Hi all!!! I am Danielle Coles owner of Mirror Perfection: Weddings and Events by Danielle. In the last few weeks I have had some great learning experiences connected to the creative process – which I would love to share!
I was hired to coordinate ‘day of decorating’ for a wedding. As prearranged, the mother of the bride found/collected the decor and made sure it was at the reception hall. I arrived, as well as all the friends of the family ready to help with their different personalities and areas of expertise. None of us really knew who each other were and based on our relationship with the bride, we all wanted to be in charge. Sound familiar to anyone? We had our backs up and it took a while to find our creative groove; some even decided to leave. Again, does this sound familiar to the DIY bride and Event planners? Stressful? HECK YES!!!
In the end it was beautiful, but more importantly, it allowed me to realize I never want this to happen again, for me or for others. There had to be a way to educate and lessen the stress for the DIY bride and Event planners!!!!
Finding those we work best with can be a challenge or even seem impossible when we don’t understand our unique differences in creativity and how we can best utilize them…
So I called on my brilliant mother in law, Diane Llewelyn-Jones. Although not a wedding planner, I asked her to apply her knowledge she has gleaned from her work in the professional world of theatre – creating and producing major theatrical events – to the DIY bride. The principles of creativity are the same, no matter the project. I know you will find them as insightful as I have!!
THE CREATIVE TRIANGLE
By Diane Llewelyn-Jones
Everyone is creative. Everyone. Each project demands people with three distinct creative strengths: The Visionaries, the Implementers, and the Finishers. We all excel in one of these strengths and are all needed.
The DIY wedding planner needs to determine which strength they have, surround themselves with those who can share their strength, and those who can bring the other two strengths to the big day.
These people are what we call “the creative ones”. The visionary is the one who has the idea – they imagine the end result and know exactly how to enthuse those around them. They know how to gather the fire needed to heat up the idea and the resources to get it going. Others rally behind them with every expectation that whatever they have dreamed up will be spectacular!!
We often place the weight of a project on a Visionary’s shoulders. In the imagination of the glorious finish and result of such a project they cannot see the details of how it is to be done and the time and resources to finish it. Too often after the birthing of a project their enthusiasm wains. Their creative juices fizzle out as committee members ask them how things are to be accomplished. About ¾ of the way through they begin to skip meetings, not return phone calls and regret that they ever “said yes” to this. Others begin to criticize them – suggesting they aren’t as “brilliant” as everyone thought they were. Tempers flair and often the creator has a melt down. Others rush in to save the day – (the implementer and the Finisher, which is exactly what was needed) – and many vow to never work with this “creative” person again.
These people are what we call “the doers”. They are the ones who say – “I’ll help but don’t put me in charge” – or “I can’t think of anything so don’t ask me”. We often dismiss these people as uncreative (and they think of themselves that way too) and give them a small pat on the back as we shower the other two creative strengths with flowers and chocolates. But their creativity is absolutely vital to any project. Their creativity lies in how to bring to fruition the ideas the creator has proclaimed. They actually design, alter, find, beg, borrow, steal, barter, restore, negotiate and simply put in the hours it takes to give life to the ideas. They know how to organize a work force, encourage and cheerlead others, and keep things on an even keel to allow full enjoyment of the experience. Too often the Visionary will micromanage rather than guide the Implementer’s work, and will often hamper and diminish the amazing mind of an implementer. When given the knowledge that they have the respect and freedom to implement – others may want to stand back as they will be blown away by the Implementer’s creative mind.
When an Implementer is asked to oversee a project, they often take forever coming up with the actual idea. They see an idea from the implementation angle and destruct it before it is born. Coming up with even one idea seems painful to them and deadlines loom. But once an idea is in place, they “go to town” and are “in the zone”. Too often, as the project begins to be realized, and the work they are doing begins to bear fruit, others (Finishers) step in with opinions on how things could be improved and finished. This overwhelms the implementer and they begin to feel unvalued and unappreciated. All their work is being “taken over” by “control freaks”. They often promise themselves to never accept an assignment again. They’ll “help out” but will not subject themselves to “so much criticism”.
These people are who we call “the detailers”. They know instinctively the right touch that puts the icing and cherries on a project. They have just the right “thing” sitting in their garage – or their friends garage – and they know exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done and if people would just listen and do what they ask all will be well. As harsh as that reality seems, it is truth! Once their minds see the idea, see the work that has been done, the finisher’s energy kicks in. Given the proper respect for their creativity, they will stay up all kinds of hours, multitask to the brink and see the project through to its completion, all the while creating thank you notes and gifts for everyone involved. They return everything they borrowed and know that clean up is a creative process in and of itself and schedule appropriate time for such tasks. Their “fuss and bother” is what turns good events into unforgettable experiences.
Too often Finishers are treated as nuisances. They are the ones, when gathered around the creative birthing table, that cannot see how something is to be done and so bring up finishing obstacles which dampen the Visionary’s juices and discourage the Implementer’s calculations. They are often not even invited to the “birthing room” as they are such “downers”. The Finisher notices – often after a project has been completed – the details that would have made it really great. Their mind is aflame with thoughts of “if they had only done this, moved this, done it this way, etc.” and they mention it to those around them, who will often say, “Can’t you just enjoy this (experience)? Why do you always criticize?” They are always astounded by these reactions because criticism is the furthest thing from their mind - thinking of all these things IS enjoyment and having fun! Their creative juices are going and they seek out the person in charge to let them know all of their really great ideas. These are often met with distain for the Finishers tactics and gall including thoughts like, “where was she/he when all the work was being done?” Others may appreciate their finishing skills but bring them in too early. The Finisher cannot see enough of the project for their creative juices to kick in, and are often overwhelmed, thinking, “These people have no idea what they are doing”, or, “They need too much help – I don’t know where to begin”, and giving voice to those thoughts can be disastrous. Allowing the Finisher to finish will bring tremendous results!
Recognizing and cultivating our own personal creative strength can give harmony and excitement to any project. Skills from the other strengths can be learned, but never inherently enjoyed. Full support of each others strengths and inquiries of needs can and will foster a fully charged creative experience for everyone involved. Being aware of and respecting the transition from one stage of an event to another is a skill that needs to be learned and allowances for learning it need to be granted.
Within each stage of an event requires the use of all three. For instance, “let’s have a wedding!” requires a venue. Determining that venue takes the Visionary to bring into sight how it will all play out, the Implementer to book it and make the necessary arrangements and payment throughout the process, and the finisher to know the do’s and don’ts, the amenities, the specific final enhancements and thank you note. Therefore, as with all aspects of your DYI wedding, putting a person in charge of “the venue” is not the best use of the creative triangle.
Gather your team, determine where your strengths lie, and enjoy the best day of your life!!
• Mirror Perfection: Wedding and Events by Danielle •