Don’t think about making art

“Don’t think about making art. Just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they’re deciding, make even more art.”

– Andy Warhol

Thinking differently?


Have you ever noticed how those creative geniuses you see on TED videos or Creative Mornings videos, almost all use Macs?

Ironically, none of them are embracing Steve Jobs’ mantra, “think different.” Instead, they’ve joined the same predictable design cult. They stand on stage, eager to share how uniquely original they are, creating from the same limited tool kit as their fellow creative thinking gurus.

I find that odd — odd, limiting and narrow minded.

Thinking different with different tools

As well as pencils, pens and paper, I use 2 Macs, a Windows PC, a Linux PC and a number of android devices. Each works differently. Each has different software.

Each causes you to (literally) think differently, when you use them.

Maybe a more useful way to come up with creative ideas, is NOT to limit yourself to one hardware or software platform.

I wonder how Warhol’s art would have been limited, if he’d followed the crowd and insisted on using only oil on canvas? Think about that for a moment!

Video: Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. Is it art?

So, here we have a 4 minute video of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. Almost a million people have watched it.

Is it art?

Of course it is! It’s a wonderful piece, from an era before the Internet… before people took photos of their lunch and posted it to Instagram. It causes us to ask questions. It captures our attention. Engages our curiosity. Yes, it’s art.

[For more of Andy Warhol’s amazing work, check out the The Warhol Museum website.]

Video: A quick look at the design genius of Dieter Rams

A short, informed introduction to the work of design legend, Dieter Rams.

It was recorded at a travelling exhibit, celebrating the work of Dieter Rams, during its stop at London’s Design Museum.

Creativity: Do it now!

If you want to be more creative, more often, this quote from Stephen King is a great starting point:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work!”

Be your own muse

Don’t wait for creativity to appear… command it to appear. Decide that it’s time to create and then get to work.

If you wait for the perfect time, you will seldom create anything.

Art that stands the test of time

The very best art doesn’t follow the latest trends. It isn’t diluted, by having the fashion of the day injected into it, to gain wider acceptance. It stands the test of time.

If you want your art to lose relevance quickly, follow the current fashion.

If you want your art to carry on making a difference, don’t follow anything. Lead!

What’s stopping you?

out way

It’s amazing what you are capable of, when you get out of your own way. Usually the only thing stopping you… is you.

Steve Jobs: How to change your life!

In less than 1 and a half minutes, Steve Jobs shares one of his most powerful messages.

He explains the importance of being willing to change your life, rather than passively follow the average path. It’s well worth a listen.

Wise words indeed.

Creativity and the tools we use

Dylan_Thomas_photoI’ve visited the room where Dylan Thomas did much of his writing and also the tiny shed where Roald Dahl wrote. Something that struck me about these amazing writers, was how extremely typical their surroundings were.

Nothing fancy. Just a space to create, where they could think and work.

The mechanics are secondary

Often, we get caught up in the mechanics of creativity. What software to work with… which type of computer to use.

I think to a lesser or greater degree, these are stalling tactics. Find the mix that feels right for you, then create.

The rest is largely unimportant.

It’s 1969: Jim Morrison talks about rap and electro music!

Never let the fear of criticism hold you back from creating your art. Today, I want to share an example with you, which makes this point beautifully.

1969: Jim Morrison predicts electro & rap

In 1969, the year The Beatles split, Jim Morrison was asked about the future of music. Here’s an amazing, direct quote from his answer:

“[…] it might rely heavily on electronics, tapes, I can kind of envision maybe one person with a lot of machines, tapes, and electronics set up, singing or speaking and using machines.”

You can watch the short video that quote is taken from, here.

From fool to visionary

At the time, Morrison’s prediction of what we now call electro music and rap, whilst his counterparts were playing Woodstock with flowers in their hair, was laughed at.

The idea of using machines, rather than musical instruments, was too much for the masses to handle. It seemed like the foolish ramblings of a man with a well known drug problem.

Of course, it wasn’t.

Years after his death, Morrison’s prediction happened. He was duly elevated to the status of musical visionary.

The price for thinking differently

The price for thinking differently, is that you set yourself apart from the masses. By proactively embracing your creativity, you will see the world differently. Your art may be hard for others to understand or ahead of its time. When that happens, the masses are likely to laugh at you or criticise you.

As Einstein said: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”.

A great way to deal with this, is to use fear as your compass. Every great artist has encountered ridicule. If your work is not being attacked in some way, you’re probably playing it safe… not making a difference. It’s a sign you need to embrace the edges.

To quote another visionary: “Stay young. Stay foolish” — Steve Jobs.