Screen capture from "An Ode to Creative Work"

An Ode To Creative Work, By Behance

Creative work is a labor of love. All too often, we celebrate creation and overlook the difficult and emotional labor behind the scenes. Anyone who creates for a living knows all too well the doubts and barriers – both within us and around us – that challenge us every day. From the very beginning, our team at Behance has sought to discuss and support the “work” part of the creative world – the “99% perspiration” – that goes into making ideas happen.Today, I’m pleased to share a short film – an ode to creative work. In recent months, our team embarked on a side project to film an eclectic group of creative minds at work. From the Behance community, we asked some folks we admired (interactive designers, art directors, graphic designers, fine artists, and others) to allow us to film them over the course of a day – the ups and downs and everything in-between.We all share common struggles, yet collectively, we have more opportunity than ever before to make an impact in what matters most to each us. It is this hope and vision, grounded by the reality of the hardship of creative work, that motivates our team to build 99U and Behance.

An Ode To Creative Work [full transcript]:

Behind every great advancement, in every industry, there is a creative mind.
Creativity may come easy, but creation is hard.The late nights spent trying, and failing, and trying again.

All the while, holding onto our vision. Pushing what we see in our mind’s eye into the world.

But our potential is being held captive by forces around us and within us.

Middle men who play us down while marking us up. Not giving us credit. Getting us to work for free.

And worse, we get in the way of our own success.We rely on chance encounters. We’re disorganized and isolated, liable to go unnoticed.

We can do better.

When creative minds come together, the sum exceeds all expectations.We connect, we learn, we critique, we prosper. 

It’s not about money or fame, it’s about doing what we love.It’s about creating our greatest work on our own terms.It’s about realizing that creativity is not just an opportunity – it’s a responsibility. 

Here’s to unleashing our full potential. For us, and for the world that awaits what we will do next; Take creative control.

More insights on: Focus, Motivation, Perseverance

Scott Belsky

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Scott Belsky is Adobe's Vice President of Community and Co-Founder & Head of Behance, the leading online platform for creatives to showcase and discover creative work. Scott has been called one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company, and is the author of the bestselling book, Making Ideas Happen.
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  • David Carrillo

    A great work with the movie.

    David Carrillo.

  • David Weik

    I love this. The essence of creativity and the spirit of Behance.

  • The Girl Who Knows

    Love the message of this! Look forward to seeing more!

  • jmco

    Is this a preview for a movie or is this the movie?

  • C Williams

    “If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results.” – Emily Bronte

  • Sean Blanda

    This is the entire thing. Keep an eye on for more like this in the near future.

  • Ivan Filipov

    sorry, guys, but the holding hands in a circle is way too cheesy…and unfortunately, creatives have proven to be individualists. Group messages usually are not very effective with creatives.

  • Cristian Zarate

    Absolutely love it!!! it’s so inspiring (thanks for the spanish translation haha)

  • sirvent

    I really like this movie, especially the text that I find very great


    I thought to be the only one to think that.

    Thank you and bravo.

  • Myriam Fartas

    Film magnifique qui résume bien le ressenti des gens de ce métier, Bravo !

  • Chris Henson

    Three things:
    1. I worked on my own— in my attic office — for six years. Now I work in an agency with a slew of creative people. I have learned this: Creative collaboration is the key to doing better, more meaningful work. And the key to enjoying it.

    2. Dang nice video. I will share it.
    3. Creative people sure are attractive.

  • Ana Guerreiro

    Love the message and I totally identify with it! Great short film.

  • Charles Valsechi

    “sorry, guys, but the holding hands in a circle is way too cheesy…and unfortunately, creatives have proven to be individualists. Group messages usually are not very effective with creatives.”

    I don’t think you should generalize your feelings for everyone. Personally, I think its important for each person to find their balance between the group and the self. Each plays an important role in many facets of a creative persons life.

  • kyle Lane

    We need a Union for creatives… Way past due

  • rich babiarz

    It’s a nice message. I wish it would influence me not to quit graphic design. I’ve never found this world where creatives are friendly, unpretentious and supportive. It really seems to be otherwise. Just one opinion.

  • Vladimir M

    I LOVE THIS! Except for the voice-over… wrong tone IMHO. I bet if you change the Voice Talent, give it some strength and conviction, this spot will be 100 times more emotional.

  • Rachael Rice

    Did I see Danielle LaPorte in there?!

  • Diseño Web Caminito

    Really amazing and so true… Great work!!!!

  • Derek Kimball

    I dunno, I’ve personally found it a bit difficult to find like minded creatives to collaborate with. Hopefully one day I’ll find some cool people who are just about the creation and not about their own ego and greed. That has been my experience. I suppose until then I’ll be just fine being an independent freelancer. Nice short video though.

  • d a n i

    Sometimes you can forget that as artists you go through these grey area phases. Definitely an inspiring reminder that your not alone. Whether you prefer work individually or in groups, sometimes just feeding off of the like-minded creative vibes from others helps feed your individual momentum.

  • David Nixon

    I understand the sentiment, I even get the purpose – but why is this packaged in such sickly sentimentality. Please, please, please stop presenting creativity as some kind of social disability – it is a word which describes a method of approach – we are all creative to some degree, and the reduction of this human quality to mealy mouthed marketing speak is abhorrent.

