There’s a few people who would be good examples of this that I could have chose but Peter Jackson was my most recent biography find so it’s still the freshest in my head. I could have also mentioned Peter Hook of Joy Division for this one, the man who literally grabbed a bass and joined the band.
Peter, the one pictured that is, was inspired by film at a very young age. Only in his teens he was trying to make his Super 8 go as far as it could until he finally discovered a slightly better camera and began messing around with other little films. Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit was a long way off from those first initial attempts.
Being a singing bass player Sting is another huge inspiration that naturally springs to mind. Sting played gig after gig for years in a variety of bands (including a cruise ship gig) before he ever met a drummer named Stewart Copeland who already had this idea for a band called “The Police”.
The work these three gentlemen have created is indeed timeless, and they are only three examples of probably hundred of artists I could name. The connection to me is those early years of the work and the creative approach. During a tour of American colleges, Sting explained to music students “We’re not building cathedrals, we’re building sheds.” This is an insight that I think is worth keeping in mind when approaching anything creative, and possibly other things in life that don’t fall under that category.
It doesn’t have to be great. It doesn’t have to even be good. If you think of the early Beatle’s cuts from the beginning of their career they genuinely did not know what they were doing. Most bands (using music as an example) evolve slowly over a period of years and that’s the stuff we hear. The same goes for writers, visual artists, and film makers. Defy the white page and it’s patronizing nature. Make it all messy in spite of it because the odds are that it probably isn’t a big deal anyways. You’re just mucking around with it. I do this with Twitter and Instagram and I fully admit that. I just kind of go “Hey, what about this?”, usually said out loud because I admit I do in fact talk to myself. That’s me. I’ll be talking one way or the other and someone else may or may not hear it.
It even fits into most creative theory with the fact that the first part of creativity is simply getting it out of you and the second part is editing that mush for the little bits of gold in there. Also if something isn’t working, or you find it boring, try some other thing. Considering the expanse of possibility and remix culture out there you can always switch gears and bear in mind that you never have any massive thing expected (and should share that same expectation to others).
Even my biggest projects typically have roots that started little bits at a time, little bit each day at a time. You just relax and let those small things pile up.
So go ahead and mess it up all messy now. I’ll try to not sound like a motivational speaker now.