Advice from a creativity guru

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Published on July 22, 2016 with No Comments

Hugh MacLeod at the web08

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It is said that to get what you really want you must give up what you already have. Then again didn’t someone say it’s not having what you want but wanting what you have? Whichever one you choose, Hugh Macleod would say, “Work Hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Be nice. Be polite.” Sound advice for any kind of life, but especially relevant to creative pursuits.

And who’s Hugh? (How could we resist?) He’s a smart, creative, cartoonist, writer, advertising executive with an upcoming book titled “Ignore Everybody.” Hugh claims to have begun drawing cartoons on the back of business cards while sitting at bars during his long past, heavy drinking days. In some circles it is commonly held that alcohol and caffeine fuel brilliance for those who remember not to take it too far. But ketchup and chocolate probably get you to the same place with better morning afters and night befores. Ketchup? Some among us think it makes everything better.

Hugh has a knack for drilling down to the core of his arguments, presenting them in a popular list format. Among his gems are: Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time. The best way to get approval is not to need it. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it. Sing in your own voice. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

These statements resonate with anyone who has started out on an offbeat path only to be labeled as nutty or at the very least weird. But the reality is that the world isn’t changed by those who play it safe, but rather by those who dare to step off into the wild unknown. We think Hugh would agree that what happens after stepping off is directly proportional to the effort you’re willing to put into it and the pain you’re willing to endure to see it through. Here is one of Hugh Macleod’s cartoons.

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