Sawdust, Waves, and Motivation
So it's been a while, too long let's say, since I've written anything about design or creativity. But I have a great excuse! I've been actually designing and creating, getting my hands covered in soot and sawdust.
Running a small design company wears on you. Finding time, inspiration, or money to enact your vision is not easy. Period. Those things come in waves. And figuring out how to navigate those waves isn't easy.
My premise is that there are waves of each aspect of creativity. Let's use three basic aspects; time, inspiration, and money. To be sure there are countless others, but let's focus on those three.
Often the low point of one of those waves can be the high point of another. Say you have all the time in the world, but money is low. Or maybe you're overly inspired, but the rest of life just will not allow you the time.
When you're in the lowest point of one wave it can feel nearly impossible to notice the high point of another.
I don't know about you, but if I'm stressed about money, finding inspiration is not easy.
I've found that using the lows in one aspect of creativity to compliment the highs in another is key to actually making a thing. After all, it is rare, and honestly kind of boring, when everything is at a high and making things feels easy.
How do we take our lowest moments and weave them into our best creative outlets?
Let's say money is low, but inspiration is high. Well make something with duct tape. Or make a model of your dream with toothpicks and popsicle sticks. Maybe you have zero time, but plenty of money and inspiration. Invest in what inspires you, and encourage others to make their things for a while. Maybe you have zero inspiration, and little money, but plenty of time. Use that time to make small steps into a market, focus on business moves, or make a platform for when inspiration is high.
Often, the feeling that you are trapped in a slump with no way out is a problem with perspective rather than circumstance.
That's part of what it means to be human. But it is also very human to find the motivation to shift that perspective.
So where do we find that motivation?
That's for next time...