Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Tool, One Million Possibilities

# 13: One tool, on million possibilities.

So, I just posted about creating your own tools do something unique. But here's the opposite: USE LESS!

Yes, that's right. Use less tools.

Becoming a master at a specific tool will open up many doors for you. In fact, you can even become a go-to person for that tool.

For instance, a lot of people know how to use Word at a basic level. But if you're a writer, there are so many features in this tool that will allow you to work better, faster, and allow you to free up your metaphorical brain-RAM for creativity rather than formatting.

Or how about the illustrator that has hundreds of Copic markers. So many choices that creates amazing looking illustrations! But try using only one colour and all its shades. Or how about only 3 different markers total? Or just ONE.

Limiting your list of tools allows you to explore the creativity of that tool even further.

Ready for some math? No? Too bad.

Say you have 5 tools that are meant to do one specific thing each. If you open up your possibilities of these 5 tools by focusing on one at a time, then you open up 3 possible uses for each tool. Tools that gave you 5 uses before now gives you 15 uses!

That's 10 NEW uses you can use to create!

Expand Your Creativity not Just to the Outcome, but the Process

#12: Expand your creativity not just to the outcome, but the process.

There are many, MANY tools out there these days and so many of them just blend together. You know what I mean? There are dozens of apps for drawing, and they all work and do pretty much the exact same thing!

Even in the non-digital realm, there are many similar tools to do the same job. So why not make your own?

Here's an example:
As a new film-director, you may not have a lot of tools to use for some shots you want. Maybe you want a really smooth panning effect. An easy way to do this is to hack your own slide together!

Go to a home-improvement store and get a metal drawer slider. You can mount one part to a tripod, and mount your camera to the other. Simple as that. DIY is a great way to do things.

What about creating something that's unique?

Yeah. You can create something that's been done hundreds of times over, but you can create something unique to help yourself stand out even more.


I'm sure some of you have seen the typewriter that has been hacked into a painting-machine. If not, you can see it here.

WHAT?? This thing is amazing. Now words can literally paint pictures.

So go out there and DIY something amazing!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Use a Tree to Write a Song

#11: Use a tree to write a song.

Now, this is not me, but it's bloody brilliant, and it's definitely something to take to heart.

If you don't have "the industry standard" tools, then use whatever you have. Paint with tea, build with scraps, cook a meal with leftovers, shoot a dance video in an abandoned factory if you don't have a formal studio. There are so many things you can use to do what you want in life. If you really want it, you gotta do with what you can instead of waiting for the "real deal."

Here's another example:

Toonboom has become one of the best beginner-to-pro animation software out there. A lot of potential animators don't have stuff out there because they don't have this piece of software.

But people have animated long before computers were even an idea!

Hand draw every frame and take pictures with your camera or smartphone. Put these together and you've got an animation! Now, that is a longer method, but it gets more results than waiting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What happened to the 101+ list?


For anyone following this blog, or being lead here via Tumblr, you may be noticing my absence of content. Well, work has given me quite a lot to work on at the moment. I work for a community college, converting textbooks for disabled students, and the new term is always the busiest time for us. This week will be a short break, and things will start in full-force again next week!

In the meantime, I'd like to hear what you guys do to help inspire yourself!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Be A Part Of The Group That Redefines The Industry

Master-mind groups work

#10: Be a part of the group that redefines the industry.

Put together a Master-Mind group and commit to it like a shotgun wedding.

Master-mind groups are where you get a handful of like-minded people who are having some success of varying degrees and meet on a regular basis. It could be anywhere from 2 to 15 people, but consistency is key.

In these groups, you should plan to meet every week, or once a month, but no less. When you meet, make sure that you have a clearly defined schedule for the meeting. This is how I work mine:
  • Go over your current project status
  • Talk about what you hope to accomplish by the next meeting
  • Group discussion on connections, resources, and ideas for the goal
Take turns with each person doing this, and give everyone a fair amount of the group's interest.

With a master-mind group, you can hold each other accountable for your work. So if I make plans to write a chapter in my novel by next week, the group will shame me if I don't provide them with the chapter.

Often times, we end the group with some kind of team game to wind down. Have fun, and do the work you set out to do!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Working Together In Person Is No Longer Necessary

Connect across the world
#9 Working together is no longer necessary


I'm sure you've heard of this band, or seen their video on YouTube by now. They started by collaborating on the internet.

Internet collaboration isn't just geared towards music. Many, MANY people collaborate over the internet all the time to create their work with others.

If you don't know how to get in touch with people to collaborate with, you can look on many different websites specializing in different industries as a social network:

Vimeo or YouTube for film
DeviantART or for art
SoundCloud or LastFM for audio
and many more. Just do a Google search!

You also have things like forums, and other social network groups. Facebook, for instance, has so many groups it's insane. Join in on some of these groups and contribute. Make friends with the people on there and get working!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Friends Are Great Sources Of Ideas

Double-team creativity!

#8: Friends are great sources of ideas

Friends! We have them. Everyone. Even if you think you're alone, you're not. You have someone you talk to online, in class, at work. Talk to them!

Now, you don't have to say "Hey, give me your ideas for what I can do." If you want, you can. But more organic conversations yield the best ideas.

As an example, I'm working on a story of a cupcake miner. This idea came around from jokingly threatening my girlfriend I'll send her to the cupcake mines if she kept punching me. This gave me the idea of a big, burly miner with a serious look on his face mining for cupcakes.

Ideas also don't have to be something obvious.

Imagine this scenario:

Todd is hanging out with his friends and they're talking about a video game. This particular video is really fun to play, but the music doesn't fit the feel. So Todd has the idea to write an album specifically to fit the feel of this game.

Enjoy hanging out with your friends and absorb their awesome. Then utilize it!