Soholaunch Company Blog

The 3 Creative Moods of an Artist

5 Oct 1 by Mike Morrison
I spend a lot of time in my personal life talking to artists, entrepreneurs-at-heart, and "tragically creative" types, and I've noticed some patterns in how they approach their special projects/paintings/novels/new businesses.

Once these creative types decide to actually do something about their creative impulses, they generally do so in an inconsistent, impulsive manner, slipping between the following moods...

Mood 1. Furious bouts of creativity and effort towards art

Mood 2. Depressed, caught between the desire to create but lack of time/will to do so

Mood 3. Keeping busy with daily minutiae, repressing creative desires

Once you engage your creative desires --- once you decide that from this point forward you will judge yourself by what you create, instead of your daily tasks --- you are largely doomed to vacillate between #1 and #2 like a manic-depressive. Either you're working on your art and loving it, or you're not working on it and miserable about it.

Eventually, if you let yourself hit too long of a slump, you will slip into mood #3 and start totally ignoring your art, convincing yourself that you're better off focusing on superficial daily todo's for now.

Mood 3 (repression) is by far the most "sane feeling" option (because daily life is calm, rational, and simple compared to art, which is emotional, complex, and infinite), but Mood 3 (repression) is totally unrealistic, in terms of your long-term emotional health. It shouldn't last. Repress your creative desires at your own peril. Let them out to play, or they will break out when you don't want them to.

As unpleasant as this is, your only hope of getting your artistic goals accomplished is to master a life spent in Mood 1 and Mood 2, and never rationalize yourself too far into Mood 3 (repression), because people can spend whole lives repressing their creative urges and die with regret.

As insane as you may feel in Mood 1 and Mood 2, you are ultimately making progress on things you've always wanted to do, and that's worth all the crazy in the world.

How this applies to building your website

One of voyeuristic the perks of working here at Soholaunch is that we get to see all the different websites that our customers create with our software. I've worked here for nine years now. As you can imagine, I've seen a lot of self-created websites (thousands). I've seen cute websites that made me smile, products being sold that I never knew existed, wonderful charity organizations, and of course a few shocking sites that grossed me out (this is the internet, after all).

The vast majority the sites I see share one common thread: For the website creator, they are either passion-filled side projects, or a brand-new businesses started from scratch (or very often both).

For those of you building side-project websites (as in, you go to work every day, and occasionally when you come home you try to work on your website), you have a lot in common with painters, musicians, writers, and other artists, because you're creating something extra because you feel compelled to.

Most people, as sane and level-headed as they may be during their daily life, approach these passionate side projects with the same level of irrational, emotional craziness with which an artist approaches his paintings/novel/whatever.

Failure vs. Success for your website

For the thousands of websites I've worked with over my years at Soholaunch, I've seen disappointing failures and wild successes, and I've talked to customers at every point along the road to each of those destinations.

The people that succeed are the ones that keep going, put forth regular effort over long periods (big effort is not as important as regular effort), spend a little money for site improvements that fall outside their knowledge/ability, and continue to grow their own knowledge so they can be a better, more agile webmaster.

The people that fail let themselves get discouraged too early and abandon the project. In a way, they get trapped in the Artist's Mood #2 (above), and then resign themselves to Mood #3.

Overnight successes do happen on the web, but more common is the site that grows over time until one day it's a big deal. But you have to make it grow.