Great ideas aren’t found, they’re made, through consistent creative practice. Creative thinking comes from creative doing.
Influential painter Chuck Close said in an interview for Inside the Painter’s Studio:
Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will—through work—bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great “art idea.”
Or, as Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”*
What you’re reading is the book I wish I had at the beginning of my journey, one with prompts that would encourage, stimulate, and strengthen the creative process.
My approach to creativity is to bring together the hands, head, and heart, by focusing on quantity (doing as much as you can), quality (improving your abilities and honing your taste and style), and purpose (knowing what you are creating for).
This book provides exercises to move each of these levers forward.
A lot has happened since I wrote and independently published this work—I got a chance to work with a publisher (Holloway) to expand and revise the book. It has made a difference with some readers, and my writing has reached millions of viewers. Regardless of these external rewards, the thing I’m most proud of is that I found a way to make my creative process work throughout the other commitments of my life—work, relationship, family, friends, and health.
The incredible intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of the creative process do not mean that it comes easily. Whether you’re choosing to make a vocation out of your creativity, you’re seeking a new hobby, or you’re simply figuring out how to make time for your creativity, this book will enable you to find the process that works for you. It’s something that nobody else can teach you, that only you can learn for yourself.