Ironically enough, as a writer, I hate writing blogs. The idea of owning keywords and branding gurus, it’s bullshit. So instead, and in total disregard to the benefits of SEO blog writing, I’m going to write about things that curious minds might find interesting. Here’s my ongoing series of short form meditations; each one examines the ideas around creativity. I’ll touch on things like finding inspiration, the struggles of agency life, and of course, a healthy dose of existential dread. These are observations on the mundane, the beautiful, but mainly the random things that writers often think about. Here’s the first set of entries. They’re focused on moments of Inspiration.
My friend Lisa said something back in college that always stuck with me:
“If you’re going to do this shit, you gotta love it. You should be looking at art and design every day.”
This is advice that I’d give to anybody starting their career in the creative industry. Because creativity isn’t this power you’re born with. It’s something you need to build every day. And you build it by expanding your frame of reference, through film and music and design, and any other medium of art that you’re unfamiliar with.
When you have a wider frame of reference you’re able to come up with richer concepts. And every time you consume a piece of inspiration you’re just adding to your bag. When you have enough pieces to play with, it’s easier to combine them into original ideas and communicate those ideas clearly to your teammates.
So whenever I second guess myself from watching a movie or when I catch myself skipping over an illustration on Instagram without intentionally examining it, I think back to Lisa’s advice.
Watch the film. Read the captions. Disable ad blocker.
Good references are everywhere. Absorb them.
Oddly enough, coffee can cure all ailments. This, however, is something only those who grew up smelling good beans will appreciate. Coffee is contemplation. It’s like being able to revisit an old memory or hold onto a passing moment. Take any situation, pair it with a cup of coffee and it becomes a painting.
Like most creative professionals, I’m not rich and I struggle with cycles of highs and lows. One day I found myself at a coffee shop, examining the root cause of my negativity. It came down to understanding this:
There are two forces within me, always at odds against each other.
This thought led to a quick exploration, in the form of a simple T-chart. Nothing earth-shattering but nevertheless, a helpful exercise in self awareness:
I like the idea of basing this chart on your current mood. I’m interested in revisiting this exercise again to see how it turns out next time.
An unexpected thing sparked an interesting philosophical thought in me last night — I watched James Bond: No Time To Die, which was the final send off for Daniel Craig as he exits his tenure as the immortal character, and I started contemplating how that particular James Bond universe has ended. A true world, filled with characters, ideals and narratives, though fictional, has influenced our very real lives. James Bond is by no means profound subject matter. But it has undeniably shaped our male personas.
It’s important to acknowledge how creation has that ability — to take meaningless, inanimate materials like film strips and sound waves, and manifest them into metaphors and symbols that can move us; that can communicate with the human consciousness. It’s important to acknowledge creation as this sacred thing that we humans have — that we have inherited this power from God. And that we very well may be living in an imaginary metaphorical universe not so different from the fictional film worlds we create.
My dad’s James Bond was Sean Connery, when rockin’ 70’s chest hair was the shit, and mine was Pierce Brosnan, a character that convinced most boys we could outrun machine gun fire — a perspective of indestructibility that’s probably applicable to life. Either way, neither of those Bonds could Kool-Aid Man their way through walls and strangle the shit out of bad guys like Daniel Craig’s Bond could. To the truest Bond, salute.
As you're reading this my hope is that you find inspiration to journal more — to know that part of the journey is the small breaks in between. And by writing down these moments you're able to capture more of what you might miss. Write down your thoughts. What colors do you care about? What piece of nostalgia could you examine once again? Acknowledge what inspires you.
Until next time,