“Stay on the fucking bus.”

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 in Creativity | 0 comments

I love this advice from Finnish-American photographer Arno Minkkinen, as quoted in The Guardian: This column will change your life: Helsinki Bus Station Theory.

One of my favourite things to witness is when someone creates something extraordinary because they didn’t know any better. Lots of people have written about this; Neil Gaiman, in his Make Good Art speech comes immediately to mind.

But there’s also something to be said for the great ideas that can only come from experience.

The other day I watched my two-year-old sit down on the grass and take his shoes and socks off after he noticed the seven-year-old neighbour he was playing with had bare feet. She jumped, he jumped. He jumped and moved in ways I’d never seen him execute before, because he was mimicking her every move. It was pretty awesome. Someday, he’ll have his own style of movement, and maybe he’ll come up with some moves of his own.

We all learn by experimenting with what’s around us. In the beginning, the ideas we think are brilliant may have already been done to the point of cliché, we just didn’t know it. But eventually we will know it. Eventually, we develop a sense of what’s been done and what’s being done, and we may find ourselves compelled to do it differently, better, more uniquely our way.

But we have to keep at it long enough to get there. We need to stay on the bus.