Staying creative in chaotic times

Listen, everyone’s creative because “creativity” is synonymous with being cool. I shouldn’t have said that aloud but there it is… the cold hard truth. It’s like those two guys I saw in an Apple ad (or perhaps it somewhere else?) years ago:

Guy 1: “I’m creative. I need a mac.”

Guy 2: “Dude, you’re a barista.”

Walk up to any person you know (or don’t know) and ask them if they think they’re creative. Close to 95% of them would say they are and the rest of them would be honest enough to admit they aren’t. I sometimes think we’re now living in a world where people think they’re either creative or they’re dumb. That’s extreme, I know. But nobody knows where we’re heading with these labels.

I really don’t mind these labels, just that they’re meaningless and lack real-world application. Creativity in the real world works differently. It needs time and space to thrive. Unfortunately, none of us have that luxury. We want it all and want it right now. And when we aren’t able to deliver that, we’re labeled yet again. This time, for all the wrong reasons.

I believe creativity can be best explored during chaotic times. We just need to be primed enough to be creative. Now, that’s a mindset. And I think among the many “creatives” out there, Austin Kleon gets it! He’s one heck of a creative dude. He’s a writer who draws and often delivers compelling talks on creativity that can leave you wondering. Here’s one from last year that I absolutely loved!

Austin Kleon — How to Keep Going

I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. Here are the top 10 tips he discusses during the talk:

  1. Every day is Groundhog Day
  2. Build a bliss station
  3. Forget the noun, do the verb
  4. Make gifts
  5. The ordinary + extra attention = the extraordinary
  6. Art is for life (not the other way around)
  7. You are allowed to change your mind
  8. When in doubt, tidy up
  9. The demons hate fresh air
  10. Spend time on something that will outlast them

Have fun!

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