Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.

Chuck Close

The leader is never tired. The leader never has a bad day, and the leader has to have more energy than anybody else. Because you can’t expect more of your people than you expect of yourself. And you can’t ever be depressed or scared or have morale [issues] because that just reverberates through everybody else.

Jim Koch

Give a Damn. Give Lots of Damns.

Ten Thousand Hours

See, I observed Escher, I love Basquiat
I watched Keith Harring, you see I study art
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great cause they paint a lot
I will not be a statistic, just let me be
No child left behind, that’s the American scheme
I make my living off of words
And do what I love for work
And got around 980 on my SATs
Take that system, what did you expect?
Generation of kids choosing love over a desk
Put those hours in and look at what you get


People often say that nothing is truly original. It’s all about figuring out how to pull from multiple sources to come up with something that is your own. You can get pretty far just copying others work but you’ll never be great or be someone others look to for inspiration. 

Good artists copy, great artists steal. - Pablo Picasso

Its easy to copy what others are doing but why not take it and make it your own. Put your own spin on it. There is a world of inspiration around all of us and there is no shame in pulling from these sources to fuel your imagination. The better work you look at for inspiration, the better your work is going to be. When you look to great artists and designers to see how they accomplished a task, your work is only going to get better. 

One of my favorite quotes is from Andy Warhol, “Art is what you can get away with”. Try new things, different things, see what works, see what doesn’t work. You never know when you’ll stumble onto something new and unique. 

"It’s not where you take things from; it’s where you take them to." - Jean-Luc

You Don’t Become a Hero by Being Normal

Clear Your Mind With A Sketchbook

Remember sketchbooks? Being attached to the computer or iPhone basically 24/7, I often forget this simple joy. Sketching onto paper has such a distinct sound. The feeling of the pencil or pen touching the paper just isn’t something you can get on the computer. It’s just you and the paper, distractions are gone. You’re free to let your mind wonder and drift. This is something you don’t really get when you’re sitting at the computer with Photoshop and a wacom. When I sit down at the computer to draw I’m expecting or planning to make something worthwhile. With your sketchbook it doesn’t matter if it looks good or not. The goal is to get out as many ideas as possible in a free, low stressed environment. Often times you’ll find that most sketches or ideas are bad, that’s fine. The point of the sketchbook is to clear your mind and get some of these ideas out of your system. And then hopefully those evolve into better ones and it gets you thinking of even newer ideas. If you feel the need to disconnect and get away from your computer but you still have that itch to create, maybe you should go grab yourself a sketchbook.

Don’t Half-Ass Two Things

There was a great quote from Ron Swanson on the latest episode of Parks and Recreation that really struck a cord with me. “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.” That was pretty much the precise reason I left Daily Planet Productions ltd. and went off on my own to build LooseKeys. I tried for almost a year to work my “day job" and build a business on the side. At some point I began to notice my work and quality slipping on both sides. I had to make the choice as to which one I wanted to "whole ass". The choice for me was hard but pretty clear, I needed to go off on my own and build LooseKeys. If you’re not 100% behind what you’re doing then you’ll never know what it can be or become. Building slow and on the side seems great but at some point you have to make the choice. You just can’t do both and expect there not to be any mistakes, you’re kidding yourself. Make a choice and decide what your going to “whole-ass”.

Just Do It, Don’t Talk Yourself Out Of It

How many great ideas have you talked yourself out of or even failed to start because you talked yourself out of it. I’ve lost count on how many projects and ideas I’ve abandoned. I bet right now you have something you’ve been thinking about doing. Whether it’s a new personal project, a blog post, changing careers, eating healthy or just waking up earlier. When that idea first hits you, you’re ready to commit 100% to it. But then you don’t start it right away, you write it down in a notebook or decide to think about it some more. As you’re thinking about it, all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it start to creep in. You can’t let that fear or self doubt allow you to throw in the towel. Nothing worth building or doing is going to be easy, if it were easy there would be no challenge and what’s the fun in that. The next time that great idea strikes you, just jump in. Go all the way in so there is no turning back. No guts, no glory right?

A sleek and inspiring personal project from Yaniv Fridman and Daniel Luna.

(Source: dilemmaleeway)

Will Smith Shares His Secrets Of Success

‘Gates Foundation - G20 Summit’ from Santa Monica studio Gentleman Scholar.

Fantastic ID from Buenos Aires, Argentina studio Ronda for Nick Jr. The idea that with your imagination everyday objects can take on a whole new meanings.

You’re going to change your mind a thousand times. That’s a good thing. Only imbeciles never change their minds.
Anna Rascouët-Paz speaking at CreativeMornings/SF (watch the talk)

You’re going to change your mind a thousand times. That’s a good thing. Only imbeciles never change their minds.

Anna Rascouët-Paz
speaking at CreativeMornings/SF (watch the talk)

© Copyright 2002-2014 Brad Chmielewski. All Rights Reserved.