Tag Archives: creativity

Do Artists Get Less Creative Over Time?

Picasso’s paintings grew more creative over time

Have you ever noticed that most artists tend to get less creative when they get older? A band’s first album is often their best—or maybe their second or third album is better—but rarely does a band record their most creative music on their twelfth album. Sure, some artists like The Rolling Stones continue to perform well into their 70s, but they are only rehashing the creativity of their 20s and 30s. They are not recording new songs, or if they are, those new songs are nowhere near as beloved or creative as their earlier work. That is the normal life cycle of most musical artists: they release creative music when young, get popular, then “play the hits” for the rest of their career.

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Good Art and the Posthumous Success of H.P. Lovecraft

When writing fiction, you can either write for now or forever. To become a successful bestseller you need to appeal to the masses, and the masses are, by definition, average. That is average intelligence, average creativity, average originality, average in taste and interests, etcetera. The masses don’t like the most creative, innovative, transgressive, and artistic works of art—and they never will. There’s only ever a small subset of the population with refined enough taste to find and appreciate the diamonds in the rough and discover a truly creative artist—someone like H.P. Lovecraft—during their lifetime.

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Why Are so Many Creative People Anxious and/or Depressed?

Introducing Kafka by R. Crumb

Consciousness, or what makes humans human, is inherently tied to imagination. Imagination allows you to predict possible futures before they happen—be it what a predator such as a tiger will do (harm you), what a rock could turn into (a tool), or what a seed could become if you plant it (food). That type of future-thinking birthed agriculture and civilization, and it all stemmed from imagination—imagining what not yet is but could be. No other species can do that (that we know of).

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Solitude Inspires Creativity

solitude

Solitude makes people more creative. When isolated from other humans, you become extremely bored. (This includes both in-person interaction and indirect forms of human communication, such as via the internet, watching television, or reading books.) When completely deprived of interaction with other people, you become so craved for some kind of stimulation that you’re forced to fill that need yourself—in your imagination. You create fictional characters and stories in your head to fulfill your innate need for stimulation and social interaction. Continue reading

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

ideas

Where do you get your ideas? That seems to be a question that every writer hates. Most don’t have an answer. It almost seems kind of magical how ideas come to them. But I don’t think it’s magic at all. I think I know how every writer and artist gets their ideas: data inputs to their consciousness. Continue reading

Idea Inception: Outlining and the Future of Writing

freewriting

My favorite part of writing might be outlining. Not actually creating a formal outline, but the moment I first hatch the idea and jot notes down. It’s more like free-writing. The ideas come to me rapidly, and I just try to get it all down as fast as I can. They come out of order: plot points, characters, action scenes, settings… My mind naturally sculpts the ideas into stories with three acts: a beginning, middle, and end. In a half-hour, I could have a page or two—and it may look like a mess—but it’ll contain the structure of an entire screenplay/novel. I can see the entire story in my head like a movie. My mind fills in the gaps between the scenes. It feels complete. I don’t even need to write it—other than to share it with other people. Continue reading

Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2017

2017-NF-books

I tend to consume most of my non-fiction content through podcasts, which I like because non-fiction authors are often guests, and they summarize their books in their own words in about an hour. That allows me to learn more in less time. Then when I hear an author or subject I am especially interested in, I can delve deeper by reading their full book. That was the case with many of the non-fiction books I read in 2017. Continue reading

How to Get Ideas

question-2519654_1280

A common question that writers are asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Most writers seem to hate the question because they have no clear answer. I can understand that. Sometimes an idea just comes to me, and I’m not quite sure where it came from. But other times, I can trace the source of the idea. I’ll see a great movie or read a great book and get inspired to write something as good. Or I’ll see a bad movie or read a poor book and get inspired to write something better. Or I’ll take one small nugget from a fictional story, or from real life, and expand upon it. But there’s more to it than that. Thinking of ideas requires…well…thinking. Literally devoting time to daydreaming and brainstorming ideas. Continue reading