“Have you ever imagined…?” The first step to any change, new thing, possibility or chance starts in our minds, in our imagination. Do you think that’s true? “But what if…?”
I’ve written before about the importance I think imagination has, but let’s touch on that one more time. Why? Because it is really the tool I use the most in my life.
Welcome to your creative life
Humans are creative creatures. We look for solutions to problems using creativity and imagination, helped by previous experience and common sense, as well as shared knowledge. There’s always someone who says “well, I’m not creative”. Well, probably you actually are, just in an area of your life you don’t think of as a creative field. We don’t need to know how to draw to be creative, nor be makers or designers. We are creative every time we try to find a new way to get or achieve something (be it a “thing”, a goal…). When we’ve tried the easy and proved paths and we keep looking for another one, we are being creative. Be it by trying to make a dish out of the leftovers, stretching our money this month or creating a loving space at home by rearranging our furniture.
But imagination does so much more for us
How do you discover your dreams? How do you know if you want to spend more time with a person? How do you know if you can be happy in your workplace? How do you know where to travel?
You imagine it. And learn what you like, what you want and what you don’t by going over it in your mind. We imagine the future and we imagine alternative presents. It’s the fastest way to build an opinion on something and decide if that pursuit deserves our time and energy. It may not always be accurate to reality, as many thoughts, mindsets and fear can interfere in our perspective, but it’s our least-invested way of learning and trying things. It’s the first step for change. And let’s not fool ourselves, life is ever-changing even when we try not to think about it.
If you love it, you’ll hold it softly
I’m starting to believe that if imagination is not valued as it should it’s because it can confuse us more than terms like “creativity” and “innovation”. We can’t pin it down and identify it as easily, we can’t list it in our resumé, there is no tangible proof of it. But it is certainly a transferable skill.
Still, because imagination can easily take us to wishful-thinking and irrational possibilities, there’s an aspect of it that gives it a bad reputation. We are here to solve problems, not to create new ones. This, though, should not get in the way of starting that fire.
Imagination is the first step
As a designer, there’s nothing I use as much as my imagination.
Whenever I have to create something, a graphic image, for example, I first imagine how I would like it to look. What do I wanna say and how? Then I may get help from mood boards and inspiration images as well as references for similar things. After that, when actually designing (creating a layout, choosing the font, the composition, the colours and photos) I don’t go on just moving everything all the time and adding and taking it out… I firstly do it mentally, imagining how I could change or move that to better capture the image in my head, the desired final result.
In life, we may do similarly. We can imagine how we would like it to look, to feel like. Then, we think about what we’d need to change and how that would work out. We imagine the possibilities and do some internal tests to see if it’s worth the investment of our energy and if we could get those desired results.
The thing about imagination is that it is a door to a world of possibilities but not certainties. It’s a tool for exploration.
And we are all explorers. But only once we take that first step.
You know, where there’s change, or where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity.
And even though I hate being forced to be kept at home, I may not deny that these days could be really productive if I do things well. But they should be fun as well.
So I’m doing this mini-challenge of dressing up everyday as if I was going to work and sharing it – and hopefully it won’t be just another selfie post for Instagram.
Is that vanity? Is that a waste of time? I like to think that I’m practicing some skills : I’m styling, I’m making aesthetic decisions, I’m getting practice with my new camera, getting comfortable with how I look and the act of sharing it. And I love when clothing reflects how you feel inside!
Is this all?
Hahaha nop. I have plenty of creative projects waiting for my attention. And a lot of resources to check up, and actual work. But you know what, as I can’t pursue a balance in life (no meeting with people, no swimming, no surfing, no running, no biking, no beach time…) I may try at least to juggle different kinds of projects that can help me hone my skills. In this way, even if I don’t accomplish and finish all my projects, I will have improved myself!
What’s the point, if nobody sees it?
