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 »

  • January 24, 2017
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    How to put creativity on your resume

    How do you demonstrate creative ability on something like a resume or portfolio? The same way you demonstrate anything: show your work. What problems did you approach with creativity and what were you able to accomplish as a result? If ideas are worthless, what we do with them is where the value is. People are… Read more »

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  • January 23, 2017

    The practice of asking creative questions

    I’ve written on the importance of questions before, even going so far as to outline a combinatorial equation for asking better questions. But questions remain a complex and otherwise difficult problem to work around for creative thinkers. Questions—particularly when they’re investigatory in nature rather than fact-finding—keep our thinking open. They create spaces for ideas to… Read more »

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  • January 21, 2017
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    The struggle with creativity

    There’s always been a struggle with pursuing creativity. Routine just comes too easy. Even if things aren’t as great as they could be, habits at least assure predictability, and there’s comfort in that. For as long as there’s been recorded history, it’s clear that the pursuit of creativity has eluded more people than it has… Read more »

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  • January 21, 2017

    Failing to see things differently

    When you’re looking upside down it’s easy to see things in a refreshing way. You almost don’t have to try, things just appear in ways you hadn’t thought of seeing them before. Suddenly parts of the ceiling architecture appear that you hadn’t realized exited because you’re now seeing them from a the perspective of being… Read more »

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  • January 20, 2017
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    Here’s an idea

    Just start and the ideas will follow. Of course it’s not quite that easy, but when you “just start” surprising things can happen. That’s because the hardest thing about writing a draft isn’t coming up with the words. The hardest thing is sitting down to actually do it, to start. If you can sit down… Read more »

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  • January 19, 2017

    Ideas simply want a place to fit

    The only thing ideas want is to fit. Ideas are out there in the world, waiting to be captured or imagined. They travel around us in all different sorts of ways: from communication to entertainment to dreams. All ideas want is to find a place to fit, to exist. There may be ideas that have… Read more »

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  • January 18, 2017
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    We are the bakers, not the makers, of ideas

    The way you make a cake is by collecting a bunch of ingredients, mixing them together in the right order, then putting it all into an oven to bake. The process of creativity is a lot like baking a cake, in that it entails the gathering of ingredients—or knowledge—then mixing it up and allowing it… Read more »

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  • January 17, 2017
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    Creativity in the coming age of artificial intelligence

    I’m excited for the day our creativity is benefited by automated technology, more so than it is today. If creativity is our ability to enact change driven by new and valuable ideas, then the addition of technology for determining and drawing-out those ideas is something modern machines are certainly capable of doing. We already have… Read more »

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  • January 16, 2017
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    Two methods for asking better questions

    A favorite quote of mine from Socrates goes: “Understanding a question is half an answer.” Famous American inventor William Edwards Deming echoed Socrates by stating: “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” The importance of both these quotes cannot be overstated, however both what Socrates and Deming’s say… Read more »

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  • January 15, 2017
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    It’s not enough to have ideas, you have to learn how to bridge them too

    Yesterday I had the chance to be reminded of the fact that not all ideas have the possibility of being victories. I’ve been on a roll lately with writing daily and posting to this blog, and over the last two weeks I’ve watched as certain ideas I’ve shared reach more people or have more of… Read more »

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