Creative Prompts for Shifting Your Perspective

The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins is an inspiring quick read similar to Stephen Pressfield's The War of Art or Turning Pro in that it's full of advice to get you moving forward in your work.

Each short section offers a new approach to traditional thinking with practical tactics and illustrative quotes. I found myself constantly marking passages with powerful takeaways; this is a great little book to keep motivation and creative thinking at its peak. Rod Judkins is full of advice that is illustrated with real world examples of how to shift your typical approach and ingrained thinking.

I usually check out books from the public library but I'm definitely ordering a copy of this gem. It's a valuable tool to have on hand to revisit whenever a little inspiration is needed or you find yourself stuck in a project.


Creative Inspiration

I'm always on the hunt for new things to excite my thinking and creativity. Mohawk Paper produces a free quarterly publication designed by the firm Hybrid Design that is a real visual and content treat for any kind of creative person; there is no need to be a graphic designer to appreciate these amazing works of art.

The digital world seems to be taking over, but for me, a "non-digital native", nothing beats print. The smell, the tactile experience, it's incomparable to digital. There is simply something about using your hands and creating in the physical realm that cannot be satisfied with computer work.

If you're interested in checking it out, Mohawk has digital copies of back issues posted and you can sign up for the print edition on the Mohawk Maker page.

Creating Something from Nothing

This advice came to me in a meditation and sounds like obscure text from the Tao Te Ching - vague, yet wise and deep. For me, the most difficult part of creating something is that it has to begin from not knowing, literally no-thing.

That unknown is the great future promise of something wonderful, but all the fuzzy uncertainly surrounding it drives me nuts. I'm an analytical thinker who loves information - the more, the better. So it's often difficult to begin a project unless I get a really clear jolt of inspiration or an abundance of information, which hampers my creativity. 

Pema Chodron's book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, begins with this quote:

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark."

- Agnes de Mille

So here I am, ready to jump into the unknown and launch Eastman Creative. I'm moving away from the analytical, information-based known with the hope I can develop something from nothing. I'm taking the leap to launch and then iterate and improve as I go; my website isn't finished, my business concept is fuzzy, but let's see what happens.

Practical Advice to Protect Your Creativity

Even though I'm not a designer myself, Stephen Gates' "The Crazy One Podcast" has loads of valuable career advice for those working in creative industries.

In episode 27, "The Importance of Happiness in Creativity", he discusses why happiness is an integral part of creativity and how to protect and support your creative process.

My favorite quote from the episode:  "Oh, they're off in a dark room someplace painting a watercolor of their spirit animal wearing a beret talking about how precious their creativity is."

Gates is a bit hard-hitting and serious at times, but he knows how to throw a good zinger in and bring things back to reality. We all want to be creative, and he delivers practical ways to thrive when you have to deliver creative work in your job on deadline.