Create from Your Core

10 Commandments for Creatives

The sleazy car salesman. He just wants your money. He doesn’t really care if you get the car you need or want.

 The way-too-eager date. He (or she) only wants your body. He/she isn’t interested in who you are.

The ‘can I ask you a question’ person at the mall kiosk. They just want to sell you hair extensions, skin creams, or helicopter gadgets. They’re not really interested you. (Aside: My stock response to their ‘can I ask you a question’ ice-breaker is always “you just did.” Then keep walking. Write me. Let me know if it works for you too.)

This one-dimensional approach wreaks of disingenuousness. It blasts insincerity up the nostrils of true passion leaving it feeling numb and jaded rather than infused with life and fire.

The same is true of your creative work; it must be authentic to be truly beautiful. If your work is not genuine, it’s perceived like a cheaply executed facelift: it looks okay, but everyone who sees it knows that it’s not quite real.


I recently read a book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. It’s a nice resource full of ideas and encouragement to borrow ideas and make them your own.

Key phrase: make them your own.

When your work is not your own or is heavily borrowed, a masquerade mask goes up in front of your creativity, cloaking your true self like the sleazy car salesman mentioned above. Your work isn’t received as pure as it is shrouded in ulterior motives rather than convictions, beliefs and passion.

[box options]People consume your work because your heart, beliefs and creative zest are attached to it. If that crucial element is missing, no connection exists.[/box]

Personally, my goal in writing this book is to offer a simple and effective tool for creatives to realize their full creative potential by exposing some common stumbling blocks and suggesting a few solutions.

I authentically believe that your creativity changes the world.

I believe that if you are stuck, someone needs you to get unstuck.

I believe someone needs your creativity and they need it now.

Creating from Your Core

What do you believe? What’s at the core of who you are and how you create?

Creating from your core beautifully exposes your beliefs, creating connection rather than disconnect.

Creating from your core ignites fires in likeminded creatives rather than squelching the projects and dreams of others.

Creating from your core makes a rumble of holy awe deep within you. The awe surprises (and sometimes shocks) you when you return to your work and see the result of being honest and truthful with your creativity.

And your core, your heart, is beautiful. It’s good. Very good in fact.

Regardless of how you may feel at times, your heart is good and it needs to connect with other hearts just like it.

The only way to make that a reality is to share your heart.

Created by Michael Carter

The ninth commandment for creatives celebrates authenticity by revealing personal passions to connect with others. This process always results in something beautiful being created.

[box options]To enjoy more encouragement and get updates about The Ten Commandments for Creatives, check out the Creatives mailer. You’ll be glad you did.[/box]


Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Andrew, that was amazing. Usually, I can’t function or get on with my day until I’ve had a cup of coffee first. I can’t tackle the world until I have at least 8 oz of java to fuel me for what’s ahead for the next 12-16 hours.

    I just dumped my coffee out. Didn’t need it this morning.
    Thank you.

    Can’t wait for the book. It looks amazing from what you’ve shared so far.

    • Wow! A morning of no coffee!

      My honor to help you out in your caffeine addiction (typed while drinking a Diet Coke full of caffeine)

  • I worked for a company that continued to “borrow” marketing ideas from everyone else, and never came up with something of their own. It was frustrating to say the least. Marketing campaigns didn’t match, nothing was thought through – it was all just copy, copy, copy.

    On another note: Looking forward to your book!

    • That’s a shame as marketing can be so fun and stretching creatively, Jason!

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

  • Love it!!

  • Rockin stuff Drew! I love that book Steal Like an Artist. Man, that book always inspires me to create something new.

    I don’t know if I agree down in my heart is something necessarily good…but there is definitely something that longs to be fulfilled. I long to be connected to something bigger, something more. And often art helps me find that. I believe the process of creating takes me to my Creator, who made me. So it really completes the cycle. I’ll step down from my pulpit now. I’ll be here next Sunday as well 😉

    • Preach it preacha’ man!

      Thanks for that book Jim. There’s so much about it that I love. It’s really been a great resource!

      If you ever read John Eldredge… especially Sacred Romance, his perspective on the heart is amazing and refreshing.

      Thanks for dropping in bro!