    Your video attempts to make a very serious point – which I get – but it is lost in some really stark stereotyping, and downright sick making US style cheese (the high five on the completion of a construction project is particularly stomach churning!!!!) – It is a shame you weren’t more creative with the creation of this video, it is a shame you have given it such a veneer of self satisfaction, it is a shame that it smacks so pungently of the marketing man’s ego.

    Furthermore, has it occurred to you that some people prefer to be disorganised and chaotic, not all artists are driven by the cheque book, and these are usually the truly creative minds that remain untouched and unsullied by the corporate lust for new ideas.

    I am creative, I am not “a creative.”

    Oh and by the way, this is not and ode, it is an advert – first and only rule of creativity: be honest.

  • kara2dance

    I have come to know that no matter how amazing your personally generated idea may seem, it can always and will most definitely get better when opened to a group of creative individuals. Amazing write-up. The core of this short film is the message and it came across clearly. Keep it up and never forget it can always get better..

  • Scott Belsky

    The interesting thing is that this was all captured from many hours of footage of creative professionals doing their thing, by a crew with tons of experience blending in and disappearing. So, if any particular shot is off-putting, well, no one process or set of work habits suits all.

    However, any critique of some of the frames we chose to include in the final cut, editorially, are certainly valid. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Elsa Fernanda Escarcega

    it inspires me to keep creating and to share more! thanks!!

  • Paul Montwill

    I would like to see the full movie of this kind with a lot of practical examples, discussions, case studies – maybe a bit less emotional…

  • yoshi_75

    Shame about the cheesy film and terrible choice of voice over artist but the sentiment in the words is good…

  • donald

    Nice one! I like how the politics of being part of the creative class is given a political significance.

  • donald

    did I say politics twice… ;)

  • Jeff French

    I think the video is well done, but to be honest, the use of the term ‘creative’ as a title does not resonate with me. Designers and visually rooted media makers, communicators and collaborators should not co-opt this term, or perpetuate this stereotype that designers or artistically minded people are ‘creatives,’ while managers, engineers, teachers, social workers, etc. are not.

    I was actually under the impression that Scott Belsky was not a proponent of this usage, but I guess maybe I’m wrong on that? In any case, I really appreciate and admire the work Behance has done and continues to do; It’s a mission I can respect, but I think we do ourselves a disservice to try and hold exclusive claim to a title as sweeping as Creative. This type of thinking leads us as a society to think of certain people as belonging to a creative class, rather than celebrating the creativity across all fields.

  • Scott Belsky

    Jeff – I feel strongly that “creative work” happens across all disciplines and industries – it is the type of work that solves problems in new ways, and advances every industry.

    The title is about “creative work,” and is not intended to address one particular industry. In fact, the first line of the video is, “Behind every great advancement, in every industry, there is a creative mind.” As your comment suggests, we all have the potential to do creative work. I agree. This type of work is hard, conjures up all sorts of internal obstacles (and external as well).

  • Rennie Bidgood

    How did you do it? What tools? Please read on if you can help me find the tools I need…

    Please let me know if you have a solution to my problem — it seems you do. Here’s my problem: I need a better way of creating sophisticated animations for my music (original music and lyrics) — a better way, that is, than using Microsoft PowerPoint.

    One suggestion received so far: Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium

    I know nothing about it at this time. It seems like it be a HUGE undertaking, learning it, but if it’s worth it, I’LL DO IT! WHY: I’m totally burnt out being a Technical Writer and don’t wanna do it any more. I’m working through a long, arduous process of determining what I wanna be when I grow up (Part Deux).

    GORY DETAILS: I created a video for my song (Walking Into the Woods) BUT I CANNOT POST IT here or anywhere on the Internet because …1: The movie file (wmv format) is not only gargantuan(sp?) but also … 2: it’s garbage, because the video (slide transitions + animations) end up running faster than the audio (to the tune of 3 months of work being all for naught). Yes, it’s my bad for not doing tests of small sections up-front in the development process. Live and learn. (I didn’t knkow what I was doing at first — it was all an evolving series of “I wonder IFs” …)

    I did manage to eek out ONE successful video and post it here: — check out the chalkboard (the project entitled, “Using PowerPoint to Create Videos”).

    Thanks … thank you for having this WONDERFUL website. I’m grateful for having access to such a community. Blessings to you, -rennie (aka Frew)

  • Andrew Okoro

    Is it weird that after watching this, i sorta feel like i’m part of a larger family? One that has its members all over the world.

  • Rochelle Harris

    I love this message.

  • David Emil Henderson

    whenever I’ve had one of those days when nothing goes right, I go back to this video for a recharge. It works every time.

  • Estela

    I love the video. I think the creative
    field should be organized in different professional unions to be honest.
    Creativity is still seen like a banality, a pretty thing but not an important
    asset that helps companies earns money and the world to be developed.

    I watched the video but ended up not to know what doing next.
    What creative minds should do is actually find a space online at an exact time and exchange knowledge translated in work
    opportunities, courses… creative working for creative would be the dream!

    I know Behance already does it in a really good way but something where only creative companies built by creative people would be involved… just an idea.

  • Scott Free


  • Jef Tan

    Hi there, with your permission I’d like to post the transcript on my blog (with full credits and link-backs of course) let me know if it’s alright? Thanks in advance!

  • Rachal Tarquin

    I have seen this video over and over again to remind myself that living the life of a consultant is a process. The brilliance behind the video and words capture the essence of the journey I started to take. I will most definitely share this and write a blog to continue to help spread the word.

  • Sean Blanda

    Jef: Sure! Just be sure to link back to this page and embed the vid as well.

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