Being creative can be a lonely path

Posted on July 18th, 2014

I loved reading about this new study into the connection between creativity and mental illness. It effectively found that creativity has little correlation with genius. While there is a connection with a highish IQ  (the “average” creative has an IQ around 120), the real nexus is with a touch of madness. But more specifically (and interestingly), a particular ability to see things others don’t.

Image via Favim.com

Image via Favim.com

The author’s final conclusion on the Thing that denotes creativity is this:

“Creative people are better at recognising relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see.”

He goes on to say that this ability to see things differently can be a very lonely experience…which, in turn, he feels, explains the mental illness nexus.

A quote from his own writing on the subject:

“When you work at the cutting edge, you are likely to bleed.”

It would appear mad to go to the cutting edge if it were only painful. But here comes my favourite bit, the bit that made me Read more

why it’s good to give your stuff for free

Posted on March 28th, 2012

I like this story: Trevor from Youth Lagoon recently told my friend Tim (who told me) that back before he was Somebody he decided to release his first single “July” on Bandcamp for free. Everyone told him he was mad. That he should monetise his efforts. But then the track went viral. And he got fans. And Youth Lagoon got big.

We know this kind of story, yeah?

by Lee Basford via advice to sink in slowly

It’s The New Creativity. Give first. See what happens next.

PS: you might like to listen to “July” while you read the rest of this:

Seth Godin first explained the beauty of this concept to me early one morning on Skype. We chatted, quite literally, about the point of existence. He told me it’s about “shipping”.

“Real artists ship,” he says. You can fiddle and perfect and rehearse for a while. But then – fire up! – we have to press send or call in UPS to pick up our contribution to the planet – whether it be a report, a love letter, a meal, a blog post. That’s the point. Which is not far off my “quit the rehearsals, skip to the play” theory from last week.

Art is something we offer as a gift to humanity, Seth tells me. Read more

“poke life and something will always pop out the other side”

Posted on December 14th, 2011

Just this. From Steve Jobs in some random interview in 1995 (when he had hair, a beard and not-so-fat-wads-of-cash).

It cuts through to something we all need to know:

When you grow up you, tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that

 everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

And then again, a little later in the same interview…and frankly my favourite insight in a long time:

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will… pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing.

It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. Read more