The first is to add a new layer on top of an existing structure. Piggy-back on the success that has already been created. Blog about your take on hot topics. Sing the types of songs that people are accustomed to hearing and add a little something new. This is the builder.

The second is to annihilate the entire structure and start from a place of completely uncharted territory. It is a lonely and frightening journey with no promises of success. To be sure, the hate mail will come faster than the fan mail, at least in the beginning. This is the destroyer.

Both categories work, but I think true art is always in the latter. Those lonely souls who lead our world forward do so not by extending what we already know, but by creating a whole new scary paradigm that no one had imagined.

The interesting thing is, just about anyone can choose to join the first class. It is easy, safe, and fairly fool-proof. You’ll make money, gain fans, and build a stable plateau of success in your field. But the second category is almost never a choice. People don’t decide to give up success and affection in order to do something different. It is a compulsion. They do it in order to honestly look themselves in the mirror each morning. These artists and innovators simply must use their lives to break down your world and reimagine it in a way that just might be great.

4 Responses to “Two Ways to Create”

  1. Thought-provoking – not sure if you’re a creator or destroyer but looking forward to finding out this morning. I think it’s the latter? You are the true artist:)!


  2. I’m not sure what I am either, just me (I think) haha. Yeah, looking forward to hanging out with you ‘IRL’ this morning!


  3. “You’ll make money, gain fans, and build a stable plateau of success in your field.”

    Not if the field has become so crowded that there’s no room for more of the same! (But I know what you’re saying– it’s the “safer” way to do things.)

    As for destroying, you’re right; it’s totally a compulsion. And it is the mark of the true artist.

    That said, I’m not sure that anything can ever be totally new. Even true artists often build from, and off of, the greats who have come before them. Is it possible to start *completely* from scratch?


    • Good points… For the builder, I guess I meant more of someone who does something a little new and different, but that still fits safely within the old paradigms, you know?

      And the destroyer creates new paradigms, not completely from scratch, but *radical* enough that that people might not see it at first and when they do, the old ways no longer work and are thus destroyed.

      Way to be a thought-provoker 😉


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