A creative life means opening a lot of small doors

Photo by Marietta Varga. “Art is the big door, but real life is a lot of small doors that you must pass through to create something new.” — Jean Giraud To be creative is to be open to the idea your ideas—your way of understanding the world—are limited by what you have experienced. A simple… Read more »

If you do nothing, nothing happens

If you want to be creative: you’re better off doing things than waiting around for inspiration to strike. Too many people say they want to think more creatively—they want to have ideas for making money, turning their art into their livelihood, or how to have an impact—but end up doing little to nothing because they… Read more »

Limit what’s possible and you’ll have more ideas

The painter always sits down with the tools he has available to him, in front of a canvas with a set size, knowing what his abilities will enable him to create. A chef comes to the table prepared with ingredients and supplies at the ready. It doesn’t matter what the specifics of the constraints are… Read more »

Creativity isn’t just what you think, it’s what you do with what you think

My life changed when I realized just how powerful simply showing up and trying things can be. I remember one time coming into the office and, upon hearing how I liked to dabble with web design during the weekends, my boss asking if I could create a little project for the office. The deal was… Read more »

How to get out of a creative rut

Originally posted to Quora. What does it mean to be “in a rut”? By definition, a rut is a deep track made by the repeated passage of a person or thing. It’s like going out for a walk every day of your life and always taking the same path. Over time that path becomes worn… Read more »

To be creative, start with what’s missing

There are a lot of reasons to get into cooking as a profession, being hungry isn’t one of them. Instead, a reason to take up cooking is to learn the art behind the dish, or to help satisfy others, or because you really enjoy a finely crafted meal, or—and most likely—to fill a void you… Read more »

Why your day job won’t kill creativity

Do regular, 9-to-5 jobs kill creativity? If so: how do they stifle it out of people who otherwise might be creatively gifted? What can we do to prevent it? Who’s to blame? Is it common for 9-5 jobs to kill creativity? As TV scriptwriter Stan Hayward puts it: “No. Not at all. Because a creative… Read more »

austinkleon: “Creativity and ego cannot go together. If you…

austinkleon: “Creativity and ego cannot go together. If you free yourself from the comparing and jealous mind, your creativity opens up endlessly. Just as water springs from a fountain, creativity springs from every moment. You must not be your own obstacle. You must not be owned by the environment you are in. You must own… Read more »

What makes your ideas matter

What makes it possible for you to have worthwhile ideas? As TED curator Chris Anderson puts it: “There’s one thing you have that no one else in the world has: Your own first-person experience of life. Yesterday you saw a sequence of things and experiences a sequence of emotions that is, quite literally, unique. You… Read more »

Five books you should read to learn more about creativity

What five books should you read if you want to learn more about creativity but have no idea where to start? I’ve read a lot of books centralized around the concept of creative thinking over the last ten years. Everything from the psychology or creativity to how some of histories greatest artists utilized it in… Read more »

  • February 8, 2017

    “We must push ourselves to ask the harder question. Not ‘what do THEY want?’ but ‘what do…”

    “We must push ourselves to ask the harder question. Not ‘what do THEY want?’ but ‘what do WE have to say?’ We must do the work of looking inside ourselves to find what is beautiful and tremendous within us and summon the courage to put this out. As James Joyce said, ‘in the particular lies… Read more »

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  • February 6, 2017
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    What’s the price of your idea?

    I like to start my day by reading. Lately I’ve been reading the book Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor and author who has capitalized on the theory of “Jobs to Be Done.” The theory essentially says that all great innovation comes from serving a particular “job” that people have in their… Read more »

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  • February 2, 2017

    How creatives break away from old ideas

    How do we, as creative individuals, break away from old ideas? Ideas that otherwise hold us in their grips because they’re all we’ve known, or because we’re afraid of what might happen if we let go. Brian Tracy gives us a few answers. He says that the most impactful creatives admit when they’re wrong, face… Read more »

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  • January 31, 2017
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    What to do when your creativity shows its age

    The most difficult thing about my age is feeling attached to every life experience I’ve had thus far. That is: the older we get, the more we build our beliefs based on whatever they were founded on. When a child encounters something new or different, she’s likely to approach it with a natural curiosity. As… Read more »

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  • January 30, 2017
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    What a laugh says about your ideas

    My favorite reaction to anything creative I do is a laugh. If what I show someone—whether it’s something I’ve written or painted or programmed—can evoke a laugh, I know I’m onto something worthwhile. It’s easy to look at something creative and respond with a less than moved reaction. Having someone say “that’s clever” or getting… Read more »

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  • January 29, 2017

    What separates your creative heroes from everyone else

    When you’re surrounded by people who inspire you, what does that feel like? What do you immediately think of when you think of those who spark your creativity or curiosities? Are they creators or makers? How do you imagine they spend their time? Where do they invest their energies and how do they expose their… Read more »

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  • January 28, 2017
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    What does this remind you of and why does this remind you of it?

    A book without words can still have meaning as a book. If I were to hand you a book with no words anywhere on or in it, you’d still probably know what to do with it. In the time of the ancient Egyptians books were common, but they held no words you or I would… Read more »

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  • January 27, 2017

    To be creative is to engage with ideas, not merely have them

    To be creative is to be engaged. You can’t have creative ideas if you’re not paying attention to the world around you or engaging with the ideas you come up with. The requirement of engaging, or taking some action, with ideas is why it’s so easy to conflate creativity with the arts. The artist creates… Read more »

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  • January 26, 2017
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    What to do on the days you feel uninspired

    First, remember that feeling creatively uninspired is a lot like feeling you had too much to eat for your last meal. The feeling will undoubtedly subside and you’ll find yourself hungry for new ideas again. So don’t beat yourself up. Albert Einstein would often have bouts of procrastination. Earnest Hemingway was notorious for battling feelings… Read more »

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  • January 25, 2017
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    Important reminders of your creative abilities

    The awards a movie actor displays in his studio are just as much for himself to admire as they are for friends or visitors. When you walk into a Michelin Star restaurant and see the number of stars proudly on display, that’s just as much for you as it is for the restaurant staff. Or… Read more »

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