Would you dress up if no one could see you? In the past, I wouldn’t. When the days come and go and nothing changes, it’s easy to lose motivation (for anything) as there is no compensation waiting for you in a foreseeable future. Although, guess what? There will never be. The motivation that you need is knowing that in the future you’ll be a better version of yourself because you did what you thought you had to do. You decided it, you struggled in its pursuit but you did it, even if some days you failed. You progressed, you made an effort, and that’s what really counts. Even if nobody sees it. You know it. Every past experience adds up to who you are becoming, even if it doesn’t show.
While staying home these days, nobody sees us if we don’t show up on social media (or personal messaging / calls / DMs). But we still decide how to do it. Will you be sharing this exceptional meal you’ve just cooked? Will you be showing your past vacations? Or will you enjoy this time on your own to do the work that is never shown? Like the household duties, the studying, the listening to your own desires?
We have temporarily lost the freedom to go out, but we have won the freedom to stay in, to stay invisible, to do our own without asking for permission or approval. Let’s take advantage of that. And let’s keep our minds sane.
To Be Updated – daily
This weekend had a special feeling. Like time has been paused, like there was more silence in the world (probably there was). This is the start of some weeks that will be different. Trying to be positive here, but I already liked how weeks were. With no outdoor activities to do, it’s time to be creative and do more of the indoors stuff. But…
It’s never a good day when you start it by having to erase the hard-drive of your computer. So I got a busy techy day, trying to make my Macbook come back to its full functionality. But no time is ever wasted, so I cleaned my car 😛
I spent sometime too dreaming up this fantasy like scenario, peacefully playing with a typewriter, worrying about nothing else than the letters on the paper…
But on these calm days, I feel everything but peace…
You know what? I’ve been wanting to wear this blazer since the day I got it. So, I thought, well, as it doesn’t seem as if I’m gonna have the opportunity right away, why don’t just wear it today? So yes, I loved working from home with this on. Why wear pajamas when you can look busy-chic?
Chose to show up on a quite cold and sad Wednesday in pink and black, heavy textured items. Maybe too much of a soft look for such a moody day. Wanted to bring in some light, but only got new shadows (did you get it ;)?
Did I see the light? There actually was a window of time during midday when the sun finally shone in the sky. Then, it actually rained. When Thursday arrives, I always feel like the week passed by too quickly. It was no exception. I woke up with a firm intention though, that even if I’m not gonna be on fire all the time these days I’ll be making an effort to try to change my scattered self to a focused one. I’m well-known in my circles for always being over the place, I like so many things that I’m always pursuing multiple interests at the same time. It’s a great way to have a broad view of the world but also a good one for not going deep into anything. Now, it may take me a while to learn how to stop the multitasking, the multi-interesting thing, however, I must start at some point.
And because I woke up full of energy, I got myself my brown ankle boots, a pair of shorts with hose and a jersey to be comfy and casual. Ready for my tea party with my zoom friends. But where’s the booze?
There’s been moments of sunshine, so we can say the week has improved! Apart from that, though…
Let me take a break and reflect. The weekend calls for time away from the week routine, even in these lock-down days. I’d like to be able to embrace it like any other day and spend many hours on my computer, but, after being used to using the weekends for doing very different things, it’s not easy to not to do so. And yes, I skipped this commitment for the whole weekend. How embarrassing… Well, not really. Saturday was for exercising, cleaning, watching a movie and doing some crafts. Sunday was for sleeping until late -it seems I needed it, as I didn’t hear the alarm go off- cooking, painting and a bit of computer projects. I could have shared my go-to-gym clothes, but… Better days will come.
Do you know something I really love about working from an office, with set hours? You can’t get bothered with tasks that are not part of the job, no personal life or personal projects coming in. Time is completely blocked. That’s something I rarely get at home. Part of it is my fault, but it’s just easier for anyone or anything to take your attention away, especially when you don’t live alone. I honestly have a great admiration for parents and the like who manage to work from home. I should find my situation so easy!
