Here we are at another humpday, creatives, and we are giving you that double shot of inspiration. Today’s pieces are all about the creative mindset. How to let your ideas flow unimpeded. Put success in your hands with Elizabeth Gilbert. Remove expectations with Josh Homme. And finally, let the ideas come to you like David Lynch. If any of these perspectives resonate with you let us know on social media! @iconcollective
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The Realities of Success with Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert is an author and journalist who has been writing professionally for over 20 years. Her most notable work is Eat Pray Love which has sold over 12 million copies and been adapted into a major motion picture.
Does that make Elizbeth Gilbert a success?
During her TED talk on creativity, Gilbert said that because of Eat, Pray, Love “Everywhere I go now people treat me like I’m doomed.” As fate would have it, this is also how people treated her before Eat, Pray, Love.
- Before: “Aren’t you afraid you’ll never have any success?”
- After: “Aren’t you afraid you’ll never be able to top that?”
To both questions, Gilbert answered: “Yes.”
If Gilbert is afraid both before and after a huge work like Eat, Pray, Love, at what point does creating become enjoyable? How do creatives roll with the fear?
Process Over Product
Attaching success to outcomes puts the power in the hands of others. Sales. Notoriety. Those are dependent on other people. Attaching success to the process puts the power in your hands. You can define success by improving your mixdowns. You can define success by singing on your track for the first time. Find success in the process and watch fear dissolve away.
“When you expect anything from music, you expect too much.” – Josh Homme, Queens Of The Stone Age
Josh Homme is one of the last real rock and roll icons (pun intended) in the industry today. Following his rise to prominence with his most well known band Queens of the Stone Age, he has consistently expanded his creativity into new projects like Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures.
Expectations and Creativity
Everyone places expectations on their lives. These can be good. They can serve as motivation and give you a sense of purpose. But how do those expectations affect creativity? Consider the below:
- “I expect to sign a release before I’m 21.”
- “I expect to support myself entirely through music.”
- “I expect to win a Grammy.”
All of these examples include a limit in some form, whether it be a time limit or a specific accolade. Limits can be met, but they can also be missed, and the idea of missing them can introduce fear and doubt. There is no need to attach limits to your creativity. Create without expectation. That’s what Josh Homme did and he accomplished all of the above.
David Lynch is a mastermind of the weird and wild. Across a career of over four decades, Lynch has directed some of the most recognizable cult classics in the history of television and cinema. The eerie noir masterpiece, Twin Peaks. The famous foible, Dune. The Oscar-nominated, tinseltown thriller Mullholland Drive. Lynch has also touched on other areas of art including music, releasing multiple solo albums while collaborating with artists like Flying Lotus and Lykke Li.
Ideas Are Like Fish
Basically, David Lynch can do it all. Or rather he can create it all, and all of his creations start by going fishing. In this video Lynch compares the creative process to going to finishing. No need to come up with an idea you just need to show up every day and cast your line.
“You don’t make the fish you catch the fish”
The art is in the seeing not the doing
Sitting alone in the studio, many artists find themselves trying to “be great” “make good music”… a strategy that is wrought with frustrations and burnout. Taking a lesson from David Lynch, you can imagine the freedom of just going fishing. Show up, no worries of ‘making good music”, kick your feet up and enjoy the waves. The song is there, you just have to listen.