writing / 7 takes on creativity from rick rubin

7 takes on creativity from rick rubin


summary of points from the creative act, a way of being, book by rick rubin

  1. moments of creative flow function in seasons. they ebb and flow. there is a time for everything.
the universe functions like a clock: to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to weep, a time to build up, a time to break down, a time to dance, a time to mourn, a time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together. these rhythms are not set by us. we are being conducted.

2. art arrives in movements and some artists catch the waves and others swim against currents.

3. the source of creativity is like a cloud. it never truly disappears. it changes form, from rain pouring down to be part of the ocean and evaporating back up. art is similar, it circulates energetic ideas.

it’s not unusual for science to catch up to art, eventually. nor is it unusual for art to catch up to the spiritual.

4. art is a practice, not an outcome. a practice is the embodiment of an approach to a concept that creates a desired state. the purpose is not in the doing but in the evolving in how we see the world.

living life as an artist is a practice. you are either engaging in the practice or you’re not. it makes no sense to say you’re not good at it. it’s like saying “I’m not good at being a monk.” you are either living as a monk or you’re not. we tend to think of an artists work as the output. the real work of the artist is a way of being in the world.

5. level up inner calibration for greatness by tasting the best. you have the choice for what to be surrounded by and what to intake. information wise, conversation wise, thoughts we reflect on.

there’s so much wisdom in nature that when we notice it, it awakens possibility within us. it is through communing with nature that we move closer to our own nature. if you’re picking colors based on a pantone book, you’re limited to a certain number of choices. if you step out in nature, the palette is infinite. each rock has a variation of color within it, we could never find a can of paint to mimic the exact shade. nature transcends our tendencies to label and classify, to reduce and limit.

6. even though hard to measure, cultivating a rich inner life is important in pursuit of itself.

it’s common to believe that life is a series of external experiences. and that we must live an outwardly extraordinary life in order to have something to share. the experience of our inner world is often completely overlooked… our inner world is every bit as interesting, beautiful, and surprising as nature itself. when we go inside, we are processing what’s going on outside. we’re no longer separate. we’re connected. we’re one.

7. set up environment for your own means of creative production. one’s distraction is another’s focus.

one peron’s connected place may be another’s distraction. and different environments may be right at different points in your artistic process. andy warhol was said to create with a tv, radio and record player all at same time. eminem noise of single tv. proust lined his walls with sound absorbing cork, closed drags, and wore ear plugs. kafka took his need for silence to an extreme ‘not like a hermit, like a dead man.’ there is no wrong way. there is only your way.

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made with 🖤 in sf.