Art Isn’t Made in a Vacuum

Isolation — keeping yourself apart from others — gives you the space to create, but it doesn’t give you the creative juice. Creative sparks come from all around us. Nature. Work that inspires you, Songs you sing and hear. Books you read.

Past and present all swirling around into a spark of insight.

I crave isolation. I crave having more time and space to sit (or stand) with myself and work on all the ideas running through my head. But if I stopped reading, if I stopped listening to music and podcasts. And, more broadly, if I stopped observing the world around me, and instead only focused on output — cranking out my own stuff — my ideas would dry up quickly.

Art is a two way street. It influences both ways. It connects, at least in passing. Your art has the potential to influence thousands of others, and mine has that same potential too. If your work speaks to me, then sprinkles of it’s influence can be seen in my own work.

Influence begets influence begets influence. On and on.
And at each turn we make each other better.

That’s why consuming great work might just be as important as creating your own work.

You need both. Learning and doing. Otherwise, you are just always consuming, or always focusing on yourself.

Surround yourself with people doing amazing work. Read books above your paygrade. Watch classic films. Heed the advice of people smarter than you (who are walking the walk). Then go out and make something.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #614

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