Spot Illustrations by Spencer Goldade

An example of how a project can drastically change creative directions

May 28, 2015 - 3 minutes read

You may have seen me post a few of these illustrations before, but I wanted to share with everyone how this project evolved as a great example of how creative projects can drastically change directions.

Where the project started was as an illustrated infographic. It would attempt to use some of the client’s visual identity colours, and tell a story about empowering women in a 3rd world country. This was a cause that I greatly support, and that reason is what makes this significant to share.

I started pouring a lot of effort into painting these little portions of the infographic, and direction seemingly being approved. However, the client outlined once I had jumped so deep into things that they would not be able to go forward with an illustrated approach anymore and needed something more graphical. There was nothing wrong with this change in direction, project wise, or art direction wise. From the project’s stand point, and with their reasoning, it made sense. That didn’t change that my heart did a little flop, seeing my grand plan to paint something beautiful deflated before it could reach full mass.

The lesson? Don’t get so attached. The cause is definitely something I believe in and support, and the organization is great to work with, but sometimes projects just need to change. As creative professionals we need to be able to adapt to that change and see the requirements from a different angle. Whatever the objective is to best help the client and end-user is what we need to keep in mind, not what best serves our ego. Especially in cases where you might change direction so much that it seems like a polar opposite, like below.

Example of Change In Creative Direction

As you can see, the greatest change here was from illustrative to graphic iconography (some created, and some sourced from the Noun Project) to be incorporated into an infographic. It still turned out great in the end, but very, very different.

Even if it’s a cause you care about, don’t get too personal about it! Be open to helping in the best way you can for the sake of the project, taking into account that your vision may not match everyone else’s, or be the right fit for the requirements. In this case there was no selling the client to attempt the other direction. Their reasoning was sound. And so, in that case, being part of a team working towards a common goal meant being humble and continuing to drive forward. Either way, I hope you folks, at least, enjoy some of the original painted pieces.