Have you ever tried to be creative? Needed to solve a problem? Or simply wanted to find a creative outlet?

As you probably know, getting started with anything, regardless if it’s a creative endeavor, is hard. Perfecting your craft and getting really good can seem next to impossible. So what are we to do?

Image: Man playing piano in the middle of a park

Source: Pixabay

This could be a familiar situation: sitting down to work, revved up and ready to take on the next project, only to draw a complete inspirational blank. Then, finally, when an idea hits you and you’ve begun working, to your shock, what you begin to create isn’t quite what you had in mind. At this point, doubt begins to set in and you wonder why you’re even trying to make something new, to begin with.

You know it’ll be a wholeheartedly fulfilling process in the end, but it’s a frustrating and tiresome ride until then. Is it worth it?

How do you move past this block and begin creating what you really want?  Do you just stop?

We’ve collected a few short, stunningly thoughtful videos that hold some tips and tricks from successful creative minds for us to mull over. (All of which have insights for even the least creatively inclined among us.)

“A lot of artists think that suffering is necessary. But in reality, any sort of suffering cramps the flow of creativity.” — David Lynch

If you haven’t heard of David Lynch, he directed the wildly popular TV series, Twin Peaks (1990s) and a handful of great films such as Mulholland Drive (2001), Blue Velvet (1986), and Eraserhead (1977) 1 Lynch is characterized as one of the most creative and original filmmakers of his time, and thankfully we get to tap into his mind for a few minutes and get some tips on how to capture our own creativity!

So, how do you catch an idea? Here’s an awesome animation of his thoughts on the process in an interview with The Atlantic in 2008!

Ok, now you think you’ve caught that great idea, but what do you do next?

“You’ll hit gold more often if you simply try out a lot of things.” — Ira Glass 3

Start creating. Just begin throwing paint onto a canvas, stringing notes and words into some sort of formation, and eventually, something will come of it. But will it be good? Will it be what you had in your head? It may be soon, but most likely, the piece isn’t quite where you’d like it yet after the first go.

Ira Glass, one of our favorite radio personalities who’s behind the hit, This American Life 4 has a few tips on getting started that may make you feel better about where you are and what you’ve got to look forward to down the road.

Even still, it’s hard to get going. Now you know that it’ll take some time to begin seeing those results you crave in your work, that’s good, but what are you going to do about those voices in your head that are still telling you there’s no point to doing this at all? That everything you’re going to do has already been done, seen, and forgotten. That no one will like what you create. Why should you put the effort in?

Here’s what one young creative has to say about those voices.

Via: DSLRguide  6

The easiest thing to do is nothing, but that’s no fun is it? If you have an idea of something that needs to be created, it seems it’s in the best interest to go out and create it over and over again until it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

If you want a little more insight on the ways some of our most iconic modern creatives thought about the elusive (and sometimes frustrating) process of creating, check out this TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.

20 minutes

Do You Have a Creative Genius?

What is creativity? Is our modern way of thinking about it wong? It's hard to put a finger on inspiration, but author Elizabeth Gilbert thinks that the answer to our creative woes might require turning to the past for answers. Check out her incredible TED Talk!

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  1. “Biography.” IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2018. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000186/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm>.
  2. “David Lynch on Where Great Ideas Come From.” Vimeo. The Atlantic, 09 Sept. 2016. Web. 01 Feb. 2018. <https://vimeo.com/182093266>.
  3. “Ira Glass Quotes.” Ira Glass Quotes (Author of More Information Than You Require Adapted). N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2018. <https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/113989.Ira_Glass>.
  4. “Ira Glass.” Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 01 Feb. 2018. <https://www.biography.com/people/ira-glass-20821135>.
  5. “Ira Glass on Storytelling.” Vimeo. David Shiyang Liu, 06 June 2011. Web. 01 Feb. 2018. <https://vimeo.com/24715531>.
  6. “Why You Shouldn’t Be an Artist.” Vimeo. DSLRguide, 09 Oct. 2017. Web. 01 Feb. 2018. <https://vimeo.com/237372038>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.