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DMI Music & Media CCO Tena Clark gives her thoughts on what it takes to be a great creative

The Drum recently caught up with Tena Clark, founder and chief creative officer of DMI Music & Media, to find out what she thinks it takes to be a great creative.

Aside from being dreamers and rainmakers, Clark said that great creatives need to be in touch with themselves as well as everything happening around them.

She also said that great creatives should be able to recognize the intent of the message that they are putting out into the world, meaning that they should always be thinking about the audience who will ultimately watch the TV spot or listen to the radio ad that has been created, and should consider what they want that experience to be like for them.

“As long as I feel that I am conveying the message of what that particular scene or person is, that’s what it takes to be a great creative,” she said. “It’s not a great creative if all I’m doing is reflecting and projecting my intention, because that’s not what it’s about.”

Clark is a Grammy Award-winning producer who has written and produced songs for artists including Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole and Patti LaBelle throughout her career. She founded DMI Music & Media nearly 20 years ago on the premise that music could “connect brands to customers and allow rising stars to be discovered.”

Since then, she has worked on musical strategies for brands including Build-A-Bear Workshop, Walgreens and Kohl’s. Clark has received a number of awards for her work, including the “Entrepreneurial Champion Award” from the Committee of 200.

Her full interview with The Drum can be viewed above. See what Rei Inamoto, founding partner at business invention studio Inamoto & Co, had to say when we asked him what it takes to be a great creative.