Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. Isn’t it weird that when you have something on your mind, you start to see references to the same thing all over the place?
A few days ago I discovered Austin Kleon’s How to steal like an artist (and 9 other things nobody told me). It’s a list of things I’ve learned over the past 20 years living a professional creative life all summed up neatly in one blog post. How convenient! Here are my favorite quotes:
- We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
- Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of previous ideas.
- …it’s in the act of making things that we figure out who we are.
- Ask any real artist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing.
Every day. (Emphasis mine.)
Today I stumbled across a talk given by “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert where she “muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius.”
Her advice to creatives echos the same sentiment as the last bullet point above.
…don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Ole!” And if not, do your dance anyhow. And “Ole!” to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. “Ole!” to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.