Some things to get (and keep) you going …
Write a manifesto, like this one:
- Become your own revolution.
- Your creativity is your birthright. When people try to chase or laugh or stamp it out of you, smile and ignore.
- You don’t know who you are until you know what you can do.
- Practice deliberately. You have to fail in order to grow.
- Push at the edges of what you understand, and listen to intuition. That’s when you become a visionary.
- The more you educate yourself, the more intuitive you become.
- Mistakes can open the way to the real art.
- Feed your head. You are the sum of your influences.
- Your art is not an airplane. If it crashes and burns, you can just walk away.
- You are not as alone as you think. Really.
- The creative life is not a hobby but a constant state of mind.
- Interestingness lives on the edges and deep in the intersections, where ideas bang together and things change to other things.
- There is a place where the world and your soul intersect, otherwise known as your audience.
- Part of learning to do the work is learning to navigate the fear and anxiety before they navigate you. This takes practice.
- Go there. And then go deeper.
- Real art makes you vulnerable, but that’s where the power is.
- Aim to seduce instead of conquer.
- In the end, you love or you die. Love is better.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira GlassHost/Producer, This American Life
“We shouldn’t pre-decide what we’re trying to do except to find out more about it.”
– Richard Feyman
“When you have a better sense of who you are, you have a better sense of what you want to say in your artwork.”
– Chris Staley