But anyways, today I’m showing up again! Got the comfiest pants in the world, super-stretchy black corduroy plus the basic black blazer. And heels. Because you get a better view of the week over heels. 😛 Pink sweater underneath.
And guess what? Today snowed. 🤦♀️
On other news, I decided that today’s the last update for this post. I may keep on with something similar (probably a Me-Made-May article) but won’t be updating it everyday. Let’s see if I can create less quantity and more quality for the next edition. Also, doing tasks in bulks is more productive and I have to focus, so… See you at the end of the week!
Did I get to tell you that I moved from creating with watercolours to trying my hand at inks? I may have not. Well, while on this blogging hiatus in my life, I decided to change my focus to using ink and a calligraphic pen to create new artworks and hopefully, one day, new patterns in a kind of a new style. It feels like a creative challenge, as I’m leaving behind the bright pastel colours I used to use these last couple of years but I’m gaining skill on using the “line” more (which I really enjoy). I’m also intentionally using fewer colours, being my palette mostly blues, a bit of brown and black – you’ll see what I’m talking about in a coming post.
So, while starting to try my hand at this ink thing, something happened.
Do you know that moment when something you’ve been fearing might happen finally happens? You saw it coming. You didn’t know when, but it was meant to happen, sooner or later.
That was the thing with using inks. I knew someday a pot would fall and spill all over the place. And so it happened. Even though I knew the time would come, I wasn’t prepared. I had not thought about what I would do.
So I just cleaned the mess. Luckily, the table didn’t wasn’t damaged, neither did my phone, which was right there and got some drops. However, I did realise while I was wiping the table with a piece of clothing that I should have done something with the ink that was now flowing down the sink. I hope next time I’ll think about putting all the liquids in another, bigger crystal jar – the ink would be dissolved in water but at least I could still use it.
it did happen again 🙈
( I spilled some ink again while I hadn’t published this post yet and I did store some of it into a jar, yay!)
So after realising I was losing all that ink I thought: “Couldn’t I do something with it right now? “. So, as quick as I could, I got that piece of clothing (intended to clean the mess) and I used it to create an abstract texture. Then I added some shapes more intentionally, even with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and voilà, out of a mess, I created this print below. I know I’m not getting into the history of art for this but… the takeaway is that not everything is lost when things don’t work out as expected, nor when accidents or messing ups show up. There’s always something to be done to improve any situation, you can always make it better.
So here it is, my free-of-guilt abstract. Truth be told I somehow still feel that abstracts are the art that those who can’t draw can still do, and because of that, I shouldn’t do it. Lately, I’ve been trying to acknowledge my blocks around creation, what I’m supposed or I’m not supposed to do, the reason why I “can’t” be an artist, etc. You know, the everyday reflections of a creative type. Maybe another day I’ll talk about that (I know a couple of books that help!).
I thought that the purple texture would make for a great pattern but as I am not that much into abstract patterns either… well, I just used the opportunity to play around. (You can actually save this image to your computer as desktop wallpaper).
So here it is to the creation of unexpected things. And playing in life. 🥂
Do you remember my last post about books? Well, it’s this one .
So maybe it’s time to update you on my reading list.
I’ll start with the books I haven’t finished reading yet.
My so-called freelance life
It’s a wonderful guide for the wannabe freelancer that has never been in that situation before, is starting now or in need of a bit of help. There’s plenty of good and practical advice. I haven’t been through it all though because I feel like I already know the theory and I don’t need to go over it (again). In my case, I should be working the path instead of informing myself. But if you’re considering going freelance, this book could be the prefect reading for you.
Design is my job
I only started it. It is nice but it’s not a great guide like the one above. It gives you the author’s advice on everything he considers necessary. And even though I appreciate the tone of it, very close to the reader, it won’t help me feel good about my job…so I said Next!
