"Every day, we engage in intellectual intercourse this industry calls 'concepting,'" Diana Friedman and Nechama Muchnik tell Muse. "We get briefed, we find a space, and we get busy. We can't do it with just anyone, it's a vulnerable process, and getting to an idea feels like an orgasm."
So, naturally, they created the Koncept Sutra—a guide to creative exploration, for creative partners. The book, inspired by some of their favorite partners in advertising and illustrated by Tori Seitelman, shows various "positions" (that you might not even know about!) that could jump-start your conceptual life.
Here are some examples of the positions:
We spoke to Muchnik more about the book.
Muse: Where did this idea come from?
Nechama Muchnik: The idea has been there all along. We've been referencing this insight that concepting is like intellectual intercourse for quite some time. Especially as we reflect on how great our conceptual life together is. One day, it just sort of happened. We were talking about mediocre concepting, bad concepting, etc., and one of us said Kama Sutra, and then we made an executive decision to get this book done before Valentine's Day.
How did you brainstorm the positions?
We drew inspiration from partners whose work we admire. Some of our heroes and our peers. From there, we tried to adapt their known concepting style into positions. Naming them was the hard part. It was a delicate balance between drawing parallels, but also staying true to the nature of the idea.
While platonic (usually), creative partners in advertising really do share a level of intimacy, don't they?
They absolutely do. It's pretty crazy. When you're a creative, one of the most important relationships in your life is with your creative partner. You eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with them, you talk to them more than you talk to anyone. The level of trust is unparalleled. Your livelihood depends on each other.
Do you have to be close to your collaborator to generate great ideas?
Not all partners would say that they are friends as well as creative partners. But Diana and I definitely wouldn't be as strong of a team if we weren't also incredibly close. You have to understand the inner workings of one another, and again, trust is huge. Work and life get in the way of each other all the time. We have to understand that and communicate nonstop. You're in a high-pressure situation all day every day. Communication is the only way you're going to survive and thrive.