How to Go Back to the Drawing Board

It hits us all differently.

The implosion of our grand conceptual dirigible, leaving us in a demoralizing mushroom cloud of devastation, denial, and utter deflation.

Some of us seek solitude, sanctioning ourselves off in tiny glass rooms where we stare into nothing until a new idea permeates the walls and whispers in our ears, “Try this.”

Others regress to our primitive roots, going out into the ward to hunt and gather snacks. Starbucks, Colectivo, the Market…anywhere we can sneak up on some unsuspecting lattes, donuts, or anything infused with sugar.

Some pour an uncommonly classic cocktail. SoulBoxer, anyone?

The point is, no matter how differently we individually handle the time between hearing the opposite of what we wanted to hear and going back to the drawing board, we all have one crucial thing in common: we never give up.

Instead, we:

1. Let the dust settle.

Everything leading up to this point – where we either seek solitude or snacks or, oftentimes both – is us letting the dust settle. We don’t think about it for a bit. We clear our minds.

2. “Do better. Be better.”

Although it’s thrown around the office as casually as tossing around the spiky-yet-satisfyingly-squishy-sponge-of-many-names, this lighthearted directive is taken, and not lightly, to heart. By all of us. We want to impress our clients. We want to get it right for them, so we regroup with the core team on the project and identify where we could have done better.

3. Digest the criticism.

We talk amongst ourselves about what the client liked and didn’t like about our presentation. It’s as simple as that. We make a plan to dive more into what they liked, and steer clear of what they didn’t.

4. Get back into the eye of the storm.

Brainstorm, that is. We open this up to everyone on the Savage team. By giving the team a brief download on how the presentation went and opening up the floor, we invite fresh ideas to rejuvenate our creative.

5. Regroup and revise.

We regroup for a third time, now with just the core team and an ample supply of caffeine and Swedish Fish. We export potential ideas from the macro brainstorm and just like that, we commit ourselves to a new concept. A new design. A new name and brand story. A new campaign. Whatever it is we have to revise, we get at it.

Not hitting a homerun with every presentation is an inevitability of the creative atmosphere we’re in. We know that. But, we’re not satisfied with walking the bases when we know we can take another crack at it and knock it out of the park.

Going back to the drawing board might be the last thing we want to do as creatives, but sometimes, it’s exactly what we need to launch our ideas to the next level.