I’m 30 pages away from the end. It’s a good read to start feeling better about your life and spreading the love. A read I’d recommend. But I must add, I’ve been working on The Magic book for the last month too. And it is incredibly good. If you liked The Secret I would totally recommend it. It’s a great way to really put some gratitude into your daily life, with daily exercises. And it’s awesome how it really works.
Also, if that’s not enough and you liked everything about The Secret, I would also recommend you the book “The Science of Getting Rich”, which is the one that Rhonda received and inspired all The Secret series. It’s a very short read, you can find it free online (because it’s 100 years old!) and gets you to the point in a straightforward way. I’ll be rereading it, for sure!
Books that I did finish reading
I had a bit of trouble getting hooked by this book at first, because I couldn’t align with the author’s voice or tone at first. But as I got further I started liking it more and more. It may not become my favourite book but it is inspirational and motivational for all women in business and will empower your dreams (which I’ll always be grateful for). Let me show you some of my favourite quotes – the ones that speak the most to me.
“You must find the place inside of you where everything is possible.”
“You must envision your world through the eyes of positivity and possibility. The moment you do that, you open up a world of endless abundance.”
“Her success is not your failure.”
Leave your mark
As I told you in the previous post, I skipped the first part, because it was mostly about how to get a job. Now, the social media chapters and branding are good stuff. It’s a nice read because it feels like a different way to learn about what to do and what not to do on social media, along with some stories and advice. Who knew it that it could be so entertaining and helpful!
Want more books for the girl boss in you?
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Long days pass on through my studio’s windows, while my hands move quickly over paper and keyboards.
I wander on paths of woods in the warm afternoons and the streets of imaginary cities on my mind indistinctly.
I am a free soul.
My fingers dance over four strings while I relax at the sound of my ukulele, inspiring dreams of a surf trip to Hawaii.
Time is nothing but a shadow in the wall. The air is filled with the fragrance of a thousand flowers.
Sunsets spill waves of gold over the mountains and the sea is transformed into countless pieces of mirrors that show us another sky.
Drops of paint run quickly over the canvas, water deforming the shapes, the brush redrawing them and the voice of Lana del Rey bringing melodies of old dreams.
I am a free soul.
The only rules I know are those I build, the only schedule the routines I create.
All I know is the world I live in, the fresh air from up north, the breaking waves of my surfing spot, the chirping of birds when I wake up and the silence of the night.
Plenty of people populate my world; more than I’ll ever meet, some more than those who know my name, strangers who one day may become friends.
The smell of old books fill cosy afternoons by the fire while others are spent on unknown places that resemble galleries and airports.
Routine is always broken by adventures: long walks and climbs, surf trips to catch the next best wave, road trips that take us to beautiful landscapes and open our minds to new realities… nights under the stars and travels over the waters.
My work is all I’ve been doing naturally since I started doing things for myself. It brings pleasure to me while giving pleasure to others.
It was hard to realise that life would be whatever I decided to do with it. But then everything started falling into place.
There’s never perfection but fate comes always with perfect moments. Patience has always been my worst enemy thought in the end always becomes the best friend of the artist.
A creative soul lies within. Glimpses of it can be seen through gentle eyes. Everyone has a piece of it, all of us can watch our magic.
But no magic is greater than life has in itself. And to experience it may be our only mission.”
How should an artist’s lifestyle look like to you?
How do you imagine the perfect lifestyle of a creative life? What is your ideal routine? What is the life you dream of?
Need more? Let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month:
Creativity isn’t an easy friend. It is important to be flexible in mind to be creative. But, how to do that? What does it really mean?
Let’s remember what creativity really is: to make connections and see relationships were others haven’t. When we use creativity, it is usually using a process. We need a solution for a problem (may it be a painting, a design, whatever). To get there, you can go through a number of steps in which you recognise the problem, look for references, collect ideas, etc.
