This from Twyla’s book The Creative Habit.
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This from Twyla’s book The Creative Habit.
New perspectives yield creative insights, no matter what. It’s practically a magic equation for having new ideas: just change your perspective.
I read some time ago about a really elegant way to do it too.
It works almost instantly and is completely painless (you don’t have to stand on your head or try to walk while looking through binoculars).
It’s simple: whenever you encounter something – a table, a project at school or work, a friend, food – say something random out loud that it is not. That’s it.
For example: say you’re out and about at your favorite coffee shop. When you first get your coffee (or tea, or whatever) look at it and say, out loud, something random. Like: “shoe!”
Apart from the strange looks people might give you, something really surprising will happen.
Ideas will flood into your brain. Suddenly what was once a cup of coffee is now something completely different.
How could you take an empty coffee cup and recycle it into a shoe? Why hasn’t anyone tried that yet (or have they?) Could you heat shoes in the winter by having a small compartment in them to pour hot liquid (keeping your feet dry still, of course)? What about building a “sleeve” for shoes, like there are for coffee cups? Could coffee spilled onto a clean pair of white shoes make a shoe worthy of New York Fashion Week? Could you build (and maybe sell) a type of coffee carrier that weaves in and out of the cup like shoelaces on a shoe?
By saying a random word aloud any time you encounter something you’re forced to view it from a new perspective.
Try it, right now. Close your eyes and turn around once, then open your eyes and the first thing you see say something other than what it is out loud. Try it with a person, or a blank sheet of paper, you’re going to have ideas.
Photo by Suren Manvelyan.
Have you ever tried selling your work online?
If you’re a photographer, artist, or graphic designer, selling your work on the web means exposing it to a large, active audience, many times larger than if you were to simply frame your work at a small gallery or hang it in a cafe.
But the market for good creative work is saturated, it’s hard for novice photographers to succeed.
There are, however, a few ways to increase your odds of success as a digital seller:
If you’re selling digital artwork, consider the fact that you may want a site that prints and fulfills orders. Of course, also make sure to check sites for safety, security options and licensing/copyrighting terms.
For the past five years Creative Something has been exploring creativity.
Every once in a while over the past half-decade I’ve made an effort to improve the site. Not only to encourage more interaction and to make the face fresher, but to make it easier for you to discover new ideas, more inspiration or motivation, and become more creative.
I’m happy to announce that the latest version of the site is now live. There’s a lot that’s new, and more coming very soon.
There’s a new design that is a bit cleaner and hopefully easier to read. It even works great on mobile devices, so you can read on the go from your iPhone or tablet.
Now each post is being tagged by category, so you can explore all posts along one subject if you want, like all work-related posts.
Commenting has been enabled. If you want to ask a question, add some insight, or just say “thanks,” you can do that now by visting the article’s URL. Share your ideas with the community!
In the coming weeks you’ll start seeing and hearing more about the Creative Something network, which is a series of other websites offering products like mobile apps, eBooks, free guides, etc. exclusively for Creative Something. More ways for you to grow, and a definitive way for the site to make money and keep going.
I’m also in the process of interviewing co-authors to help write more content here every day. So you’ll start seeing a lot more goodness.
As always, thanks for reading. I hope to keep inspiring and motiving you, keeping the site fresh is one step towards doing that.
Photo via Library of Congress.
In most inherently creative fields – drawing or painting, sculpture, photography, video, game design, etc. – there’s a problem between what the creator (you) wants and what the consumer (your customers, shoppers, and fans) want.
On one side, you want to create.
In traditional fields, however, what you’re creating isn’t a necessity. Nobody has to have that Monet painting. Nobody has to buy a vase made of recycled newspaper, or a marble sculpture of Aphrodite. There’s certainly nobody who has to buy the latest music album from their favorite band.
Because nobody needs what you’re creating, they feel as though the cost of that thing should be minimal to nothing. And they’re not going to scour the Earth to find it either.
A movie for more than $20? That’s absurd. An app for my phone that costs a dollar or two? Is that really necessary? A painting from an artist in my neighborhood, for more than the price of the frame it’s in? Why?
The result of this landscape is that independent creators – small bands playing bar shows, the painter who hung her works up at a local cafe, a publishing business trying to get their first series of books out the door – are forced into charging less for their work than they invested into it.
This model doesn’t work.
You can’t succeed as a painter if you’re not selling your paintings at a price higher than what you paid for the materials and the time you put into creating the work. How will you afford to create another painting? But nobody wants to pay more than what they think a creative work is worth.
One way to resolve the issues is to get paid for the work in advance. Rather than creating and then letting customers tell you how much they want to pay (and risking failure), you could crowdfund the work. People show how much they’re willing to give you for your work. If it meets your costs, you win.
But that’s a temporary solution. You can’t crowdfund every single painting, every album, every sculpture.
The trick, then, is to convince your audience that the work is worth it. That the additional cost they’re paying is for the quality, the originality, the fact that what you’re selling is exactly worth what they’re paying. To convince your customers that the next photograph you take is the most beautiful, and worthwhile photo that will take place in the next ten years, is to show them that it’s worth the price you’re asking.
You can’t convince customers to buy your work by simply hanging it in a gallery, selling it on Amazon, or setting up shop once a year at the State Fair. You have to really sell the value of your work.
If you can do that, you can do practically anything for a living.
So if you want to live a creative life through your work, learn to sell. Here is a collection of books that will show you how to do just that.
Photo by Kevin Dooley.