What do an artist/musician, a comedienne, a cold-case detective, a doctor and a shoemaker have in common besides their high level of accomplishment? It’s all about the process.
Can creativity be quantified? That’s the subject of great debate, and ongoing research as well. One thing, however, is certain – those who succeed at a high level in endeavors that require imagination have a distinct process that they can definitely explain. From imagining possible crime scenarios to creating music, from making diagnoses to writing comedy to designing boots, these craftsmen of their trades have honed their skills through process. Perhaps one of their approaches will inspire you on your journey to excel.
“I don’t begin each project with an agenda or end product in mind. I rely on ‘emotional intuition’, looking for things that cause a spark. It’s like starting a fire with two sticks. At first there’s nothing, but as you go, you start [gaining more] heat, until, hopefully, you get something that’s interesting.”
“The “craft” of comedy is based on formulas, like everything else creative. After 40-odd years of doing Esther’s Follies, I can say what works best is a twist, something that the audience doesn’t see coming. We write too much, then cut back to the things that get the most laughs. As a character, I know to put enough of myself in the character to make the audience relate to her, whether it be Hilary Clinton or Patsy Cline. I let them in on the joke, and we laugh together. ”
“For me, a lot of it is planting seeds and giving them some sunlight to grow. Persistence is a must – it’s a long track, and it usually happens pieces at a time. I can’t do it alone, either; part of my process is getting the right people involved.”
Cold Case Detective
Austin Police Department
“… there is an art and science to medicine and its the art that keeps me challenged on a daily basis- finding ways to help people lead healthy lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a variety of platforms to accomplish that. ”
“Inspiration for boots/shoes comes to me from much more than just footwear or fashion. Art, music, film, and reading bring new creative directions to my sometimes tragically repetitive and obsessive thought patterns. Last night I watched the “Defiant Ones” and was blown away by Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre’s history and their mind-boggling work ethics. Their commitments to their hearts and passions and trades are second to none. Tonight I’m reading about the struggles of Rothko that brought the depth and darkness and beauty to his pieces. In the morning, I’ll listen to John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” while drinking a nearly perfect coffee. There’s so much creativity in so many things around us – you just have to stop and listen and watch and choose what to let push you forward.”
Founder & CEO, Helm Boots
Founder, Progress Coffee