Whether you’re a developer, musician, producer, photographer, or a creative of any other profession — you rely heavily on the work of others. It may be uncomfortable to admit, but rarely is an idea truly novel. Often, it has been evaluated by another artist, somewhere across the gulf of time or space; who found it to be too costly, irrelevant, or simply uninteresting for the time being.

I also firmly believe that while few original ideas are left, you will inevitably become an inventor. Once you’ve decided to pursue a certain course of action, whether you created the idea out of whole cloth won’t matter — you must execute, and see the project though to it’s logical conclusion.

These moments, where we, as creatives, birth a new object, tool, or piece of artwork, are crucial because we directly address the audience. We turn to face the proverbial crowd, and in that moment, ideas become currency: what needs will the created object fill? Does it improve the lives of individuals who use it?

Sometimes the audience is kind and interested. But they can also be an unforgiving, relentless mob.

Here’s a tip: don’t attempt to satisfy everyone. Instead, draft a list that defines your priorities. What needs will the created object fill for you? When put to use, will the object improve your life? Once these questions are answered to your satisfaction, then you may expand the scope to include everyone else, as time allows.

Otherwise, you’ll become mired in the concerns of others, and forget why you decided to create in the first place.

Shameless Self-Promotion: My consultancy, Until Now can help you refine your software development toolchain or internal creative processes. If you’re ready to level up, get in touch.

Photo credit: Kevin Ryder, Pavement Artist. | CC BY 2.0