Balancing Consumption vs Creation

In this episode of Daily Creative Chase Jarvis answers a terrific question many creative artists struggle with in this digital age where consumption of content for inspiration is so much easier than it is to go out and create.

“How should I balance consumption vs creation?

The concept of you coming up with a wildly magnificent perfect idea and then going out and executing that thing – like that’s going to take a while.  You need to be mature professional created before you to have that perfect idea – there’s so much time between now and then, you need to be “making stuff”. Then there’s a couple ways you can think about “making stuff”, if you’re imitating other people, you’re basically trying to copy some of the things you’ve seen,  your deconstructing they’re working or you see a cool photograph and you going to try and make it copy – it’s called practice. You’re working on your craft – because you need to be able to make the image that you can see in your mind, whether that’s a design or build the business that you see in your mind. You can feel how it would work – what the products going to feel like with the target audience are. But you have to get to work practicing those things because it takes practice to be able to make the thing that you see in your brain. You have to have the actual skills to do it those skills are learned over time. 

At CreativeLive why we have this thing called 28 to Make – which is creating something every day for 28 days.  One of the first days is like – drawing the beverage that sitting closest to you.  Go draw that and it doesn’t look exactly like that because you don’t have the skills.  So first of all don’t be afraid to imitate, copy, make, rip off – your practicing – that’s a good it’s a good thing to do or early on.  

Now I think you should be familiar with Austin Kleon’s work he’s a good friend he’s been on a Daily Creative genius series on check it out 30 amazing videos for free to blue button.  Great artists steal their work – and what they mean by that and it’s just it’s not just like I’m going to take this and represent as mine – that is research is everywhere you’re always taking all the stuff in and you should use that as inspiration – as source material.   

Everything is a remix, most everything has been made – sure there’s all kinds of new things that are coming out – but of the things that are made in total – there very very few non-derivative pieces of work. Everything’s a remix. So why don’t you start mixing now, if you’re just ripping off of one person over and over and over – that’s called stealing. If you’re representing that is your work you just copy down and putting out what they’re doing parroting them ever at every move and you’re representing that is your original thought your idea versus ripping off from everybody – that’s smart – that’s research.

Think one person and everything is yours that’s that’s stealing doing all the stuff that’s research, so I like this kind of drawing this kind of thing and I want to take this feature from this app that I love and put it in my new app. That’s called research and being culturally aware and being informed – so check out Austin’s book “Steal like an Artist”. I think it’s brilliant.  

How much time are spending getting inspired vs making?

So there you go it’s very important for you to realize that if you sit around and just consume – you’re a poser – because real artists ship – real artist make stuff – real creators real entrepreneurs they put product out into the world that’s what they do by definition.  If you to sit back here and pontificate and they do this (playing with his phone)……nothing happens……exactly nothing! You have to be making, designing and sharing your work – participating your community helping other people out there, making more of it and that takes work – go figure – work!  

You have to put in effort you have to do the reps and what I see at a problematic level is people consuming so much and making so little – it should be like 90/10.  Early on you taking and you are consuming and trying to make and mimic and copy and parody and figure out your personal style. It takes a lot of repetition – but at some point you need to be making a lot!  

Create before you consume.  You have done a bunch of consuming your whole life – you have some ideas start on those ideas.  If you wake up every morning and you share a picture – you work it up and then you share it on Instagram and then you go cruise everybody else’s stuff… that’s great because it’s increase everybody else’s stuff first. You are going to be like – I’m not good enough I’m not good enough for that enough for I’m not I’m not that enough that’s bull***!  It is going to keep you from publishing.  

Wake up use your energy publish something that you created the night before or the day before or whatever and then say OK I want to go look at my favorite feeds. 

Get inspired – go to museums actually go see art – like in person – its powerful.  Go to shows get out of the rut by getting into some other adventures and experiences – that’s inspiration just sitting here and doing this (playing with phone) that’s his b******* that’s procrastination nothing happens.  That will create as my friend Mary Forlio would call “comparishloger” which is where you start comparing yourself to other people which is never good – because you’re seeing their highlight reel and you know all of your dirt so that’s going to make you feel bad.  There is a lot of science that says it’s social media make you feel bad – so try and create a lot more than you consume it will be a great practice for you because creativity is a habit for some form of more than it is a skill.  


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