Category: Creativity

Creativity Life & Philosophy Social Media

The only reassurance you need

We treat fame and social media status like currency. We presuppose that anonymity or a lack of engagement trivializes what we do.

Even worse, we let TV and Instagram determine our self-worth.

But what and who matters is rarely popular. No one wants to pull back the curtain and see the sweat and tears of a Van Gogh, who toiled in obscurity his entire living life. He never knew publicity.

Even if you've achieved some level of recognition, what you consider your best work will almost always contrast with the public perception.

At the end of the day, humans want to feel necessary. They want to commit themselves to a worthy discipline, whether's it's expressed through art or driving an Uber to support the art or vice versa.

It's a canard to think that fame predetermines whether you matter or not. The most important things in your life are provided by the most anonymous people.

Fame is fake stimuli. If you feel like your work matters, that's the only placebo you need.

Creativity Life & Philosophy Social Media

What matters isn’t always popular

What Matters Isn't Always Popular

If you've ever published anything on the web you know what it's like when all you hear are crickets. No likes, no comments, no reshares.

You think your content sucks because no one's acknowledging you. But it's a misconception to sell your work short, especially if it's your labor of love.

There are 2.1 billion+ people on the Internet. If you're writing, acting, or sharing your music someone's going to connect with you. They may be a fan, a teacher, or someone you admire within your scenius. But you're never going to appeal to everyone.

“The less reassurance we can give you the more important the work is.”

Seth Godin

All social media is based on reassurance. That's why most Instagram content looks the same. If you want to guarantee success, you'll share photos of beaches, dogs, selfies, and food.

“We were raised to do things that work.”

Seth Godin

But why not challenge sameness by trying something new? Go for some tension. Err on the side of being vulnerable if it means you get to make the stuff that makes you happy.

Unlike politics, creativity asks that you own up to being edgy, different. People that make change stand up and take responsibility for causing a ruckus.

“The internet could save your life because it'll keep you from a lifetime of being told what to do.”

Seth Godin

Choose yourself. The rest follows.

All quotes above are from Seth Godin's most recent presentation. Watch it below.

Arts Books Creativity

‘A dragon day is a day when you refill your creative well’

4. Everyone needs a dragon day. In the middle of my burned-out period of the challenge, I started sculpting little dragons out of clay, just for fun. I did this on Sundays, which is my permanent day off from painting (thirty-in-thirty challenge or not, I still wasn't planning to paint on Sunday). When I was talking to my sister about how I was feeling so uninspired about painting, but so excited about making cute little dragons, she started calling Sundays my “dragon day.” And I liked that idea so much that I now call Sundays my dragon day, whether I'm sculpting a little dragon or putting together a photo album or baking a new yummy treat. A dragon day is a day when you refill your creative well; it's a day to do anything creative that you want, just for fun, with no expectations that anything will come of it other than the joy you get from the act of creating.

This reminds me of the author Tim Wu's piece in which he observes that today's Instagrammable edited real-life era has pressured people into hobbies only where they can excel. Instead, he implores people to enjoy a hobby for the hobbies sake.

The exploration of imperfect creativity produces a raw pleasure one can't find in meticulous planning.

Creativity Fashion People Photography Writing

Anna Wintour teaches creativity and leadership

Anna Wintour Masterclass on creativity and leadership
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more info.

Anna Wintour, the indomitable editor of Vogue and Condé Nast’s most senior editorial figure, is the latest teacher to join the ranks of Masterclass to teach creativity and leadership.

In 12 lessons, Anna Wintour gives unprecedented access to her world, teaching you how to lead with vision and creativity—and without apology. A fashion and media icon, Anna Wintour has been driving our cultural conversation for more than 30 years.

The Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Artistic Director of Condé Nast takes off her signature sunglasses and gives you unprecedented access to her world. See how Anna nurtures talent, makes bold decisions, and evolves a brand. Learn how to lead with impact from a visionary creative leader.

Anna Wintour on how to be a boss

“I know many people are curious about who I am and how I approach my work,” Wintour says. “This is a class for those who want to understand my leadership style and then understand the experiences that have helped me become an effective leader.”

“Own your decisions and own who you are, but without apology.” – Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour Masterclass on creativity and leadership

Anna Wintour doesn’t have an official Instagram or Twitter page where you can gain access to her expertise in creativity and leadership so Masterclass is your only workbook.

Not for you? Gift the class!


About MasterClass

If you’ve never taken a MasterClass before, it’s a great opportunity to take a peek into the mind and explore the process of some of the world’s leading experts in photography, writing, music production, filmmaking, and even cooking. You may be aware of Malcolm Gladwell's writing courseTom Morello’s electric guitar course, or Serena Williams teaches tennis course.   

If you’re looking for a great gift, consider sending one of the courses to a loved one or friend. Even better, gift someone the All-Access Pass so they can explore all the courses they want!

Creativity Life & Philosophy

Fighting inertia

We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing. / Fighting inertia #amwriting
via giphy

Stock phrases, a detailed script, a prescription for exactitude. Imagine how boring life would be if you already knew its outcome.

It’s the routine that subverts our days into yesterday’s form, responding to emails in our head. Sameness destroys creativity.

How can we fight inertia?

We take risks, do the unpredictable, anything to keep the supposed simulation of world guessing.

En medias res, we ensure that we’re performing in the middle of becoming.