“It’s exercise. It’s flexing muscles and it’s a valid creative endeavor. I’ve been calling it meta‒content, where a person uses preexisting creative work as a foundation for new work. It uses other art as a reference, and its the stuff that forms the foundation of the internet. But, it also makes things frustratingly meta.”
This is what Frank Chimero is describing in his article Lazy Hammer, when he writes about creating work that is 90% inspired by already existing work.
You’ve undoubtedly felt what Frank is describing at one point or another. You have a creative urge, but no message to convey. You want to create something but there is no purpose behind actually producing something. You are working with a lazy hammer. But you don’t have to. If you are feeling creative but don’t have anything necessarily creative to convey, you have an option: collaboration.
Working with someone else is the perfect way to release some of your creative tension, build up new ideas, and improve your talents or creative capacity.
“ So, I’d say the next time you’ve got the impulse to make something but don’t have a message or story of your own, consider collaboration. Instead of piggy‒backing off of something that is already out there, why not take a look around and see if there is anyone doing something interesting and ask them to collaborate?”
If you’re feeling creative but can’t find the necessary outlet or message, look to partnering with someone. Ask someone who inspires you if you can work with them. Look to the authors, designers, painters, bloggers, and anyone else who is producing great work. Collaborate with them.
And before you do anything else today, be sure to read all that Frank Chimero has to say about toys, meta‒design, and creativity.