Saturday Night Live and Portlandia veteran Fred Armisen is also a member of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business community, for his work promoting Latino comedians and writers. On the 10th anniversary of the 100 Most Creative People in Business list, we caught up with Armisen and learned what he thinks is most vital to succeeding in a creative field today.
Fast Company: What is your current job title?
Fred Armisen: Comedian/Shipping.
FC: How do you ensure creativity fits into your current role?
FA: I give myself room to not be creative. This way, there’s not too much pressure to come up with an idea. Perfunctory is okay sometimes.
FC: What advice do you have for creative-minded new graduates as they embark on their careers?
FA: Save every single electronic device you buy. Then, in 20 years, you can take it out of a storage container, bring them to a party and say, “Oh my god, look what I still have!”
Also, I would say, while you’re working on your own projects, offer to help other people out with whatever they’re working on. It takes you out of your own world for a little while.
FC: Is creativity in business overrated or underappreciated?
FA: Overrated. A few weeks ago, my accountant handed me these investment ideas in watercolor. These huge blueish shapes on rolls of parchment. I had to try to understand what he meant while also complimenting his use of color. It just begins to take up too much time.