Arts Creativity Quotes

Ira Glass on the process from taste to doing the work

“For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making is not that good. But your taste—the force that drives creative people to do what they do—“is still killer.””

Ira Glass

No Farms No Food

You can strip away everything:  Internet, TV, trains, and heat.  It’s food and water that are most essential to human life.  

All nation-states preserve their natural resources and trade only because they can profit off surfeit crops.  But when war strikes, countries hold on to their own agrigulture and exports drop.

When shit hits the fan, what core resources can you depend on to sustain life?  When you can trade, what makes your core product(s) desirable?  Making things is the only way to survive internally and profit, externally.  

People always want what they don’t have so why do what everyone else is doing?  The only way to stand out and become completely desirable is to have a comparative advantage.


Show Your Work

Showing your work while you’re working on it is like throwing a fish net out to sea. The probability of catching something big is slim but you may be surprised by the immediate feedback that you get.

One of the main advantages to the Internet is that you can create something and ship it directly to your audience in the same day. There’s no waiting. There’s no publisher or record label but yourself. The only thing holding you back is the fear of rejection and perfection. So why wait?

“Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences.” – Brian Eno

Sharing the backstory to your work is the fun part to the creative process. Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien’s blogged about the KID A recording sessions. Walter Isaacson is asking for fan feedback on a script from his new book.

Art is always in progress. We can touch it up forever. Sometimes art is about being good enough and part of that process is showing people where you’re at right now. Making is sweat and tears; a finished product never just pops out. Show us that you have what it takes to get there.



That Itch

One of the rules of adulthood is that life doesn’t wait. Life only waits for you to take action.

We may call it luck, but people are successful because they’re prepared and they ride the wave of opportunity.

Of course, it helps that you can identify what you like doing so you focus on doing it every day. Love and labor move in parallel.

One way to identify what you enjoy doing is to identify your itch. For Michael Jordan, that itch was basketball. Basically, the itch is something you know you’d rather be doing when you’re not doing it. It’s the same feeling you get when you don’t brush your teeth.

What’s itching you? Maybe you should spend 5-10 minutes working on that today.


Bash it out and tart it up.

Nick Lowe

“Are we going out or are we making things?”

via giphy

There are two ways to get what you want: you either pay someone else for the finished good and get the satisfaction of instant delivery or you buy the individual components and spend the time making something yourself.

The resistance/lizard brain always tells you should play it safe and just consume, especially if that shortcut allows time for the work you actually enjoy. But if you’re not doing the work that matters, then you’re wasting time.

For every action, there’s a reaction.  Creation is the action without a compelling need to dictate the end result. Everything you see today is the result of someone else’s hard work. The trick to starting is merely starting.

A funny thing happens when you “just” start tinkering: you forget about the big, intimidating picture. – Mark McGuinness

We have to balance passive consumption with the art of doing. Studies even show that when you work out while making music it makes the exercise a bit easier.  When you make something, you burn off ignorance and dictate the terms.

Creativity is more gratifying than consumption, especially in the long-term. No one remembers the buyer, the fan, nor the guest but they do remember the artist. Your contributions are always welcome.  Make something.