1% inspiration… put that on your to-do-list

8 Dec

Everyone has experienced something magical: a culinary delight, a transformative piece of art, a great film. It conjures up emotions that swell in the throat. We can’t begin to comprehend how they did it, right? Sure, from a thousand feet away, it looks categorically impeccable. A closer look at any creative endeavor where the magic bares its bones reveals the delicate integrity of its structure: the to-do-list.

You know what they say…“Creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration” I recall a recent to do list for an installation piece I made, a grove of birch trees (see it there?)

Carpet padding on the curb                              need wax

Call carpet installation guys                        chew bubblegum

Band aids for fingers                                                paint wax paper

More plastic bags                                                more as is paints

When people encounter my work I hear an enigmatical “How did you do this?”  Looking out from the inside, my process has a thin skin around it, preventing a huge mess. This skin is made of lists. The to-do-list is magic’s operations manual. Without it, some of the most important things slip through the cracks.

Being creative doesn’t start with a masterpiece, it starts with a list of things to do and think about. It is a list different in ways from the common to-do-list but the activity is the same. When it comes to creativity, what stops some people is the overwhelming feeling that they have to perform magic. Start by becoming a list-maker.

What to-do:

List all the practical things first.

In other words, make space in your head.

List things in order of importance.

The beginning of a timeline for your deadline.

List all the romantic things you want to do.

Maybe you won’t do all of these things, at least you have it written down. Use it later.

Stream of consciousness list making.

This is kind of like mind-mapping (which works well too).

Tap into ideas that linger just below the surface.

Make amazing extrapolations.

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