One of the methods to come up with solutions or creative ideas is …. (guess it…) EXPERIMENTATION! (that’s right, you knew it!) And it’s what I consider the funniest part of the process. Kind of difficult, not too serious, blurred rules… But the most rewarding and playful part. That’s why I needed to write this post: it’s not always easy to accept that you need time to go through the experimenting phase.
7 Reasons to experiment in your creative process
1- To practice creativity and become better at it
We can’t think that we already are at the top of our abilities and just keep doing the same again and again. Experimenting will stretch your creative muscles and skills to reach new heights. Also, creativity is about making connections, and the only way to get better at it is practising. You’ll get used at doing it and sooner you’ll be getting more original ideas.
2- To find new ways to express yourself
We have a medium in which we are comfortable, we have a style that defines us and topics we like to talk about. Well, that’s ok and right but, what about adding something else? Our works may be new and top (or not) at some point, but that doesn’t mean they can change. Maybe one day you’ll need to make them different. Just for you, nor for your audience. Or maybe you feel something is missing. Experimenting will allow you to keep growing and finding those things to add ( or subtract) and will give you new tools or expand your comfort zone, so your goals could grow too.
3- Discover styles or techniques that fit you
When you have to experiment, you have to try new things. And you have to do some research to find those. You’ll come up with new information, medium, materials and exciting possibilities. You may even try new arts, hobbies and crafts that could help you in your current creative problems. You’ll find out about other artists and inspirations too that can help you see your work under another light. Remember that a style is never fully defined and finished.
4 – Find out new things to blend into your work
Experimenting could be part of a journey. Or maybe just a trip downstairs into the closet of the forgotten stuff. Stories are part of our lives and can live through the work we do. When we live new adventures, they can become part of the solution.
5 – Have fun for the sake of it
No explanation needed. Enjoy it? Then do it!
6 – Become the next trend
Ok, this is not 100% realistic. Not because you experiment you’ll become popular. But maybe you will. Better experiment and be yourself than to spend the rest of your life just copying those who are popular.
7- Differentiate yourself from the competition
As I was saying, not to go with fashion can make you different, and at some point, some people will get tired of trends… And you’ll be shining in your corner of rarity. Be ready to sing your song.
Now that you know how good can it be for you to incorporate experimenting into your creative process, let’s find some ways to convince yourself (or others) that what you’re doing is for the best.
Even if your art is your passion, it doesn’t come easy to devote yourself to it. There are those endless projects, too many ideas or the lack of them. Sometimes, working in our art feels like a battle, like a war.
We started the topic with these books over here. This is the follow-up post, with a few more recommendations.
3- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
That’s what the book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art it is about. It is a guide that tries to explain, rationalise and inspire creatives to express themselves, overcoming what he calls “resistance”. Resistance is all thhose things that stop a creative from completing her work of art. Call it procrastination, lack of inspiration, etc. Read his work and let it help you, I’m sure you’ll find the support you need to go on with your creative projects.
Some of my favourite quotes:
– “Here’s another test. Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?”
– “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”
– Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
– “The conventional interpretation is that the amateur pursues his calling out of love, while the pro does it for money. Not the way I see it. In my view, the amateur does not love the game enough. If he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline, distinct from his “real” vocation. The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. He commits full-time.”
4- The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
The next book I want to recommend you is The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. She is a singer and part of the Dresden Dolls, but I didn’t know anything about her until I read her book. As you can guess, this book is a lot about “asking” but it is a lot about her biography too. But that is not a problem. I loved the way the book is written and how everything relates and connects, the stories and the main message of the book. It is a new perspective on how to approach the act of creating and sharing your creations that won’t leave you indifferent.
– “Have you ever noticed that this looks like this?”
– “There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”
– “Given the opportunity, some small consistent portion of the population will happily pay for art ”
– “The spirit of an artist’s gifts can wake our own.”
