Thinking-Beliefs Articles

Where Do We Get Creative Inspiration?

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Kiss of the Muse by Paul CezanneWhere does creative inspiration come from? It may show up mysteriously, “out of the blue” – and for a good part of human history, it has been explained as a gift from a supernatural being, a Muse.

At least some people still embrace that idea, or at least like to use the concept.

Novelist and author Steven Pressfield writes in his book “The War of Art” about pulling in creative power when we are doing creative work:


Fear and Courage and Creating

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Matisse quote

“The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

What fears and anxieties are holding you back from expressing yourself more creatively? Matisse and many other artists and psychologists note creative work requires courage or dealing with our fears.


Being Happy As An Artist

Friday, September 5th, 2014

“I’ve suffered enough. When does my artwork improve?” Refrigerator magnet

StingThe tortured artist mythology is an ancient and enduring one: The idea that art depends on suffering, and artists need to be suffering with dark emotions, and need their pain to create.

But that is a wrong and destructive idea.

For example, in his appearance as a guest on The Ellen Show, Colin Farrell said he is more creative being sober and happy.

“I ascribed to the notion that to express yourself as an artist, you have to live in perpetual pain. And that’s nonsense.”

Musician Sting also said he bought into this myth for a long time:


What Kind of Creative Person Are You?

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Caltech chapter of the Society of Women EngineersWe may watch a movie or TV show, read a novel or listen to music, and appreciate that the authors, those identified as artists, are certainly “creative types” – but what about the producers and set designers?

Or the computer engineers at digital animation companies like Pixar?

The MacArthur Foundation has a mission to “support creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world” and acknowledges there are many kinds of creators, awarding its renowned fellowships to a wide range of people: playwrights, novelists, dancers, botanists, economists, chemists, physicians, psychologists and many others.


Heidi Grant Halvorson on Creative Success

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Heidi Grant HalvorsonOne of the themes of creativity research, and many psychologists and creativity coaches, is how crucial beliefs and attitudes are in developing our creative abilities.

Psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson talks in the audio clip below about the prevalent idea of ‘genius’ for whether someone can be creative – or even aspire to be.

She also writes about focus and creating, and that “to be a successful creative, you need to not only be a good generator, but also a good evaluator. The problem is that in practice, it’s remarkably hard to be both.


Misfits and Innovators

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean“It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.” Steve Jobs

According to some writers and research, some of the “big names” of creativity and innovation share personal qualities with various sorts of “misfits.”

In her Forbes magazine article, writer Erica Swallow refers to the book “The Innovator’s DNA” which lists several “disruptive innovators” including a number of creative and business leaders such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Meg Whitman (eBay) and Sharon Aby (Beyond Ideas).


Do Impostor Feelings Dampen Your Creativity?

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Even very talented people may experience fraud or impostor feelings, which can lead to insecurity about their abilities, despite their accomplishments.

Jodie Foster holding her Sherry Lansing Leadership Award“I always feel like something of an impostor. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Jodie Foster made that comment in her acceptance speech as recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award several years ago.

A highly accomplished actor, director and producer, Foster also said, “I suppose that’s my one little secret, the secret of my success.”

From my article: Jodie Foster on impostor feelings and faking it.


Self Care and Being Creative

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Replenish 365 program by WellGrounded LifeMany people feel inspired to pursue creative projects, even multiple ones at the same time. One potential downside is physical and emotional burnout.

Good self-care is taking steps daily, even hourly, to stay replenished with the energy and positive attitude needed to be productively creative.

One way is to slow down or shift our thinking about having “too much to do.”

Entrepreneur coach Molly Gordon writes about this kind of shift:


Lisa Sonora Beam On Success As A Creative Entrepreneur

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

“The act of making something new makes us vulnerable.”

Lisa Sonora BeamThat is a comment by artist and creative business consultant Lisa Sonora Beam, who writes in her book “The Creative Entrepreneur” about the variety of challenges that creative people face in developing a piece of artwork, a small business, or themselves as a writer or other artist – the central element of a creative endeavor.

She notes people may “experience a kind of mythic divide” between their creative work and business practicalities.

“This split can create tension and even trauma for the creative soul who is blessed with passion and purpose yet cursed by the seemingly mysterious realm of strategies and skills that are necessary to make an idea real.”

She notes that her book “addresses the three main issues that can result in creative business failure: emotional and psychological blockages, faulty thinking about the creative process, and a lack of practical business knowledge.”

One approach she finds very helpful for herself and clients is visual journaling:

“It is one of the most powerful tools I know to gain insight, solve problems, and explore new ideas without the pressure to produce a product… it is an appealing and unique vehicle for entrepreneurial explorations.

“If you have trouble with the word journal, call it a sketchbook or a notebook. Sketches and notes are never confused with the work they ultimately inspire.”


What’s Keeping You From Creative Work?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Saige Paints the Sky movieAs a child or teenager, we were perhaps more freely creative, but as supposed “grown-ups” we face fears and uncertainties about our talents, or the marketplace value of a particular form of expression, or what our investing in a project means – both for us, and others.

Some forms of creative work may have structures and guidelines to follow, at least during some stages, but at some point the venture is, well, creative. You need to make things up.

There can be many inner threats and challenges to all these aspects of creating.

Author Milli Thornton describes one example: a CPA who kept shutting off his dream to write.


 

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Recent Comments
  • Steve Simms: Flashes of inspiration, hunches, intuition — are some names for the Muse. I also believe that we...
  • rtee: This is a very timely message for me. Thank you for posting it. I have been accosted by fear of failure for too...
  • Upsie_Daisy: I dont agree with her premise. I live in Los Angeles, where the movie industry regularly creates and...
  • Upsie_Daisy: Beautifully stated and a pleasure to read. I’ve absorbed this old thinking of the “mad...
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