Creativity and work

Great quote from Michael Hyatt’s blog post on why real creativity requires significant work (via Shawn Blanc):

If you are a true creative, the work won’t scare you. Embrace it. There really aren’t any shortcuts, despite what you may hear. The only thing standing between you and your dream is hard work and persistence.

So true.


I’ve always been jealous of people who are talented in ways that I’m not, especially in the visual arts.

A few months ago, I heard an interview on NPR with Andrew Stanton (of Pixar). In the interview, he talked about how he views the world–particularly, how he tends to ascribe emotion to inanimate objects, which seems to be a common trait with animators. He also told a story about going to a baseball game and missing an entire inning because he started playing with a pair of binoculars. (This was the seed of the idea that would eventually turn into concept designs for Wall-E.)

During this interview, something finally clicked with me, and I realized that Andrew Stanton thinks about animation *all the time*. That’s why he’s an award-winning animator. Yes, there’s surely some degree of undefinable “talent,” but there’s also a lot of thinking and thinking and thinking involved (and other types of work).

For me, the realization was very freeing, because I realized that if I truly wanted to be successful at visual art, it was more within my power than I realized. And, contrarily, if I naturally want to spend my time thinking about other things, then I should probably follow a career path that makes use of those. But following that other path is a deliberate choice, which makes all the difference.

Great observation, and I agree completely. I need to figure out what I’m spending my time thinking about and make sure it lines up with what I actually want to do with my life…

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