Writing on Creativity – Stuck in Customs

Writing on Creativity

I was invited to join a private group where we talk about creativity for 21 days in a row… Here was my submission for Day 14.

Creativity is in a bit of a weird space. I think social media can be a terrible influence on the mind a of a creative!

Once you actually figure out what you love creating, that is a great place! Finding your life’s purpose, which may be via creativity, is a huge step. Most people never discover it. They stop experimenting. But, once you find it, you want to share it! Social media makes that very engaging and life-affirming. But then, what happens often, is your creative niche becomes an identity that you have to keep feeding. What if you want to try something else? What if you have another new passion?

I went through this recently because I had a rather epic journey on DMT. I saw and felt the nature of reality in a completely new way. It was so beautiful, so I started making fractals. They were terrible at first, but now they’re getting pretty good! You can see some at https://the-machine-elf.com/ and a samples below:

Yes, I’m still taking photos and all that jazz… but I notice when I post these fractal animations that I think are quite beautiful, I get a lot of negative feedback. “Get back to taking photos!” blah blah blah… you know the type. It’s funny how people try to put you in a little box and when you step out of the box, it is as if you did it specifically to offend that person. People that actually have the time to leave extensive, destructive comments on the Internet probably don’t have much going on in their own lives. We can psychoanalyze those people forever, but why bother? One of my greatest skills is ignoring people.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite essays by Kevin Kelly called 1,000 True Fans (1,000 apologies if someone already mentioned that article at https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/ ). Basically, find whatever weird niche you’re into. It can be SO niche that none of your friends have ever even heard of it. When I started doing HDR photos, hardly anyone knew about it except for me and a handful of others. I didn’t care. I didn’t do it to become famous or whatever… I just loved it. And if you’re the kind of person that falls in love with ideas or anything, chances are you will do it many times in your life. The trajectory of your online branding may prevent you from trying new things, but don’t let it. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll have many passions where you get those 1,000 true fans. I then fell in love with Burning Man and have been for the past 10 years in a row. I share those photos now which are pretty much a completely different genre than HDR landscape photos. You don’t need tens or hundreds or thousands or millions of fans (another lie that pervades on social media); you only need 1,000.

The genius behind the “1,000 true fans” idea is that it’s a way to combine the tricky world of $$money with creativity. These can be strange bedfellows… but your true fans will buy anything you put out there. If you can sell them $100 worth of your creations each year, that’s an easy $100,000. $150 per fan is $150,000. And, if you’re the kind of creative that has a minimalist life, that’s more than enough money. Even better, once you take care of all that financial stuff, it frees up your mind to be even more creative!

Good luck… and feel free to send that article to your friends. A wonderful secondary task of all creatives is to inspire other creatives… so get out there and do it, yo! 🙂 Love & Hugs, Trey

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