How Aristotle can help creatives sell their ideas

It’s one thing having an idea, quite another thing to sell it to others and see it brought to life. Here, designer and author Ian Wharton draws on Aristotle and Finding Nemo to explain how this can be done

No one says this enough — the idea is the easy bit. Lack of ideas is the lowest-ranking cause of creativity not happening. The real challenge is keeping an idea alive long enough so it can find its fullest form and be seen through to accomplishment.

This is almost never done in private. It takes people. Sometimes hundreds of them, and an idea first chooses to live or die when it is sold to others, be they potential commissioners or collaborators. It is at this moment that even exceptional ideas can be brought to a permanent stop.

If you want your ideas made, which is still the most honest and respectable way to advance a skillset, career, or company, they must be sold well and without deception. The blueprint for achieving this was written by Aristotle in The Poetics – the cornerstone of understanding classical storytelling.