What’s the difference between someone who is regarded as a creative, artistic person, versus a person who is generally regarded as non-creative?
In my mind the difference is simply a person who actively pursues creativity, and works on their art every day.
Making art is hard work. There are a million forces to fight in any given moment before an idea can be shipped:
I believe that people often think they are not capable of being artistic, so they never try to be. The funny thing is, applying this logic even people who are successful artists are not artistic.
People who are regarded as artistic by others, are generally perceived as such because they are willing to take the risk of openly creating bad art, in order to ultimately create something that will inspire others. In other words, they most likely get it right 1 out of 10 (or 20 or 100) times. But it’s this one time that they get it right that causes people to compliment them with the “creative” or “artistic” perception.
Pretty much a year ago, my friend Austin wrote a book about overcoming inertia and meeting creative goals, which he published on his website for free. As a creative person willing to do the hard work of pursuing creativity, you owe it to yourself to download and read the short book (it’s 59 pages).
Over the last few years as I’ve worked to grow my business as a record producer, and start a couple other businesses from the ground up, I’ve learned a countless amount of lessons that simply aren’t something one learns in school. Here’s two of them:
1) Doing one thing is doing ten things!
I started saying this in response to people who say, “well, let’s just narrow things down to a list of our top 3 (or 5 or 10) priorities, and focus on those for now.” I’ve gone along with this mistake more times than I care to admit. The thing is… is that there are so many sub-tasks to any given task or goal, that if you narrow your list of priorities down to even just your single most top priority, you’re still going to end up with more than you can handle. Besides, trying to do even 5 things right out of the gate is getting the cart before the horse so to speak, because there can’t possibly be that much demand or value to what you’re doing yet…
2) Get solid with your primary line of work before expanding
Yeah, when I write this out it looks like total common sense. But I messed this one up. To my defense, though, the “side project” I was working on was ultimately to point back to, and to promote my primary line of work, which was (and is) producing, recording, and mixing albums for rock bands. Still, the fact remains (and what I could not see at the time) that I was spreading myself too thin, ignoring lesson one above, and diluting my focus.
Focus like a laser beam (ironically, something I used to say constantly to my partners when we first started out), grow slow, and don’t get caught up in the means. A characteristic many successful people have in common is that they lead very simple lives.
So always strive to simplify in every way possible.