Creativity Productivity & Work

“Creativity is like breathing”

A friend once told me that creativity is like breathing. When you make stuff, you’re exhaling. But you can’t exhale forever. Eventually, you have to breathe in. Or you’ll be dead.

Matthew Inman, Cartoonist

The more you make, the more you have to play with. But the creativity flame burns out too.

Don’t be afraid to step away every once in a while to go on vacation or read a book, whatever gets you out of your own head.

It’s ok to break up the consistency.

PS. Never worry about breaking the chain — if you learn to rest, creativity always comes back.

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal

Creativity Video

Voice acting with Tara Strong

Tara Strong is a voice actor for cartoons like “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Rugrats” and “The Fairly OddParents.” In this video, she talks about her process in coming up with the character voices for babies, villains, and teens.

It’s absolutely fascinating how she can convert the director’s body language into actionable sounds such as a character tumbling off a cliff or fighting bad guys. Cool nugget: she uses her own original voice as the voice of Batgirl.

What a talent!


Drawing with the weak hand

Artist Liza Donnelly broke her right arm, her default drawing arm, but decided to make cartoons with her left.

I broke my drawing arm. For the first time in my life I was not able to use my right hand to make art.

It slowly dawned on her in recovery how reusing her left arm made her feel like a child doodling all over again. And her work (see above) turned out refreshing. The novelty renewed her excitement about drawing.

I noticed the drawings created by my left hand were much looser, and were not always close to what I had intended. They looked more like the drawings that I had done as a child. So was this left-hand usage tapping into my original creativity?

As she recovered, she regained sympathy for her right hand while feeling compassion for her left. Yet, her ambidexterity made her realize how much superior and quicker her right was.

As I slowly started to use my right hand again, I worried about my left. Should I reassure the left hand, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep using you”?

And so while she returned to her strongest drawing arm, the new perspective nonetheless humbled the smugness of the right hand she’d been drawing with for five decades.

C’est la vie.