Creative ideas don’t gently glide across the artist’s desk, darkroom tray, or easel comfortably between the hours of 9 and 5. Occasionally they do, but by and large they usually smash us in the side of the head at 10:56pm when the movie is over, at 12:10am after the argument with your brother or, in my case this morning at 3:56am after awaking from a startling, but amazing, dream.
To be clear, I’m not advocating not sleeping. I’m simply advocating a readiness to respond when those ideas percolate into your consciousness. In my experience–when I’m just living my life, minding my own business, but ready…no, not ready…WILLING to commit to ideas is when they come to me. It could be different for you, of course, but this is when I’m best.
The idea to put some of the first “behind the scenes” videos of photoshoots online came to me in the middle of the night.
The idea for Seattle 100 came to me at 5am after a restless night of sleep.
The aesthetics for Songs for Eating and Drinking presented themselves to me at 2am, after a long night of eating and drinking.
The aesthetic for the campaign I’m about to shoot came on a red-eye flight when I got up to pee.
The idea for uniting my iphone app, book and online sharing site came at 3am.
And so on, ad nauseum.
None of those were ideal times to motivate, but I’ve learned that creative ideas are wonderful, beautiful, and often rare and fleeting things–wispy as all hell, they are…[click 'continued reading' link below]
…and so I beg you not to resist their timing. On the contrary, cherish it. Get up. Write it down. Be alone, or call your friend. Grab your notebook for a sketch or your iphone to mutter some words into its microphone. Start to scribble, type, record that video, go for a walk and develop those ideas.
At all costs, be willing to embrace them when they tap you on the shoulder. You’ll be thankful you did.
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