Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Some musing on creativity

The Starbucks (inky) Red Cup from Johanna Basford on Vimeo.

The gal over at just put out one of the best articles on working in a creative field that I have read in a long time.   It is sooo easy to sit back and whine that it is just too hard, there is no time, the market is flooded, etc.  There is literally no limit to the excuses you can come up with when you set your creative mind to it!    And yet, here are some practical, useable-right-now tips.

This one is my favorite:
Create your own opportunities. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, like what Johanna Basford has done here (see video above). Some people say that you shouldn’t do the work before being commissioned and with a piece of paper in your hands. Bullshit. Be generous – show what you can do first, especially people are unsure about your capabilities or when you have nothing to show but a bunch of student work (which you think could be better). Be smart about it though – show that you can solve problems, not just make pretty things that can be recreated by an intern. If you’re good, there’s plenty more where that came from, so don’t be afraid to open up.   
It brings to mind this beautiful quote from Martha Graham:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."  ― Martha Graham
This is a truth I am coming to understand more and more as I make my way in this world:  There is no one else who can do what I do.  Not that what I do is NECESSARILY the best (have to let others make that decision!)  but I am the only one who can do it, and when I try to box it up or make it safe or edgy or anything other than what my heart wants it to be, I am short-changing the whole situation.   Scary and freeing at the same time, no?

The Pikaland article urges us to START NOW and to move with boldness.  Seriously, read this post!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Tara! I love that quote from Martha too, so great to hear more discussions about this! :)