5 – The Art Spirit
My final recommendation of creative books is The Art Spirit. I’ve just been reading this book and I can say it is great and have surprised me immensely. This is not such a book as the others, it’s been written from letters and articles too from the author and it is closely tied to the process of painting with oils. The writer, Robert Henri, was a painter and a teacher, and the book is full of advice for art students and painters – or creatives. Because you’ll find out about technique and composition but also a lot of his philosophy of life and the artist profession.
And following, my highlights:
ON HAPPINESS AND LIFESTYLE
– “Every movement in nature is orderly, one thing the outcome of an-other, a matter of constructive, growing force. We live our lives in tune with nature when we are happy, and all our misery is the result of our effort to dictate against nature. In moments of great happiness we seem to be with the uni- verse; when all is wrong we seem to be alone, disjointed.”
– “No thing is beautiful. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at sight of them. This is beauty.”
– “Find out what you really like if you can. Find out what is really important to you. Then sing your song. You will have something to sing about and your whole heart will be in the singing”
– “A good picture is a fruit of all your great living.”
– “The thing to do is for each individual to wake up, to discover himself as a human being, with needs of his own. To look about, learn from all sources, look within, and find if he can invent for himself a vehicle for his self-expression.”
–“To have ideas one must have imagination. To express ideas one must have science.”
– “Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.”
– “To be an artist is to construct, and to whatever degree one shows the genius for construction in work of any sort, he is that much an artist. The artist life is therefore the desirable life, and it is possible to all.”
– “There is a joy in the pursuit of anything.”
– “Life is finding yourself. It is a spirit development.”
– “Try to paint canvases that will show how interesting landscape looks to you—your pleasure in the thing”
– “We must paint only what is important to us, must not respond to outside demands. They do not know what they want, or what we have to give.”
– “One of the great difficulties of an art student is to decide between his own natural impressions and what he thinks should be his impressions.”
– “Don’t stop to paint the material, but push on to give the spirit.”
– “To paint is to know how to put nothing on a canvas, and have it look like something when you stand back.”
– “Hold to this principle that the greatest drawing, the greatest expression, the greatest completion, the sense of all contained, lies in what can be done through the larger masses and the larger gestures”
– “The development of the power of seeing and the power to retain in the memory that which is essential and to make record and thus test out how true the seeing and the memory have been is the way to happiness.”
– “If we knew what we saw, we could paint it.”
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I’m sitting in my sofa, a blanket over my legs, the last lights of the afternoon entering smoothly through the window. A cool breeze is petting the trees outside and dark clouds are moving fast towards the town, above the mountains. I’m reading a book and I’m fully immersed in the words.
That, for good or bad, has been a recurring scene in my life. Books have always been a good companion of my, may they have been just readings for entertainment or study. Whatever I’m interested in the moment, I’ll look for new perspectives in books.
So when I had made my mind clear that I wanted to pursue a creative career, preferably as an artist and my own boss, I started looking for books that could inspire, motivate and teach me a way. Books for creatives. And, of all of them, I’m bringing you a list of the ones more relevant.
But this is more than a list. Because as I’m getting used to highlighting I though it would be great to share some of my favourite quotes with you. (If you like what you read, maybe you could ask for some of these books this xmas… 😉 )
My selection of books for creatives
1- (a combo) Show your work /&/ Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon is an artist and writer. In his first book, Steal like an artist, he talks about having references while working and how it is ok to “copy” to learn or get inspired to develop your own work. As this one is interesting, I found much more useful the Show your work book. Basically it talks about what the title says : how and why you should share more of what you’re doing like an artist and how that can help you, your process and your success building an audience. These books are like the business side of the creative life.
Want to have a look inside? Here are some of my favourite quotes of Kleon’s books. You can also visit his site and blog to find out more.
– “Once a day, after you’ve done your day’s work, go back to your documentation and find one little piece of your process that you can share. Where you are in your process will determine what that piece is. If you’re in the very early stages, share your influences and what’s inspiring you. If you’re in the middle of executing a project, write about your methods or share works in progress. If you’ve just completed a project, show the final product, share scraps from the cutting-room floor, or write about what you learned. If you have lots of projects out into the world, you can report on how they’re doing—you can tell stories about how people are interacting with your work.”
