13 October 2010

Improving my outlook

Lately as I may have mentioned I have been a little depressed from not drawing as much as I would like to be. Even though I have vaild reasons, I also want to come out of this experience energized with a new sense of purpose with my drawing and writing.
Here are some interesting tips I have come across recently about noty getting stuck in metal traps with your art
List from here,

And this from here,
8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity and Stifle Your Success
“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the moment you get up and doesn’t stop until you get into the office.” — Robert Frost
It’s a myth that only highly intelligent people are creative.
In fact, research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not at all related.
That means that even if you’re no smarter than most people, you still have the potential to wield amazing creative powers.
So why are so few people highly creative?
Because there are bad habits people learn as they grow up which crush the creative pathways in the brain. And like all bad habits, they can be broken if you are willing to work at it.
Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day:

1. Creating and evaluating at the same time
You can’t drive a car in first gear and reverse at the same time. Likewise, you shouldn’t try to use different types of thinking simultaneously. You’ll strip your mental gears.
Creating means generating new ideas, visualizing, looking ahead, considering the possibilities. Evaluating means analyzing and judging, picking apart ideas and sorting them into piles of good and bad, useful and useless.
Most people evaluate too soon and too often, and therefore create less. In order to create more and better ideas, you must separate creation from evaluation, coming up with lots of ideas first, then judging their worth later.
2. The Expert Syndrome
This a big problem in any field where there are lots of gurus who tell you their secrets of success. It’s wise to listen, but unwise to follow without question.
Some of the most successful people in the world did what others told them would never work. They knew something about their own idea that even the gurus didn’t know.
Every path to success is different.
3. Fear of failure
Most people remember baseball legend Babe Ruth as one of the great hitters of all time, with a career record of 714 home runs. However, he was also a master of the strike out. That’s because he always swung for home runs, not singles or doubles. Ruth either succeeded big or failed spectacularly.
No one wants to make mistakes or fail. But if you try too hard to avoid failure, you’ll also avoid success.
It has been said that to increase your success rate, you should aim to make more mistakes. In other words, take more chances and you’ll succeed more often. Those few really great ideas you come up with will more than compensate for all the dumb mistakes you make.
4. Fear of ambiguity
Most people like things to make sense.
Unfortunately, life is not neat and tidy. There are some things you’ll never understand and some problems you’ll never solve.
I once had a client who sold a product by direct mail. His order form broke every rule in the book. But it worked better than any other order form he had ever tried.
Why? I don’t know.
What I do know is that most great creative ideas emerge from a swirl of chaos. You must develop a part of yourself that is comfortable with mess and confusion. You should become comfortable with things that work even when you don’t understand why.
5. Lack of confidence
A certain level of uncertainty accompanies every creative act. A small measure of self-doubt is healthy.
However, you must have confidence in your abilities in order to create and carry out effective solutions to problems.
Much of this comes from experience, but confidence also comes from familiarity with how creativity works.
When you understand that ideas often seem crazy at first, that failure is just a learning experience, and that nothing is impossible, you are on your way to becoming more confident and more creative.
Instead of dividing the world into the possible and impossible, divide it into what you’ve tried and what you haven’t tried. There are a million pathways to success.
6. Discouragement from other people
Even if you have a wide-open mind and the ability to see what’s possible, most people around you will not. They will tell you in various and often subtle ways to conform, be sensible, and not rock the boat.
Ignore them. The path to every victory is paved with predictions of failure. And once you have a big win under your belt, all the naysayers will shut their noise and see you for what you are — a creative force to be reckoned with.
7. Being overwhelmed by information
It’s called “analysis paralysis,” the condition of spending so much time thinking about a problem and cramming your brain with so much information that you lose the ability to act.
It’s been said that information is to the brain what food is to the body. True enough. But just as you can overeat, you can also overthink.
Every successful person I’ve ever met has the ability to know when to stop collecting information and start taking action. Many subscribe to the “ready – fire – aim” philosophy of business success, knowing that acting on a good plan today is better than waiting for a perfect plan tomorrow.
8. Being trapped by false limits
Ask a writer for a great idea, and you’ll get a solution that involves words. Ask a designer for a great idea, and you’ll get a solution that involves visuals. Ask a blogger for a great idea, and you’ll get a solution that involves a blog.
We’re all a product of our experience. But the limitations we have are self-imposed. They are false limits. Only when you force yourself to look past what you know and feel comfortable with can you come up with the breakthrough ideas you’re looking for.
Be open to anything. Step outside your comfort zone. Consider how those in unrelated areas do what they do. What seems impossible today may seem surprisingly doable tomorrow.
If you recognize some of these problems in yourself, don’t fret. In fact, rejoice! Knowing what’s holding you back is the first step toward breaking down the barriers of creativity.

I wrote down a few things for myself last night that I thought may help too

Rules for making awesome comics

  1. Create the most awesome ideas you can with your full effort. Make them as if they will be remembered as the best comic in the world
  1. Focus on one project at a time and complete it; obviously sometimes you have to take a break and refresh yourself but stay on target
  1. Add all those little extra things in there; don’t produce for lowest common denominator or so that everyone can get it
  1. Do not let self doubt get in the way; Create a plan and just work through it to the best of your ability at the time
  1. Present your work the way it deserves to be shown; Do not chicken out, be proud, produce and distribute your work accordingly


Richard said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas Anthony! When time is short I've found it more productive to focus on one thing rather than multiple projects.

leftofsanity said...

I would also like to thank you for posting this. I wonder this applies to sketched auto-bio comics? Should I create less higher quality or more sketches? Hmm...

Also, as one subscriber, take as long as you need. Thanks for sharing your life with us and I look forward to finding out how things turn out

Envirobitch said...

Thanks for these Anthony. A good collection. I would add one thing... that it's okay to be down and unproductive. It happens. Then at some point it ends. Sometimes it lasts a week, for me it once lasted a few years. In my experience it usually presages some leap of development and is, I reckon, a part of being creative. Embrace your inner gloom!

And Richard, I agree, multi-tasking is WAY over-rated.

Anthony Woodward said...

@Richard: Great idea!

@leftofsanity: do you mean my first rule? If so, I think it is important to keep in mind putting in your full effort, does not necessarily mean being formal. I think you could still put in your full effort and attention to making sketch book drawings ;)
I struggle with the same notion though of loose vs formal. I'm currently trying to aim somewhere in the middle.

@envirobitch: a few years! that's a long drought. But I do agree that they are good for reforming ideas and directions