Cartoonist Stephan Pastis tells us (in under 3 minutes) how he gets in the creative flow for his work:
He noticed that when he writes emails, he can’t do it when there’s music playing – so worked out that his reasoning mind is shut off by the music. So, to use the other side of the brain, the imaginative, he can close off the logical by playing that same music.
He reckons he writes his cartoon strip in an odd way – but lists the elements:
- I put on headphones, I listen to music very loud and I dance around for an hour
- I draw on the walls
- I make a lot of coffee
- and incense
- there’s a mirror on a door and I look at myself a lot
Stephan compares it to balancing or floating – it’s a state you get into – not something you tense up and push your way into. He doesn’t try to think his way into what is funny – in fact, he does the opposite by switching off the logical part of his brain through the loud music.
In a separate video, he says that he has no Plan B if being a cartoonist doesn’t work out. Previously, he was a lawyer, but hated his work. Perhaps that thought helps him concentrate.
He genuinely enjoys the writing process – it’s like fishing, he says, you’re looking for that bite, that great idea.
Creative Takeaway for us:
Look at Stephan’s creative process, try and find what is healthy and yet works to free up your/my creative minds.