Look to Others to Construct Your Best Ideas and Your Best Self


By Ryan Huff
VP, Creative Director (Copy)

From the outside looking in, one would think the Creative Director of Copy has it all figured out. Allegedly, I am at the top of my game, having worked my way up the ladder and mastered a handful of creative and analytic classes both in my undergraduate and graduate career. The truth is, I am no different than I was three years ago.

Back then I was a first semester junior who was nervous, not very confident in his portfolio, and slightly sweaty, waiting to be interviewed for a copywriting position in AdLab.

While I still don’t have all the answers, what I do have now is people around me that can help guide me to them. I have been lucky enough to come into contact with mentors, professors and peers who have – and continue to – shape my perspective on life, innovation and creativity.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from Professor Judith Austin, who teaches multiple creative classes at BU, when I was pitching an idea for an assignment in her Art Direction class. It was an idea that even I thought was a little too off the wall. “I’d rather work with someone who needs to be reeled in, than with someone who needs to be pushed out,” she told me that afternoon.

That wisdom has influenced every single one of my projects since, and I continue to spread it whenever I come into contact with students who are questioning whether or not it’s ok to push beyond “out-of-the-box.”

I never would have been gifted Professor Austin’s valuable advice had I not questioned my own ideas. In this field, a curious mind will take you far. This means not only questioning your own ideas, but also accepting the criticism and input of others and seeing what you can create with them.

“Others” should, and will, include people with all different types of backgrounds. Don’t ever let your own credentials and work experiences cloud you from learning new things, even from those who are younger.

This past semester, when reviewing creative work, the executive board has often looked to one of our interns, Steve Friedman, for input. We are genuinely interested in hearing his ideas because, at the end of the day, anyone’s concept could be the winner.

The same thought process expands beyond the confines of the College of Communication, and into the “real world.” You aren’t going to be able to produce work that has reached its fullest potential without consulting others.

It’s important to work as a team. It’s even more important to construct a team that supports you in pursuing your passions. And it’s of the utmost importance to have members of your team that challenge you to push even harder to discover new passions.

The farther along I get into the journey of life, the easier it is to see that the majority of people feel the way I do. No one has it figured out. What I do know, though, is that it’s important to relax and absorb as much as you can from those around you.

In the words of Tobe Berkovitz, one of our faculty advisors, all you can do is “just go with the flow.”

1 Response
  1. Mark F

    Amen Ryan. Well written article! Value the collaboration more than vetting your own ideas