Greed Is Good

How to be more creative
Image: Deedavee

Initial success may have arrived at Bowie’s feet with the single, Space Oddity but it was the 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, arriving a few years later that catapulted the boy from Brixton to stardom.

Its release in June coincided with a brutal touring schedule, including dates in the US that rolled over into the following year. As his star began to burn brighter, the demand for his time became greater. With an already bursting calendar, you would have thought Bowie had enough on his plate. But as we all know – Bowie wasn’t like everybody else.

Pausing the tour briefly in August, he set about working on a new album. Not his own, but one for his new found friend Lou Reed. Alongside his guitarist Mick Ronson, Bowie produced what is regarded to be Reed’s finest solo work. A groundbreaking album for himself and another for Lou Reed. All within the same year.

It’s easy when you’re up to your eyeballs on one project to think about nothing else. But this can be a mistake. No matter how entrenched I am in a particular campaign, I’ve always got one eye on what’s next. Great opportunities don’t come by that often, and if you’re not careful, those moments will pass you by.

By staying alert to what else is happening around the office, your chances of creating more famous work are hugely increased. I can honestly say some of my best work started from a chat in a corridor, not a pre-planned brief.

The true greats all have one thing in common – they’re greedy. Constantly feeding themselves with as many opportunities they can get their hands and minds on. They don’t waste time revelling in past glories, they’re too busy creating new ones.

Walk on the Wild Side from SNL


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