Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing blog provides a great set of guidelines for those who worry about copycats ripping off their best ideas. My favorite tip concerns increasing one’s mastery to leave impostors in the dust:
“As you advance your body of work into deeper levels of depth and connection, the copycats simply won’t be able to coherently follow you; and, even when they can, they won’t because it’s too hard. Combine depth of work with your own unique voice and it’ll be impossible for people to successfully copy you. Your work will never fit them, any more than Jack Johnson can sound like John Mayer.”
Innovation consultant Shawn Parr provides real-world tips for those who would make their passion (including a creative passion) their business. He uses an interview with Matthew Larson, the chief of product design for one of the surf industry’s most exciting new brands, Matuse, to make his point.
Here, Parr paraphrases Larson’s take on prior work experiences and their relationship to building a passionate business, which may help you rethink how you view your day job:
“Larson believes every job you have as you grow through life goes with you to the next project, whether it’s school, work, or creating art. His prior experiences helped him develop better interpersonal skills, organizational tools, and also improved his multi-tasking abilities. Matt will tell you all his skills are in constant growth mode and he’s an expert of none of them. He knows that to grow as a designer, he needs to avoid getting trapped by the idea that he knows anything in its entirety.”
Artist and author Carrie Brummer offers 10 suggestions for sparking creative action, including trading unfinished creative projects with a friend, mixing 2 media you’ve never blended before, and reading the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Arts and Letters Daily for inspiration. Carrie has some fresh ideas here and I like them.
Michael Michalko, author of “Thinkertoys” and “Cracking Creativity,” has written a wonderful post that explains the relationship between attitude and behavior, asserting that it’s a two-way street.
The Zentangle drawing method, developed by artist-entrepreneurs Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. When drawing the Zentangle way, artists draw each stroke consciously and deliberately. By taking Zentangle’s inspiration to make each stroke deliberate, its creators say, participants understand how those apparently small and insignificant “strokes” of their moment-to-moment lives contribute to an overall life pattern. (A hat tip to my sister, Jan Massey Duncan, for sharing this link.)
Jarie Bolander, guest posting on Lateral Action blog, provides a quick, easy-to-apply guide to building up your creative “chops” in order to produce good work over the long haul. I especially like his suggestion that one must train to be a creative person, just like they would if there were (also) an athlete:
“Creative endurance is just like athletic endurance. No one ever runs a marathon on their first run – or even their tenth. You have to build up to it by training. That same training is what you need to get back into your creative swing. Sure, it’s going to be hard. Sure, you will struggle, but once you have your creative endurance back, creating will be a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.”