– “Ask yourself, “Is this helpful? Is it entertaining? Is it something I’d be comfortable with my boss or my mother seeing?”
– “If you want to be more effective when sharing yourself and your work, you need to become a better storyteller. You need to know what a good story is and how to tell one.”
– “What do you do? What are your ‘recipes’? What’s your ‘cookbook’? What can you tell the world about how you operate that’s informative, educational, and promotional?”
– “If you want fans, you have to be a fan first. If you want to be accepted by a community, you have to first be a good citizen of that community. If you’re only pointing to your own stuff online, you’re doing it wrong. You have to be a connector. The writer Blake Butler calls this being an open node. If you want to get, you have to give. If you want to be noticed, you have to notice.”
– “Work is never finished, only abandoned.” —Paul Valéry”
– “My interest in making music has been to create something that does not exist that I would like to listen to. I wanted to hear music that had not yet happened, by putting together things that suggested a new thing which did not yet exist.” —Brian Eno”
– “We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice. And that’s how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you.”—Francis Ford Coppola”
– “ The writer Wilson Mizner said if you copy from one author, it’s plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it’s research.”
– “First, you have to figure out who to copy. Second, you have to figure out what to copy.”
– “You start out as a phony and become real.” —Glenn O’Brien”
– “Ask anybody doing truly creative work, and they’ll tell youthe truth: They don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day.”– “It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.” —Mark Twain”
– “Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don’t ask a question before you Google it. You’ll either find the answer or you’ll come up with a better question.”
– “Whether I went to school or not, I would always study.” —RZA”
– “The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use—do the work you want to see done.”
– “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” —Gustave Flaubert”
– “If you ask yourself ‘What’s the best thing that happened today?’ it actually forces a certain kind of cheerful retrospection that pulls up from the recent past things to write about that you wouldn’t otherwise think about. If you ask yourself ‘What happened today?’ it’s very likely that you’re going to remember the worst thing, because you’ve had to deal with it—you’ve had to rush somewhere or somebody said “something mean to you—that’s what you’re going to remember. But if you ask what the best thing is, it’s going to be some particular slant of light, or some wonderful expression somebody had, or some particularly delicious salad.” —Nicholson Baker”
2- My second recommendation is Big magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
The author of Eat, Pray, Love wrote a book about her creative process, how she sees inspiration and how she treats every step of it.
Even I don’t resonate with every chapter, there is much to it that I do like, find inspiring and empowering.So that’s what my selected quotes are about.
– “ Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
– “I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear”
– “Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them”
– “Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.”
– “ I felt like I was falling in love, or had just heard alarming news, or was looking over a precipice at something beautiful and mesmerizing but dangerous. […] I believe I can confidently call it by its name: inspiration”
– “ Whatever is bad for you is probably also bad for your work”
– “ You can support other people in their creative efforts, acknowledging the truth that there’s plenty of room for everyone. You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”
– “ You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point.”
– “ I don’t know what I think until I write about it” Joan Didion
– “ Romans didn’t believe that an exceptionally gifted person was a genius; they believed that an exceptionally gifted person had a genius.”
– “… in the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience”
– “ I thank creativity for allowing me to engage with it at all. Because either way, it’s all kind of amazing – what we get to do, what we get to attempt, what we sometimes get to commune with.”
– “ You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life”
– “ Most things have already been done – but they haven’t been done by you.”
– “Just say what you want to say, then, and say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, believe me – it will feel original.”
– “ You are not required to save the world with your creativity”
– “ At the end of the day, I do what I do because I like doing it”
– “Your own reasons to create are reason enough”
– “ Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolutions in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.”
– “ If you’re working on your craft every day on your own, with steady discipline and love, then you are already for real as a creator.”
