This Dipity timeline aggregates the last five years of creative output from all my online repositories. They add up to dozens of songs and comics, hundreds of videos, and thousands of blog posts and images. Although I’m a tiny little fish in the vast Internet ocean, it’s been very satisfying to exercise creativity, develop new skills and archive a steady stream of work to share with friends, family and social networks. Along the way I stumbled upon a number of strategies that allow me to keep producing fresh work, even through stretches of burn-out and periods of creative ennui. If you’ve got a creative itch, these may help you find relief:
1. Break down large projects into iterations. This boils down to publishing your work as a continuous series of drafts, rather than as a single finished product. You can do this with just about any modality, including music, video, images and of course, text. And just because you title something “Part 1” doesn’t mean you’re obligated to follow up with “Part 2.”
2. Look for the creative sparks hidden in your daily routine. I’ve found inspiration in traffic, kitchen mishaps and social networking. The point is that you can find grist for your creative mill in practically any situation if you’re open to the moment.
3. Try new tools and mediums. I think a lot of people don’t write, draw, record music, etc. because they compare themselves to “professionals” and feel unworthy. That’s rubbish. If you can’t draw a straight line to save your life, for instance, you can create visual works by using a free comic creation site. You can create music by mashing up loops using a free tool like Sony’s Acid Xpress or GarageBand. If there’s a particular medium or tool you tend to use exclusively, consider trying something new. Creativity is a collaboration between the artist and the medium. When you channel your creativity through new forms, exciting and unexpected work will emerge. One of the most satisfying aspects of the last five years has been playing around with new formats such as comics and machinima.
4. Keep a recording device with you at all times. I’ve lost countless ideas by failing to jot them down when inspiration struck. Since no one is ever separated from their phone these days, you can always leave yourself a voice mail or snap a photo. I really love Evernote, a free information capturing application that runs on Mac, PC, iOS and Android.
5. Share your work. Dump all of your work to media sharing sites such as Flickr, Youtube and Issuu. Then selectively post files and links to your social networks. Start a blog; you can get on Tumblr with just a click. Even if only a handful of people follow your work, the magic alchemy of an audience is a powerful motivator to create new work and keep pushing it forward.
6. Show your process. Part of the joy of sharing is helping other people actualize their own creative work. You can do this through listing the tools you’ve used to create a work, or by occasional tutorial posts or case studies.
There you have it! If you give the strategies a try, please let me know how they work for you.
About the Author
This author has not added a biography. Meanwhile dave.elfanbaum has contributed 15 posts. Click here to view them.