Austin Kleon, who wrote “How to Steal Like an Artist,” is a great example of someone who allows himself to be creative every day. If you look at his blog, you see that he regularly writes in a journal, makes drawings, doodles, and cuts up newspapers clippings into poetry. He often posts things he is watching or reading that inspires him. And he regularly posts things his kids have drawn, and his interactions with kids are a remarkable way to allow those “fantastic frustrations” (as a friend calls them) to spur one to greater activity.
I thought of Austin when I read a recent post by Scott Alexander, where he took a Tripadvisor review of Xanadu (the actual Summer palace of Kublai Khan) and rewrote it in the style of Coleridge’s famous poem. Scott’s creativity comes in a different form than Austin’s usually–it’s more logical and rational. But it’s no less creative.
Austin and Scott are great examples of people whose life is inherently creative. I admire them for that. Austin’s blog in particular is a large inspiration for this one–small and humble though it may be. I’m reminded of a quote from Deiter F. Uchtdorf:
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.
My resolution: I’m going to be more creative, every day, in some small way. (By this, I mean beyond interface design. My job is, gratefully, very creative.) So during a break at work, I drew this:
I call it: “Be Still, and Know that I Am Ninja”