"Don't wait to know who you are to start" - Austin Kleon
People believe that creativity is a gift some are born with, and the gifted ones can have revolutionary ideas without making much effort. But in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Time is relentless and consistency gets us all through it - not only creative people.
Creativity is about repetition, practicing a little bit every day, and the watershed between the creative idea and the less creative idea is what was done at the time of the first mistake.
Without any romanticization, making mistakes is not good at all. It makes us question our abilities and even if we’re capable of performing tasks that we usually do very often and get them right more than we might think. But an error is an irreplaceable part of developing whatever skill you're looking for (in this case, creativity).
What if we bring this concept of making mistakes more into our daily lives?
Let's start with our personal projects.
Something we forget when we think about creating something new is that not everything needs to be shown. What if we tried to make mistakes for ourselves to find new methodologies and subjects, new material, and a new source of inspiration? None of this needs to be shown. Just create it, test it, fail and repeat the process.
Your biggest asset will be the sum of those little mistakes, plus significant sections of repetition. It ends up not having much of a secret, but don’t fool yourself… It's not that easy. Often it will be necessary to deal with an inherent factor in every creative process from the moment it starts, chaos.
Creative processes are linear and cute only on paper because in the real world and in the field of ideas we need to know how to deal with the non-linearity of occurrences and try to bring maximum control to creative chaos.
Creative chaos is neither harmful nor beneficial, in general, it exists as something natural and essential in creation. But if left unchecked it can bring more problems than good ideas. The best way to deal with chaos is to have an established creative process in mind, and plan moments of conversations between chaos and process so that they work together.
“Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy, you will find yourself” - Yohji Yamamoto
We were not born with our own style, voice, and creative positioning. We are fruits of what we consume and what is around us.
Paul McCartney once said, “I imitated Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis. We all do it.” Our first word is a reproduction of what our caregivers asked us to repeat; we learn to write by copying the alphabet and to draw by copying our favorite drawings. The entire creative process starts initially with the collection of references.
To become a creative person, collect references from different sources, choose a little from each, and create something of your own on top of that. Test in the first versions and whenever you make a mistake go back a little and try again, without anyone having to know.
Fix the small details and keep repeating the process.
Okay, you're creating.
Don't wait for it to be perfect to show the world, refine as much as you think is necessary for it to be exposed and not as much as you think it is necessary to be flawless.
Done is better than perfect and any creation in the world is already better than those that have never seen the light of the sun.