Google “advertising hybrid creative” and you’ll find shiny phrases like “rare breed,” “next-generation,” “shaking things up,” “the future.” New! Exciting! Scary.
Not too long ago people talked about “hybrids” the way they talk about mutants in X-Men. But more disdainfully, as if we lacked focus: Mixed-up. Uncommitted. Dilettantes. “Pick one thing and be great at it,” they said. Scoff.
Nowadays, if you write, shoot, edit and design, you’re revolutionizing the world of advertising. What’s gotten into this “rare breed” of free thinkers? What’s changed? In my opinion, not much. Creatively speaking, hybrids have always existed: Gordon Parks, Jeff Bridges, Emma Watson, Jessica Lange—Stacy Wall.
Wait a second.
Didn’t Stacy leave W+K to direct commercials? Hmmm.
Seems the ad industry’s late to the party.
Kids don’t limit creativity, grownups do.
As a child, I didn’t dream of being an “adman” or “creative”. I just created. Pencil, paper, lots of imagination, no filter. Raw. Creativity was a conduit for my emotions—a by-product of curiosity. It satisfied my need to express everything. Eventually becoming an undying fire—no—a raging ocean of electric shark blood rushing through the recesses of my soul. Yep. Creativity became my superpower. My escape. Freedom, like the last day of school. Summertime bicycle rides, wind-in-face, popping wheelies down the biggest neighborhood hill. Pop rocks-and-soda pop passion. I was hooked.
I started writing poetry at 12. A year later, I fell in love with hip-hop. Music became my meth. Like Walter White’s Heisenberg, I needed to create it myself. In time, I picked up the camera. Shot video, then photography. Ultimately, onto motion graphics. Learning every tool to help better articulate my ideas— in hopes to make some cheese, bread, guap, coins, dinero, mula: money. Luckily, I’ve entered the ad game at a time when every aspect of my creativity has a job function. Instead of limiting creatives, savvy shops understand the value of resourceful, multidisciplinary workhorses.
Come out. Come out wherever you are.
Do you and do it well. Some hide in the shadows of a job title, the truly curious don’t. So, while this “hybrid creative” thing seems like the new wave, it’s becoming old hat. Remember this: “If I can do it, you can too!” Blah. Blah. Blah. Look at a tutorial. Take a class. Fail. Succeed. Creative energy is a limitless stream of untapped resources. It’s in the ether. If you want it, you can have it. You don’t need permission or a funky title to carve out your path. The creative person is the one who isn’t afraid to leap into the unknown and discover something unexpected. They view the blank page as uncharted territory begging to be explored—a universe of opportunity seeded in thought. This is why “hybrid” creatives exist: The unquenchable thirst for articulation. If we can’t find the words, we’ll paint the picture, shoot the video, build the sandbox the uninitiated only wish they could play in. We’re the rebels. The mutants. The punks. The kids who aged, but never became grownups. Join us.