ve gotten plenty of new ideas just by wading through the outline.
The structure of the Creativity Brief supports – rather than limits – your creativity. Without such a structure, you can be too easily distracted and neglect your priorities.
Linkner discusses creativity primarily through an organizational structure, but what he has to say can be applied to the solopreneur. I’ve adapted his Creativity Brief for your use.
Download my version of The Creativity Brief for Artists:
PDF or MS Word (.docx)
Try it out on your next big project, and let me know how it works for you. Or leave a comment about a similar process that you use.

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12 thoughts on “Support Your Goals with a Creativity Brief”

  1. When I worked at a design firm, the creative brief was always the first and most important part of any project. Structuring your ideas forces you to clarify your objectives. Putting them down on paper, and having all stakeholders sign it forces you all to get on the same page, to understand what you are agreeing to accomplish before you start. Then, whenever someone has the urge to shift the project, add something, change something else, the brief serves as a touchstone, keeping everyone on track.
    I still use a form of the creative brief for every project I do. When I was preparing to have a booth at last month’s Artexpo, I outlined in great detail what my objectives were, who my target audience was, and so on. Because of this, I was able to accomplish my goals and have a very successful show. It was a success because I knew, ahead of time, what “success” meant for me.

  2. Im preparing PRISTINE a wilderness art show of traditional
    and mix media paintings. This brief is really helpful yet
    many of the questions in it were answered by in my plan so
    I’m encouraged that I was thinking right. I have presented this
    one man show to a University call to artists, we’ll see what they
    say. The plan is great but the artwork has to be good enough
    and that is always the bottomline.

  3. Thanks Alyson…this is timely…I hit a wall yesterday. So many **good things** (YAY) are happening.
    I can appreciate a tool that gives me additional guidelines. I’m a ‘Mind-Mapper’ for goals so I’ll be interested to see how this works with that.

  4. As a software engineer, this type of project planning/requirements gathering comes naturally for me. Well planned projects tend to run better than those where little thought was put in up front. THanks for the reminder.
    And thanks for sharing the link to this book – looks most interesting and I’ve put it on hold at the library.

  5. Thank you for sharing your version of the creativity brief. I can think of a couple of projects where this will come in very handy. Yes, it does seem like a lot of work, but all the questions asked are important and could make all the difference in the world. (They are also the questions I would rather not think about, which says a lot.) Thanks again!

  6. I am going to try this when I get home today! I’m arranging for a Studio Show at my house in May so this is perfect timing. I’m sure if it works well I’ll use it for many other projects. Thanks!

  7. I really like The Creativity Brief and am looking forward to using it. I knew I’d have to give it a try when I saw the section on “The Resistance” as I just finished reading “The War of Art” which dealt with the Resistance on many levels. Thank you for providing this for us.

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  9. Thanks for sharing Alyson 🙂 I like anything that helps me know what ‘done looks like’ as far as big projects go. Yours gives me a few aspects to consider that I wouldn’t have thought of 🙂

  10. This is great. I used this for a new project and found it very helpful to have more information for my marketing. Also, in the middle of the process, I found myself wanting to switch to the ‘creative’ side – or the content – and noticed how doing these steps is not my first impulse.
    I still have to finish; I got interrupted when I got to the budget part – dang! I will finish, though, and will use this for future projects.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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