Scott Berkun on Saving Your Creative Soul


Earlier this year I attended a series of TedTalks about Creators and Curators, organized by DePaul University. I talked a bit about Scott Berkun’s TedTalk from this event in relation to the artist stereotype in an earlier post and now the video is up and I can share the talk itself. Berkun starts by talking about consuming information versus creating. This has always been a struggle for me as I’ve always been an obsessive consumer of information, but also someone whose time stops when I am creating. I try not to get stuck in this rut of just learning about others and not making any contributions of my own but also acknowledge the value of learning from others. It’s a balancing act and I often find myself struggling between the two, as Berkun suggests, wondering if it is because I haven’t read or learned enough that my project isn’t heading where I’d like it to be heading. Along the same lines, Berkun also talks about being in the process of creation and not necessarily knowing whether it’s heading towards success or failure. It’s rare that I’m working on a project and don’t stop and think that maybe it is time to just let it be and move on. Or that maybe whoever the project is for won’t like it and I should just start over. Being stubborn and persistent helps push through some of these moments, but that’s not always the case, resulting in a couple piles of unfinished projects hanging around my house and studio. I like that Berkun finished the talk with essentially saying ‘trust yourself’. Risk is scary (sometimes even terrifying), but I feel like that risk is necessary to creation. For me, that feeling of uncertainty and discomfort means growth, learning and the creation of something new. The great part about anything creative is that no one else will do exactly what you do exactly how you do it. So while we can consume all we want and learn all the different ways others have accomplished goals before us, I think it’s also important to take it all in with a grain of salt and put our own spin on everything we do and like Berkun said, listen to that little inner voice, even if it doesn’t completely make sense yet.

I also really liked this talk, which doesn’t necessarily relate to art or creativity directly, but talks about altruism and strangers and the connections we can form without even knowing each other and I’m all over that kind of stuff. (I’m still not sure what reddit really is, but I like this part of it).

I’m having an off week, as evidenced by a skipped post (can Memorial Day be an excuse?) and this post which I’m hoping is easy to comprehend but right now can’t seem to decide whether it makes complete sense. So please excuse how much I’m jumping around with ideas here. I’m hoping that I will regain my ability to have more complete and comprehensive thoughts by my next post :)

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