Photo: Jonas Torres/Shutterstock

Being a Creative Opportunist

Photo: Jonas Torres/Shutterstock
Mar 2, 2010
A reminder from JoshyWashington not to leave your writing / recording gear at home and to place yourself in whatever environment is most productive.

STEPPING OUT to shoot the latest MatadorTV vlog I realize just how important it is to have my creative tools readily available.

It sounds simple, and it is, but it takes discipline. If I step out to go on a ride or a walk, I know if I don’t bring my camera there will likely be something I want to film (the guy doing back flips for a dollar). If I forget my notebook and pencil, I will be struck with some phrase or inspired idea with nothing but my leaky-bucket of a brain to contain it.

Besides being prepared there’s also a way of going through your day as an opportunist, basically being open to and allowing yourself to physically be present where your creative “sparks” usually occur. I find them outside, under rocks, in bars and graveyards, and on my mountain bike.

Being prepared and being inspired are two totally different things. But preparing to be inspired can leave you at the right place and the right moment, when the light is perfect or some heartbreaking truth is unfolding across the street.

Being a creative opportunist is simple. Remember:


A small camera, a paper and pencil at the very least. A sketch pad, harmonica, your favorite book, journal, guitar, water colors and a laptop is even better.


For me this week it was Mrtyle Edwards park, with all its crabs and yawning views of the Olympics. Next week it could be some old smelling coffee shop. The point is plant myself where I can marvel, where I can come out of my head and watch, prepared for inspiration.


What environments stoke your creative fire? What do you carry with you; a notebook, laptop, a camera? How do you prepare yourself to be inspired?

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