Creative Virtue, Productive Vice

Authors like Seth Godin argue we live in a new economy - "the connection economy."

We're in a new field where success is being paved by the artists, rebels, and trouble-makers among us.

The older way of doing things - "the industrial economy" - doesn't work anymore, Mr. Godin argues, because it leads everybody to an un-meaningful life that's no longer self sufficient.

It's falling apart, basically.

Artists, on the other hand, live on the fringes of things.

We live in the moment, in the felt-presence of our emotions.

"Well," we might tell ourselves, "This is what John Lennon did, or Oliver Stone, or Kurt Cobain, or Steve Jobs, or Carl Sagan, or possibly even William Shakespeare!

And look at what they accomplished!"

Good enough for them / good enough for me, doesn't tell the full story.

There is so much about the stories of our idols we do not know, that is embellished (for myth-making, for publicity's sake) - their circumstances are completely different from our own.

We're talking right now about a practical, actionable path - a narrow path - a formula, something that always works, for those who want to succeed as a filmmaker but keep hitting a wall, for whatever reason.

Do you want to build a long career as an independent artist?

I do.

So I'm questioning everything in the process.

Questioning everything that seems like fuel but may be fire.

For example:

The Virtue & Vice of Artists.

It seems like the virtues for creativity are the vices of productivity.

Virtues for Creativity:

  • Drugs
  • Sleeping late
  • Living at the edge of experience
  • Binging on media (for "research")

Vices for Productivity:

  • Drugs
  • Sleeping late
  • Living at the edge of experience
  • Binging on media (for "research")

If you're going to smoke pot and listen to Funkadelic with your eyes closed while gliding your head in circles, that's cool.

If you're going to watch 12 hours of "The Man in the High Castle" because you're trying to investigate the nature of contemporary episodic Internet media, great.

If you want to throw your body into a really awkward situation involving European drug runners and flirt with one of their trouble-making girlfriends, because she's giving you the eye?


That's the stereotype of the romantic artist... and it's a lot of fun.

This is also the valuable battery of envy that can creates a following.

The trick is translating those experiences into ART.

The problem is creating a plan, sticking to that plan to its very end, then shipping the work despite any impulsive hesitations.

The thing is doing this day-in, day-out, every day.

The key is creating the work when nobody is telling you to.

The discipline is sticking to the one project after getting a new flurry of ideas.

The challenge is making a living off your art when nobody is handing it to you.

What are the true virtues & vices of artists?

Creativity vs Productivity

How to Not Make a Movie