Occasionally, someone will speak to me and mention that I am very prolific. It’s true, I generate a lot of work and it’s not just because this is what I do full-time at this phase in my life. I have always created a lot of work. Here are a few secrets to creating every day:
1. Pray: I’m cross posting this on both of my blogs, AMOK folks should appreciate this, dweisscreative folks might be skeptical, but this much I will say, I prayer walk almost every day, and most of the best ideas I have come during this time. Whether you believe in the power of prayer or not, I have to give credit where credit is due.
2. Do not wait for inspiration: I know this sounds hypocritical, especially after secret one, but I don’t wait for inspiration. Waiting for inspiration is at best, asking for creative block and at worst, procrastination. Inspiration is not to be waited for, it’s to be sought, hunted down and captured. Go after inspiration, every day.
3. Start something: “What should I start?” you may ask. Anything. Sketch, doodle, free-write, whatever it takes to get the ball rolling. For example, last night I was exhausted, sitting on my recliner with the TV on mindlessly in the background. My wife was away and my son was at work. I had the house to myself, but I didn’t want to go to bed ’til they got home I began to doodle, a face, this morning I have five new T-shirt designs in my sketchbook and within a few days they will be for sale on my zazzle.com store. Once I had the first one sketched out, I began to think, what about a character that looks happy? what about a droopy face? and before long the juices were flowing. This post is another example. I thought about a create every day challenge I am thinking about entering into on dweisscreative.com I started to ask myself how I would do that and before long I was writing this post.
4. Keep your tools of the trade nearby: I’m never more than a few feet from my laptop or my sketch book. My sketchbook as an elastic strap around the cover that holds a couple blue pencils and some of my favorite inking pens (Sharpies). I never have to look for my stuff. It’s always there.
5. Keep it simple: I have a friend who is also a cartoonist, but he’s a little further up the “food chain” than me. It drives him crazy to see that I ink my cartoons with Sharpies. Here’s why I do it. If I had set up inking brushes or move to my studio any time I wanted to create something, I would be constantly asking, “Is it worth it to do all that work, for that idea?” and most of the time I would probably just lapse into procrastination. Not to mention I would be separating myself from my family. Using simple supplies, I can get them out at a moment’s notice, no muss, no fuss. I have inked drawings in cars (not while driving), on planes, in shopping malls, in hotel rooms. Simple supplies make it easy to create wherever I am at, which removes another boundary to creativity.
6. Any time is creative time: So many people act as if they don’t have time to create. The truth is we all have time. It may not be a big block of time, but you’d be amazed what you can come up with in the stolen moments, (TV time, social media time, etc.) The main thing is this: To create everyday, you first have to want to create every day. Then you have to do a little work to make creating every day easy, so that you can utilize all those little spare moments. Creating every day keeps your skills sharp, minimizes creative block and let’s not forget the main reason we started creating in the first place… It’s fun.
Go create something!