Most creatives will recognize this concept of making time for analog creativity. Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work!, advocates for old-fashioned analog creativity. Analog creation, rather than digital, involve tangible objects such as pens, journals, and paints, coupled with the physical action of moving your hand. This process is fulfilling and energizing. Digital creation severs the connection between movement and creation, and increases the pressure for perfectionism (amen to that!). There is a place for the digital world in creative pursuits. Editing, refining, and sharing are steps that are greatly enhanced by digital means. But for the initial spark of creativity, analog actions can help us connect to something more primal and original. Too often, artists get down on themselves for their work not being “____ enough”. Misspellings, the wrong colors, and dead-end plots are unavoidable, but digital mediums push them under a rug and don’t recognize them as vital to the learning process. Analog creation saves a paper trail of what works and what doesn’t. If you’re feeling uninspired about your latest research paper, art project, or even your daily routine, it might be time to get out some analog tools, like the ones I compiled below, and spend less time comparing your rough drafts to someone else’s final edit.
I don’t paint or draw on my computer, but I do use it for most of my post writing. After reading Kleon’s thoughts on analog creativity, I have tried to draft more of my posts on paper. I’ve also been enjoying writing out meal plans, to-do lists, and calendars using pen and paper.
Watch Kleon’s TEDTalk here: Steal Like An Artist: Austin Kleon at TEDxKC
What mediums do you use to create?