Providing freelance creative services to different businesses and organisations is a challenge, especially if you are changing location and working practices week-in and week-out.
The variety of systems and processes you have to learn to contend with, sometimes in a very quick fire manner, can play havoc with your own working practices and organisation if your not on the ball.
These recent experiences, combined with past ideas and learning have helped me realise more than ever how simplicity is key to the progression and health of any studio operation.
Artworking taught me how a structured approach aids the efficiency of the work, for invariably better results.
New experiences provided by freelancing, has enabled me to gain time in several different studio environments, providing better comparison for those practices and if they would prove effective.
I have noticed that studio operations can be made incredibly complicated, unnecessarily so, which makes me wonder why.
The aim of a creative studio is to process the main currency of an agency; think up ideas, and turn them into working reality. We all know this.
But like automotive production, the processes involved are key to it’s productivity and fluidity. Without process involved, it would be disorganised, diminishing that important flow of work.
And as all you managers will know, productivity of course means profits.
So it puzzles me how creative studios appear to overlook certain aspects of their operation, when they could be refined so they become negligible within the day-to-day operation.
Just think; account handlers not having access to the working server would be a thing of the past. Each piece of work would have it’s own clearly labelled folder. Everyone (and by that I mean the whole company) works to a simple, monitored process that drives the output.
Creatives often show distaste for conformity to a system, but would they change their mind if that system actually relieved pressure and gave them more opportunity?
Once a task becomes efficient and routine, it can take very little time.
A good example of this is the use of a booking system or job numbers.By utilising a numbering system, a busy studio provides itself with a life long reference to any piece of work it compiles.
Likewise, server and file management is often insanely complex.
Do you really need separate locations for ‘creative’ and ‘artwork’? Isn’t that just part of the ‘production process’? Why split it up?
People sometimes forget that a studio is part of a business, that needs to operate smoothly, it’s shouldn’t really be about protecting self interests. It should be about working together to benefit each others greater attributes.
From my freelance experiences so far, I’m of a strong opinion that no matter the scale or frequency of the workload, no matter the size or urgency of the client, an organised and efficient studio only benefits from simple processes and better organisation.
A confident studio exudes that aura to it’s surrounding colleagues and customers.
And we all know, customers love a confident knowledgeable supplier.
Making any process complicated is easy, so why lower yourselves?
Image by Dimitrii Vaccinium from Unsplash