– “ When we look at your work […] we will want to feel your youth”
– “We need your work in order to enrich and inform our own lives”
– “ It’s difficult to create things; if it wasn’t difficult, everyone would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be special or interesting”
– “ Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy”
– “ Let people be in love with their opinions […] and just keep doing your thing […] The reaction doesn’t belong to you”
– “ Make absolutely whatever you want to make. It’s nobody’s business but your own”
– “Everybody imitates before they can innovate”
– “ Holding yourself together through all the phases of creation is where the real work lies.”
– “ It’s far more honourable to stay in the game – even if you’re objectively failing at the game – than to excuse yourself from participation because of your delicate sensibilities. But in order to stay in the game you must let go of your fantasy of perfection”
– “ Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents.”
– “ At the end of your creative adventure, you have a souvenir”
– “ You are free, because everyone is too busy fussing over themselves to worry that much about you”
– “ A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week” General George Patton
– “ The work wants be made, and it wants to be made through you”
– “ The lightly you can pass the time, the brighter your existence becomes.”
I have selected three more creative books… but I’m worried you could get an overdose of creative advice so ‘m going to share the rest next week, with the second part of this post.
In the meanwhile…
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I can’t stop hearing and reading about creativity: the creative entrepreneur, the creative business, how to be more creative, businesses nowadays need more creative people, etc. But I don’t hear that often about imagination and imaginative people. Why? What’s the difference? Why is not such a marketable concept as creativity? Is there really a boom in creativity? Why is that term so important nowadays?
Well, while imagination is not a very common word being used in business, words like “innovation” are the new fancy thing. Holding hands with innovation comes creativity, an admired skill as well. Every single business is looking for creative employees and every person is looking for ways to get a creative life.
But nobody says much about imagination. Although, it is a basic tool for creativity and innovation. Without imagination, you could not picture how something could work, or go wrong, what would be a new perspective or come up with a number of solutions. Then why isn’t it a skill we want to pursue?
“The biggest difference between creativity and imagination is that imaginations is thinking of something that is not present, while creativity is doing something meaningful with your imaginations.”
I like it. It says it clearly. Still, we can add some specifications:
Sir Robinson says that creativity is a very practical process while imagination allows us to think of things that aren’t real or around us at any given time.
So, how could we create something new? Nothing can’t be real without getting first into our minds through the imaginative process. Only using it first it is possible to be really creative. So, why aren’t there more articles about “ 5 ways to boost your imagination” or “The only thing you need to know about being imaginative and find success” etc?
My guess? It may be because to have an imaginative mind comes with some negative thoughts. Imagination sounds childish, like something you say about a child who is too often with his head on the clouds.
And we don’t want to be seen as daydreamers.
We think that imaginative people are like the guy on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. However, I would encourage everybody to embrace that skill. Because, how are you supposed to create something really new, be really creative if not playing it in your mind first?
This makes me think about the Endless Story, the book. It was fascinating to read, finding ideas so different and “creative” for a fantasy book. Well, it is supposed to be like that on fiction, right?
Why then most books or movies picture so many similar things?
My guess again?
I think we play too small.
We are afraid of playing big and we are afraid to put big crazy ideas into the world. Because they are difficult to accept for everybody at first. But if we try, and if we do, they can become really big things (or that worthy innovation). So why not try?
There is no doubt that creatives do use that skill, but why is that we don’t talk about it? Even in self-help or sports training, remember you reading the word “visualise”? I think that gets pretty close to “imagine”. And that’s powerful. Really powerful.
To conclude this post I’d like to introduce a couple more of definitions:
– Creativity is defined by psychological scientists as the generation of ideas or products that are both original and valuable. Creativity relies on imagination, the conscious representations of what is not immediately present to the senses.(Source)
–Creativity is domesticated imagination. While this second is wild and mostly about impossible happenings, creativity is original and possible. (Source)
And my last question: Then, is creative thinking a way of using imagination? or is it the trigger for the creative process?