Creativity vs. Stress / by Eric Dacus

There’s an idea floating around the internet put forward by Chase Jarvis, Create, Share, Sustain (also explained in a video of a presentation, here), creativity can sustain you.

From his blog:

Create. Make something. A photograph, a video, a poem, a piece of software.

Share. Send your thing out into the world. Post it to your Facebook, your blog. Tweet it. (And still share it with your mom).

Sustain. Start out by waiting tables. Or keep your day job. Or sell your spouse’s socks on ebay. Or do something out of the genre of what you want to do until you can afford not to do it. Or do all of these so that you can keep creating and sharing without requiring “permission” from anyone.

And repeat. Create. Share. Sustain. Repeat.

I don’t have any intentions to stop being a design engineer, however I probably fall under the following:

“The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.” ~Kurt Vonnegut  via the PixelatedImage Blog

The left brain-ed, analytical, time-line driven work of an engineer doesn’t really feed the soul, or at least not mine. The above ‘poster’ was just for fun, and was something I’ve been wanting to experiment with in Photoshop for a while.  Normally, I’m not a fan of Photoshop at all.  I like doing minor edits in Lightroom, but I have a personal distaste for photos that are obviously [over] processed.   No one else has to like the above work, but I had a lot fun skiing with Polly and seeing an idea through to finished work.  The same goes for the previous post about Good Design.  I like the idea of making a letterpress poster of that or something in that vein and having it around my desk for inspiration.

The process of photography, and simply taking time to do small, potentially meaningless personal projects provides a way to engage the right-brain and find a creatively positive outlet from engineering design that then refuels me to go back and work on the things that pay the bills.

Polly B&W

So for me the Create, Share, Sustain isn’t about changing financial sustainability or changing where the finances come from as much as it is mental or emotional and having a different well to draw from.

I think its very important to have a hobby or an outlet beyond vocation that you can engage in and be passionate about doing.  I like finally having a better articulation of this how and why a creative outlet is important.