How I Boosted My Creativity
Creativity is a trainable skill — not just a born talent. When I first got into art, I thought creativity was some magical ability people were born with. Either you had it or you didn’t. I looked at other people’s work and thought I would never be able to think like them. They had their own style and such original ideas.
The truth is, you have to grow your creativity the same way you grow any other skill.
Stop Criticizing Work You Haven't Started.
The scariest part is always starting. What idea is worth filling the space of an empty canvas? Listen to me. Your first ideas don’t have to be perfect. Bad ideas often lead to good ones.
Let me break that down. Starting anything always scares the hell out of me. I used to criticize my ideas before I even made them. If you ever strategize all day and night, but never put the pen to paper, then write these words on your hand:
Shut the fuck up and make shit.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s art, not rocket science. The beauty of human error is what makes art so wonderful. And often, getting the dumb ideas out of the way will show you a new idea you hadn’t thought of. Dumb ideas usually have gems in them. Extract the gems, and make something beautiful.
Quantity Over Quality.
Which of the following aspiring artists is the wiser? The artist who posts 10 meticulously scrutinized paintings in a year, or the one who cranks out 100 paintings hoping for the best? Honestly, the second one probably learned more than the prior.
Quantity builds experience. Experience teaches you what works and how to make it faster. Ira Glass said it best:
Just make something, then make another, and another. Set deadlines and create something new every day or every week. Experiment. Make ugly stuff. The most successful people also make the most mistakes.
Love The P Word.
When I got halfway through writing my first book, I hated it. It was cliche and horrible. When I started working as a designer at an ad firm, I was frustrated I couldn’t compete with my fellow artists, who were only a couple years older. I was busting my ass, so why wasn’t I as good as them? Why couldn’t I think like them?
Patience. I hated that word. I still do sometimes. The truth is, there are no short cuts. If there were, everyone would be doing it. You can’t get to the top without putting in the time — and I mean a lot of time. To finish off Ira’s quote:
If you‘re looking for some quick guide on how to become a star, stop looking. There isn’t one. You have to work for it and that takes time. But I was so happy to learn you are not stuck with the level of creativity you were born with. You can improve your imagination. It just take courage, practice, and patience.