The thing you’re creating isn’t necessarily yours.

“The thing you’re creating isn’t necessarily yours.” Andrew Navaro, Art Director, Fantasy Flight Games

There’s a natural tendency to be protective of your play.

If you’re doing it right, then it’s something that comes from within you, that’s yours, that speaks to others of the creator that you are. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, there’s nobody out there more you-er than you, and there’s no one else who could create exactly the same things you create.

The trouble comes from the fact that you’re not just playing for you.

You’re playing for, and sometimes with, others.

That means you need to keep them in mind, whether as the audience of your product once you’ve completed it or as the fellow members of a team building something that your play is going to be a part of.

When you’re just doing your thing, you can get used to creating for people who are happy to simply have what you’ve made, especially if they can’t do it themselves. Once you start doing it professionally, though, you have to compromise between playing the way you want it and playing to serve the needs of the people paying you.

That means being willing to accept feedback and constructive criticism – which may mean having to accept scrapping what you’ve done and starting from scratch again. And if you’re serving someone else’s creative vision, you’re not likely to get it right the first time.

As art director for Fantasy Flight Games, Andrew Navaro has plenty of experience in both creating art and governing the work of several people in the service of a product. “Let go of attachment,” he says. “Realise that your work is part of a bigger thing.”

Want to hear more about Andrew Navaro’s career in art and product design? Listen to his episode of The Paid to Play Podcast!

Featured image by Chris Lott; used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.