“Have you ever considered that humor is essentially creativity? Check out stories and insights from TED speaker Hannah Brencher, renowned artist Chad Crowe, comedic writer and improv artist Lisa Warsinske, Indian classical vocalist Srivani Jade, multi-entrepreneurial duo Andrew and Sarah Zahn, poet Farah Abdul, and our two young minds, Madhurum Bhuvan and Nadiya Narula! All set to the backdrop of Devasmita Chakraverty’s keen-eyed photography.”
This fantastic ezine is put together by a wonderful group of professionals and we’re honored to have been part of this month’s publication.
If someone crept into my home and stole something I loved, I’d not just want the stolen item back, I’d want to know…
Why was it stolen
Who stole it
How do I prevent this from happening again
As artists we can sometimes get discouraged and that discouragement can lead to procrastination, apathy and blocks that hinder our creativity.
In other words, discouragement robs us from creating, and consequently robs us of enriching the lives of others with our creativity. The result is that we may feel numb, uninspired and blocked–a victim of a discouragement robbery.
I can remember where I was when I realized I was a project-driven artist.
My wife and I were having dinner at a local pub-estaurant we love and I was talking about how my day job as a corporate sales trainer was good, but not artistically fulfilling. Sure, I was thankful for the job, the pay and the people I worked with and the trainees I’d helped, but a part of me was needed a little nurturing.
That part wasn’t being fed or watered. I felt it inside me grasping for breath.
My wife mentioned that she thought we were ‘project people’. That is, we like to birth an idea, cultivate it until it can stand on its own and then release it and move onto the next project. Sales training was the opposite of that concept and though I enjoyed several parts of the job, I wanted more.
I wanted to contribute more. I wanted to see the process through. And I wanted it for myself.
That last part…the ‘for myself’ was probably the most difficult to come to peace with for me.
Two minutes of great inspiration from the late Vonnegut:
“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
I was having lunch with my co-workers recently and we ended up talking about how shiny the floors are in our company’s bathrooms.
So right now you’re thinking two things: 1) How did that topic come up and/or 2) I’ve noticed that too and it’s disturbing.
You may even say to yourself (with a posh British accent) “why, on such a high-brow blog about creativity, is the author stooping to publish such low-brow humor?” You may never get an answer to that question.
Thus, we begin with #1…
#1 – Shiny Bathroom Floors
Shiny bathroom floors are upsetting, disturbing and borderline pornographic. If we can pick the finish for our printed photos, we should certainly be able to make a decree that all bathroom floors be standardized matte.
Attributing fellow artists’ accomplishments to anything but work ethic, desire to learn and dedication is a grave mistake for our own creativity.
Yet, it’s easy to fall into this dishonoring thinking pattern.
Would we think/speak this way with any other occupations or hobbies?
He’s a natural at building houses. He was born that way.
She just knows accounting. I don’t know how but she’s just got that “it factor’.
He’s so lucky at writing software and getting it to the market.
Ridiculous, right? Then why do we sometimes think/speak this way about the work and success of our fellow creatives? Somehow it feels right (or good) for us to downplay the work of others and emphasize luck instead. Continue reading “Degrading Other Creatives”