Do not ask yourself these two questions when you create art

We all love the flow: We are self-confident, creative, things are turning out great, they flow out of us much better than we ever imagined…

…but then, the self talk starts and builds a dam.

The creative process is often very fragile. Therefore, I try to eliminate many obstacles right from the beginning. What can not be eliminated so easily is the self-talk, with its relentless questions that arise when we do not need them.

Here are two questions that can stop creativity very well:

1. Is this “art”?

It’s a classic, right? We should not think about this question while we are creating. It won’t help us to create any better, because we would need a clear definition of “art” and if we go to the end of this road, we will maybe determine, that we creatives can not decide whether our works are art or not. That’s the task of the recipient. So let’s name what we do “work” and move on.

2. Will others like my work?

(Great, we have learned to call our art “work”.)

If we are not working for someone else (art director, costumer, client, a specific target group), we shouldn’t worry about the likes of others.

Again, what’s the definition of “others”? Friends, family, “the crowd”? And will we stop working if we would know that someone won’t like it?

Work for yourself and find joy in it. If you like the things you create, chances are that someone else will do too.


There are many more questions that can hurt the creative process if they are asked at the wrong time. A good idea is to prepare for that by writing them down upfront and find some answers that will work for you. Even if the answer are wrong, they will work for the moment.