T.S. Elliot once said, “Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.” If you’ve spent any time wrestling through the creative process, you know that Elliot spoke truth. To birth an intriguing artifact while avoiding the pitfalls of obtuseness or cheesiness is gut-wrenching. Some people are better at this process than others, and Blaine Hogan is one of them.
Blaine is the creative director at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago where he lives with his wife and daughter. After being a professional actor for more than 12 years, he now works on projects for Google, YouTube and the Olympics. Most recently, he released a revised an expanded edition of his best-selling book, UNTITLED: Thoughts on the Creative Process. Here he talks about bringing creative ideas to life and how faith can inform the process.
JM: In your book, you explore the creative process. You advise to “just start”, to just do something. Where ans how would you advise getting started?
BH: What moves you? This is the question everyone must ask when they begin. If you don’t start with what moves you, most likely whatever you end up making will lack meaning and truth. Once you’ve answered that question, you need to sit your ass down, face your fear of failure (or of success), look resistance in the eye, and put pen to paper. This is, of course, easier said than done. The real truth about starting is that there is no easy way. The work wouldn’t mean anything if it was. Once you acknowledge that the work will be hard, even the sitting down and starting part, you can better understand that how it feels right now in the beginning is all part of a lifelong process.
JM: For someone working with a limited budget and few resources, how can you bring a creative idea to life?