The other day my wife Kathleen and I were in the car listening to the new “Beatles” channel on our satellite radio. She remarked on the number of songs the Beatles had obviously recorded that we’d never heard before, and honestly, a significant number of those songs are junk. The Beatles literally transformed rock and roll, and we’ve come to think that everything they recorded was brilliant. But the truth is – even with the greatest artists –
I actually met a prospective filmmaker recently who moved to Los Angeles to become a film director. I asked him what he’d directed so far and he replied, “Nothing.” But that wasn’t all. I discovered he’d never taken a class, never read any books on the subject, never worked on any projects at all. All he had was the desire to become a director, and he was sure that
You can be as creative as you want to be if you’re sitting on your back porch painting watercolors, or writing your own book. But if you’re using your creativity in the service of others, or a great cause or bigger purpose, you’ll soon be bumping up against two big issues: budgets and deadlines. As foot soldiers of creativity, we like to
I’m a big advocate for creativity and creative people. In fact, I’ve written an ebook on the subject, and I’ve taught it to teams around the world. But occasionally, I find creative people who use their creativity like a weapon to undermine projects, become control freaks, or play to their laziness. Here’s what I mean:
It happened in 1950 at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory in Los Angeles. For the first time, tortilla production had been automated, and could churn out 12 times more tortillas than anyone could by hand. But the machine also had its drawbacks – many of the tortillas came out misshapen and distorted, and had to be thrown away. But a line worker named Rebecca Webb Carranza saw something in the rejects that fascinated her.
Science tells us that we’re driven by cycles, which I believe impacts our creativity. Although we can force ourselves to do almost anything, I think we do our best work at specific times of the day. For me, it’s morning. From about 6am to noon I do my best writing. After that I can do email, phone calls, meetings, or other work related tasks, but for my best writing, it has to be in the morning. Last week in London, I picked up the book “For Writers Only” by Soppy Burnham. She ran down the list of times of day when a number of great creators were at their peak:
If you’re a serious creative person, you need to find the place where you do your best work. In a coffee shop, in your bedroom, in the basement, on the patio – wherever your creative juices start flowing. For me, I need complete silence. My perfect location is probably a bank vault – no music, TV, email, or other distractions. My office is also
While most creative artists labor in obscurity, when breakthroughs happen, those artists often get all the credit. But the truth is, in so many cases, without the financial help and personal encouragement of patrons, those breakthroughs would have never happened. Today, it simply takes