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Feb 19th 2014 | Joe Smith

Imagination Brain Power

Have you ever listened to your brain? If you can still yourself long enough to see and hear the gears winding away and the thoughts rushing by, it is astonishing. The human mind is capable of amazing things. Some try to explain it in processing power, and they don't seem to agree. I am not convinced we can compare it like that. A big part of my thoughts, memories and assessments are feelings and intuition. How do you store, manage and retrieve THAT! I digress?which is my point!

Imagination Events

Some of the 100,000 thoughts I have a day are fully detailed visions. They are formed in a flash, coalescing as detailed events that I can revisit like a memory. I call them imagination events. Here is one of many many examples:

I was washing dishes one day when I saw a whole vacation in a quarter second. I'd been contemplating one for weeks but made no real plans, when scrubbing dried egg off a fork I saw and felt everything. How I purchased the tickets and chose the hotel, the airport wait, the naps, the sand in my toes, the seafood dinner, the hotel towels, the smell of the damp paperback I was reading on the beach. Every detail was accessible simply by remembering the event of that thought.

These things are very much like dreams. It is not a predictor of the future but an illuminator of present and future.

Selling Imagination

An imagination event in my brain is like a baseball player hitting a curveball. The mechanical change in swinging a bat once the eyes and brain recognize the pitch as a curve is popularly called muscle memory. Familiarity with the skills of pitching, swinging and the field of play combined with repetition help a batter succeed.

My familiarity with printing presses, silk screening, design software, paper styles, HTML/CSS, database structures, server and client side scripting, marketing principles, design principles, and typography combined with repetitive use of these to create web sites, software, brochures, direct mailers, corporate identity and so many other marketing products, gives my mind a kind of muscle memory training for producing appropriate ideas.Marketing creativity for me is second nature for me, like a professional baseball player hitting a curveball.

Well Informed Creative Imagination

Skills are important but the problem posed by a client is the seed of an idea. People contact me with a particular problem. Sometimes they have a solution in mind but I like to start by trying to understand the product or service and then the pain it is causing. Often a client's passion shines through and few details are required. Sometimes extensive research is needed to understand what the product or service does for its users. I have had imagination events within moments of a client starting to tell me about their problem. It has happened after hours of conversation. It has hit me while brushing my teeth.

For Nashville Loves Food an hour into the creative meeting I could feel the weight of the paper, the style of Sheri Oneal's photography, the subtlety of varnishes, the richness of Melissa's content, and the folded die cut. For POCA Point I saw the scheduler software in a flash while I was receiving acupuncture.

The better the information the better the idea. I have to want to buy it. I count myself lucky for having a variety of clients and projects for products and services that I can appreciate. Not every marketer is so fortunate. I am also lucky to share my imagination. Of all the skills I've acquired in this field over the last 30 years the most fun, effective and valuable skill is my creative imagination events.


This is an attempt at explaining "I sell my imagination", the new way of talking about art dude creative.

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