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The Creative Process

nathansbird profile image Nathan Bird ・2 min read

“Why is this so hard!?!”

My gaze drifted back to my blank computer screen. Well, it wasn’t entirely blank. My eyes wandered down to the icons sitting at the bottom of my screen – browsers, design programs, and other tools I was using to work on the designs for our new website. Glancing to the far-right, I noticed the digital clock read 3:51.

Two hours.

Two hours of searching for inspiration, having ideas, sketching them, being disappointed, and starting over. I leaned back and took a deep breath. I remembered something I read a while ago about the creative process.

In his book Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon writes, “Humans are incapable of making a perfect copy.”

As he goes on to express throughout his book, that’s a good thing. He later writes, “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”

Woah. Often, we get this idea in our head or a feeling in our hearts about the way something should be, look, or feel. It can be easy to get stuck trying to reach some seemingly perfect point in our work where we’ll finally be satisfied. The truth is, that point is never reached. It’s not until you accept your inability to produce something perfect that you realize perfection isn’t the point. Your lack of perfection is God-given.

Your strengths and weaknesses are beautiful and unique to you. When you put them to use without an unrealistic expectation of perfection and learn to embrace them, what you end up creating is something truly original.

Staring back at my screen again, I noticed something I hadn’t before. The background image of my laptop. I had been having fun with a 3d modeling program the other day and created an interesting image as a result. Looking at this time, I suddenly had the idea to use the same things I had created previously in the new design I was building for the website.

I went straight to work with this new streak of inspiration. Finally! After just a few more minutes playing around with a few different things, I finally had something I was happy with – not because it was perfect, but because it was something unique, something that was a product of this entire experience, even the stuck parts.

Thanks for reading! I'll share more about our design process as well as more on what my team and I are working on in the near future!

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Nathan Bird

@nathansbird

18 yr-old self-taught full-stack developer from Fort Worth, Texas. Currently travelling the world learning how to build start-ups from the ground up with Global U Gap Year.

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