My friend Jo Schaeffer is participating in a podcast interview on creativity and posted the question, “What challenges do you have unleashing your inner creative?” I thought about this quite a bit, and decided I wanted to share my response.
The biggest thing that helps me unlock my creativity is similar to what helps me have compassion for myself—just think of how I would treat others. My favorite thing to see from an artist is not the polished final product. Much more interesting is the rough work in progress. So even when I feel like my final product looks like a work in progress, and especially when it really is, I try to remind myself this is what I love to see from others.
My favorite book from my favorite artist is the Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995. Each page shows his original drawings, complete with pencil lines and white out. It’s a treasure.
So often, the final product is distant and unreachable. We see what someone else has done, and think, “I could never do that.” But to see someone’s unfinished work is to be beckoned into the inner sanctum—to be trusted with raw vulnerability. That invitation is irresistible and inspiring.