The Secret To Creating Great Art

Imagination and the ability to create art is part of what separates us from other animals of whom we share this Earth. 

Human beings are able to take abstract thoughts and feelings and put them into creative ethers that move other humans alike. Sometimes, this art angers others.

In the end, however, good art lasts.

What separates good art from bad art? Why is it we feel certain emotions and desires when we listen to one song and feel nothing when we listen to another? How do some pieces of art last centuries in the annals of history when others are reduced to dust?

While I don't expect to ever create the next Sistine Chapel and I don't believe you will either, I do create my writing with the intent that it will inspire something in my fellow man and create a ripple effect  in others to do the same. In true fashion of putting together a puzzle I have found techniques in making sure your next hundred (because we all know the overnight success paradigm is bullshit) songs, paintings, writings etc will drive you toward creating meaningful work. 

Be Vulnerable With Your Work:

"Painting that doesn't have any balls is never vulnerable." -Francis Bacon

Cruising through life on the surface is easy. We often take jobs that provide no fulfillment in our lives. We date people we know we shouldn't be with. This surface level of intent is evident in creating art as well. Human beings are intuitive creatures. Think about the last time you forced your intentions on a friend. It probably didn't feel right. This goes with art creation as well. When you aren't honest and you don't convey something from the feel good region of the body, people will notice that. They will not gravitate towards it either.

Be Shameless:

"All the true things I'm about to tell you are shameless lies." -Kurt Vonnegut

Stop giving a shit what people think. This will get you nowhere with your work. If you appeal to everyone, you are appealing to no one. Being shameless helps turn off that voice in the back of your head that questions if what you are doing is right. Filters only stifle creativity. 

The Tao of Art:

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be, when I let go of what I have, I receive what I need." -Lao Tzu

Eliminate your expectations. Create for creation's sake. If you are doing what you are doing for validation, you probably aren't going to get it. Creating art is often like courting a mate, the more you want her, the less she will want you back. Put your ether into the world and if they like it, good; if they don't give a damn, great. 

Create Rather Than Consume:

"Don't use social media to impress people; use it to impact people." -Dave Willis

It's so easy to be distracted today. We hold the information of the entire galaxy at our fingertips (pun intended). Get lost in output rather than input. Too often we find ourselves scanning what others are doing instead of focusing on what we can do in the moment. Venture into your imagination, that's where you find the ideas to create something. 

Remember, It's Not About You:

"Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that is creative, passionate, and personal. Art is the unique work of a human being created to touch another. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else." -Seth Godin

When you create something worth while, it's not about you. You want to create something that connects with the audience on an intimate level. You want to touch something in their minds. You want to inspire them to do something themselves. When you create and offer your work up to the world, it's theirs now. They have the ability to accept it, deny it, crush it, share it. 

If all else fails...

Take a Damn Break Every Once In a While:

"During my sabbatical, I spent two years not listening to my songs at all." -Ricky Martin

It's only human to at times become obsessive. We get so involved with ourselves and what we are contributing to the world that we often lose why we started along this journey in the first place. If need be, take a step away from it all. Completely unpack the compounded clutter in the mind. Sometimes we need to take a step back to move forward.

(Yes, Quoting Ricky Martin felt so fucking good).