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July 26, 2018No Comments

Graph: Creativity vs Discomfort

We all need to constantly be reminded of this one simple fact, even if creativity is our daily job. Even walking in every day with the mission to create can become comfortable – and that's something professional creatives need to watch out for. We may fall into the trap that is believing that if we come in, learn the ropes, rinse and repeat we'll be creative forever. Comfortably.

That's far from the truth. Because creativity requires discomfort.

I like to define creativity as the act of using your imagination to bring into the world something that wasn't there before. I stress the last bit that refers to originality – because if you make something that already exists, you're not being creative, are you?

creativity vs discomfort chart

Chart: Well, there is such thing as "too much discomfort". Try to find the sweet spot, not the point of no return.

Originality is an absolute pre-requisite for creativity, because creativity lies only in what didn't exist before you created it.

And that's the crux of my point with discomfort and creativity. Read more

November 12, 2017No Comments

Free your mind to reach your creative potential

How free are you? Most importantly, how free can you become?

The other day I watched this little 6-minute documentary on Jim Carrey called I Need Color. Turns out Jim Carrey is a hell of a painter. Here's some of his work:

Now, that's not what he's famous for, at least not yet. But the small glimpse that documentary gave me into his process and his demeanor made me sure of one thing: he's free. Jim Carrey is a free man, maybe freer than any man I've ever looked into in my research on creativity. Free of body, we all are in this part of the world. But freedom of mind is rarer. Read more

March 2, 2016No Comments

Keys for inspiration: knowledge and action.

I have recently answered a question on Quora.com about creativity. The question asked "What are the keys to feeding my creativity?" That set me up really well to talk about the two things that are most important to me, when it comes to finding inspiration. The answer was also published on Inc.com.

The answer went as follows:

Creativity is different for different people. Creatives acting in different areas will have different ways of feeding their creativity. A comedian, for instance, may feed his creativity by noticing everyday life events. A creative soccer player may feed his creativity by mimicking other great players.

Since your question didn't specify what kind of creative endeavor you're undertaking, I'll be very broad in my answer. Because, although inspiration can come from different sources for different people, there are basic concepts in creativity that hold true for any kind of scenario.
To me, the most important keys to inspiration are knowledge and action. Read more

October 17, 20143 Comments

Explore the obscure birthplace of originality

originality vs obscurity

Once, when I was a young creative trying to make my way up in the ad world, a good friend of mine – also a creative – told me "the originality of your ideas depend on the obscurity of your sources". It sounded a bit douchy to me back then. It felt a bit like we should be stealing ideas left and right. As I matured as a creative, I realized more and more how much truth there was to that quote. It probably stemmed from one of Albert Einstein's most famous quotes (at least among creative circles):

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