Creative Risks

One problem with the business-based model of success is that it can hinder us from taking creative risks. But without creative risks our environment becomes plastic and stale. There are some things you can do to become a greater creative risk taker.

1. Forget about money.

This is the most important way to begin taking more creative risks. Pop artists don’t go too far outside of the pop boundaries, because to do so might be professional suicide. If you’re already a financially successful artist, forgetting about the money might be hard, but not impossible.

If you’re like me and not making much money from your creative works, you don’t have as much to lose. At this point, I don’t care about making money on my creative works, so I’m free to create whatever I want. Still, there are other obstacles to taking creative risks.

2. Care less about what others think.

Judgement is another reason people hesitate to take more risks with creative works. Most people don’t want people asking them, “What the heck is it?” When we make something, we tend to want people to like it and enjoy it. That makes us feel successful. If you make sculptures that don’t resemble anything tangible, people begin to get critical. They’ll say, “that’s not art,” and “a first-grader could do that.” Ouch!

If you want to be an original, you have to get past being overly sensitive to criticism. As an artist, you can’t always expect everyone to understand your vision. Don’t let that stop you from creating a work that’s a cross of poetry and playwright with some dark humor in the mix.

3. Do weird things

Try mixing unexpected genres. Write a book backwards. Cut a song into pieces. The only way to break out of the mold is to break the mold itself. Be willing to do weird things.

4. Expect to throw stuff away.

When you do weird stuff you can wind up with utter garbage. That’s okay. Throw it away. On the other hand, taking those creative risks is adding to your palette of ideas. You’ll strike gold sooner or later. Something weird will work. People will respond.

As I get older, I take more creative risks with no regret. If you’re a true artist, you understand this essay. Creative risks are hard to take, but it’s also how some of the best art gets made. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.