Creative Something

New books added to A Creative Library


Looking for a new book to read? Creative Something has a stellar, curated list of creative thinking books called A Creative Library. New books have just been added.

Whether you’re an artist looking to find inspiration, a teacher looking for class material, or a writer hoping to improve your abilities, you’re going to find something worth reading in the library.

Explore all the books right here.

“Yes, you can teach creativity. You give people a set of tools and techniques and approaches, and you help them gain the necessary mindset. Creativity is a result of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that allow you to be a problem-solver.”

The always great Tina Seelig explains how to teach creativity in her interview with VentureBeat.

Posted at 11:37 am

How to find your creative passion


It’s easy to find what you’re most passionate about, if you are willing to spend the time searching for it.

In order to do that, you first have to try new things. From there you look at how you spend your time once your capabilities have grown.

But it starts with trying new things, a lot of them and often. Drawing, painting, dancing, architecture, jewelry making, running, theatre acting, sound production, ceramic making, wine tasting, writing, fencing, cooking, you name it.

Trying new things can be daunting. Where do you start? What if you don’t have a lot of money?

The thing with trying new things is that there is someone, somewhere, who knows how to do it and will be willing to teach you for free or for a small price. Even better: you can do a free, quick search online and find tips, how tos, and dedicated groups for learning those new things as well.

For example, over the weekend I decided to try my hand at fine jewelry making. Somewhat characteristically bizarre for me, the idea of taking precious metals and turning it into a painstakingly detailed accessory is intriguing. I started by doing an online search for how other people make fine jewelry and the results surprised me. In less than an hour I knew what it would take for me to get started. In my case: a few small, simple tools and resources, most of which I was able to pick-up at my local Home Depot in an hour. I expect to create my first piece this week, and I’m excited at the prospect of trying this new process for something I have never done before.

To find what you’re passionate about you must first be willing to try many new things.

Of course, once you start trying new things, keep going. Try even more new things. You’ll find that, after some time, you come back to certain activities. Maybe this week you’re trying your hand at artisan baking, but you wind-up drawing a few sketches one afternoon because last time it was so enjoyable.

Your interests will change as you try new things, but how you find yourself spending your time is going to become your passion, your calling.

One day you may wake up and realize that writing makes you happier than anything else, even on the days you struggle to come up with anything worthwhile.

Another day you might suddenly realize that your love for writing has dwindled, that you instead love to spend your time debating philosophy with acquaintances. That’s good, passions change as we do.

So, then, the way to find what you’re passionate about is to try a lot of things often, then look at how you’re spending your time. What you dedicate yourself to most is your passion. Easy enough, right?

The hard part of finding your passion, I would argue, is getting started. It’s dedicating yourself to trying new things now, then taking the steps required to actually trying them.

Start now, today. Make a list of things you’d like to try, then start with the first one on your list by researching what it would take to make that happen. Then make it happen.


Five stages of finding your passions

What pursuing your creative passion looks like

How to not lose your creative passion

“Inaction leads to failure more often than wrong action.”

Morgan Newman from Inc’s How to not drown in ideas.

Posted at 10:42 am

Fearlessness in creativity is a myth


“Creative people are confident in only one thing: their own doubt. I think there’s a huge lack of self-confidence in a creative person because, by nature, the definition of a creative person is someone who is trying to make something new….They build within that city of doubt.” – John Maeda

A terrible misconception exist that professional, successful creative individuals escape from the plague of fear. For those few, the malady of self doubt is gone.

The truth is nothing is further from the truth. Our biological safety system latches onto to any risk it can find regardless of the actual threat to your well being. Emotional and creative risks fire up the fear response exactly like the possibility of a nearby lion.

The fear never goes away.

Bravery often merely masquerades as fearlessness. From an outside observer, the two traits function in similar ways. However, the difference is that fearlessness is a state of being and bravery is a choice.

There is no partial fearlessness. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition made impossible by the fact that you can’t control your fear response. Bravery, however, is the choice to act despite the fear.

Creatives become defined by this bravery. It is the daily act of turning into your fear and pushing past it.

Since bravery is a choice, it is also a skill. It is no different than deciding to go to the gym or not eat an entire box of donuts. How can you practice bravery? Find a small task that will generate those fears and self doubt and repetitively push past them.

Joel Runyon’s solution is called “Cold Shower Therapy.” Take a cold shower for 30 days. The excuses generated to avoid the cold shower match any other creative endeavor. Practice pushing through the “reasons” and just do it.

Be brave. We all are fighting our own doubts. Your doubts are the same as your creative idols. They just practiced bravery longer and better than you.


Cold shower therapy

What it really means to fail

Facing fears, doing work, and a single serving of life

Poster: It’s only by overcoming the fear of what our ideas may become that we discover what we’re really capable of

Jon Wilkening

This article was written by pinhole photographer, Jon Wilkening. To see more adventures in the wonderful world of film photography, art, and creativity, follow him on Twitter.

Creativity takes guts


Hoping that your next idea is the next big idea is silly.

Yet we so often find ourselves working on, or seeking out, ideas that are perfect, ideal, better than anything else out there (at least in our mind).

The result is either failure to start or a failure to launch, both of which come about as a result of fear. Of course, when this happens we fail to discover whether our ideas really were worthwhile or possibly the next big idea. We fear our ideas may not be valuable, so we don’t make them real, which makes it impossible to determine whether the ideas were worthwhile or not. Silly, right?

To get an idea out of our heads and into the world takes work, yes, it also requires that you have an idea to begin with. Hopefully the idea is at least somewhat worthwhile, it’s certainly possible that the idea really is the next best thing. But more importantly: creativity takes guts.

What if nobody likes this? Why would anyone care if they knew anyone else could do the same thing? What makes this special? Is this really better than what already exists? Who am I to make this a reality?

We face these questions any time an idea pops into our heads, big or small. But the best ideas – the wonder breads, the Facebooks, the automobiles – all started as just another idea, not something to change the world or inspire millions. All ideas start the same, whether we believe they do or not.

The first personal computer was never intended to evolve into the iPhones and Android phones we have today. The first aircraft wasn’t intended to be a way for transporting products or medical aid across the world overnight. Picasso began sketching out Portrait of Igor Stravinsky because he enjoyed doing it, not because he wanted it to become a historically remarkable work of art.

When I started Creative Something, my goal was to research creativity and share what I discovered, in the hopes that someone, somewhere, would find it inspiring. Today the blog has 100,000 subscribers, but that’s never something I imagined nearly seven years ago when the project began.

My point is this: You don’t need to come up with the next big idea. Your ideas don’t need to be the best, or even your best. What’s more important is that you have ideas, and that you have the guts to see them through.

You won’t know what your ideas can become until you get them onto the canvas, captured on film, somehow out in front of the world. That’s what matters.


Starting and the fear of breaking things

A note on creating something imperfect

Poster: Ideas are worthless until you get them out of your head to see what they can do

Fear of the critical finish line

When can you call yourself creative?

Photo by Nicki Varkevisser.