Creativity is just a fancy 10 letter word that means producing something—it's simply the deliberate act of doing. To create something one must be willing to DO something.
The art of creating works that will inspire or leave a lasting impression is to keep doing it over and over again. That's why they call it work. Do what inspires you—the stuff that stirs the passion in your soul. More than likely it will have the same effect on someone else.
Getting started may just mean that you'll have to pretend to create good work until eventually you do. That's the perfect place to start. Emulate the work you love and create without boundaries. You can do anything, be anyone and say anything because you're safely covered in the magical cloak of obscurity.
Austin Kleon best expresses the idea of creatively winging it in his book "Steal Like An Artist" which I highly suggest you read. In fact, buy two copies and give one away to inspire a friend.
"Ask anybody doing truly creative work, 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." - Austin Kleon
So what is "the good stuff"? It's the work that inspires by causing someone to laugh out loud, to rethink their path or method, or create that feeling of childlike wonder. The good stuff can be described in any number of ways and through any number of mediums which includes the art of cooking.
Have you ever had a meal that has blown the taste buds right out of your head? I have. Especially in the south of Spain. It takes doing over and over. No matter what the medium, the end result is still the same. If it's something worth remarking about—that's what makes it remarkable work.
When I started creating my Zombie Wagon cartoons using index cards and crayons, I had no idea what I was doing. I was just laid off from my job as a Creative Director that I held for 10 years, so I did what anyone in my position would do— I started cartooning like my life depended on it.
I was wrestling with some pent-up emotions that I felt could best be expressed through characters that were not me. It was safe, I had a voice through my charcters—especially through the Zombies I created. They could speak for me.
Before I knew it I had drawn over 150 cartoon panels and I was framing the work for my first show inside a coffee shop where most of the art was originally created. The local newspaper even did a story about my work and I sold over a dozen pieces from what began as just a hobby— a fluke at best.
The idea of faking it until you make it definitely has merit. I'm still in the process of pretending that I'm a cartoonist. Nobody has dared to fight me on this one, especially since I'm still enjoying the benefits of obscurity. So I am exactly what I say I am.
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." - Edwin Land
I'm encouraging you to go for it at full speed ahead—whatever it is that you have in your heart to create. Creativity is both a deliberate and senseless act converging together at exactly the same time.
The next New York Times best seller is trapped inside your head and I won't even try to imagine what you might be holding in your hands. But I can imagine that you're well aware of the fact that it's time for you to finally get going.
What's holding you back? Stop defending, start bending and get to the pretending. I'm betting that you'll eventually flop over into producing some truly remarkable work. We're all counting on it.
photo by Lissy Elle Laricchia