Five fabulous clients later and here I am writing my blog with a huge satisfied smile on my mug. For a moment however, it wasn’t quite as big. You see, recently I encountered powdery mildew.
This mildew I hasten to write, was not upon my person. It was in fact upon my roses. So where do I start? Ok, so 4 months ago I purchased my first ramble of roses; yes I’ve made up that collective noun, and yes I rather like it. Well, this ramble of roses equated to 10 beautiful climbing roses that were to create a blooming wall between my neighbours and me.
It all started incredibly well, I became an obsessive nurturer; training the stems in a manner taught to me by Sir Alan of the Titchmarsh. I beamed with pride every morning when someone strolled past and commented on my potential blooms. Then last week, disaster struck; the powdery substance I had discovered on my roses was, as the RHS website informed me, powdery mildew. So what does one do now? Well, firstly remove affected leaves, and if necessary, the stems.
So here I was, cutting away all the work I had lovingly toiled over for the last 4 months. It wasn’t all gone, but let’s just say that my roses’ stems looked in need of a modesty patch.
After creating an organic spray and squirting the poor things, instead of being disheartened, I started to truly feel like a ‘gardener’. I had suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous powdery infestation and having adapted to head off the attack felt at one with Sir Alan.
And here’s where we get to the point. It’s all about adapting. You can start a project, feel you’ve got this nailed; got this in the bag; easy peasy lemon squeezy … Then, what? The brief’s changed? The client having seen the first draft realises that actually this isn’t what they required.
Well, that’s the creative business for you. And it’s human nature. Sometimes we have to see what we don’t want in order to realise what we truly want.
So, this is when as a creative consultant you need to keep your skin thick, and be ready to jump into the next required mindset and action. You have to be adaptable and understanding. And most importantly, you need to enjoy doing it. This is why we do drafts; I often give clients 3 very different designs and ideas, and once or twice none of them work. Back to the drawing board you go, but you keep the positivity you had at the first briefing.
This isn’t failure, it’s gardening. Powdery mildew is merely a creative challenge that once you’ve tackled, leaves you still with a beautiful product, but most importantly, a great feeling of ownership and satisfaction as having stepped up to the plate and truly delivered.