Casey Neistat on Creativity

October 28, 2021 • ☕️ 2 min read

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- If you want to start running, you don't need new shoes. - If you want to be a writer, you don't need a new pen/keyboard. - If you want to code the next big thing, you don't need the latest machine with the best specs.

Sure these things help sometimes, but they’re not the absolute requirements to do creative work. In fact having lots of resources can actually act counter intuitively and lead to action paralysis.

Your tools are your vehicle, you are the driver but your creativity is the fuel. And you can imagine how far or fast can a Ferrari run without fuel.

Casey Neistat on creativity

“Expressing creativity using the most basic, accessible methods is the hardest thing to do and the purest. The very best steak houses serve their fillet on a plate with nothing else. Shi*ty franchises cover theirs in sauce and other stuff to distract you from the fact that you’re eating dog food.”

If you can create amazing photos/videos with the best cameras but not with the camera in the phone, you’re not creative, you just know how to use one tool. Being creative and being able to use something really well are two completely different things.

Constraints breed creativity

Neil Gaiman says that putting constraints on how, where and what you work with will make you more creative. Putting crazy limitations on yourself will actually increase your capacity to do creative work.

The Nobel prize winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez once wrote a short story called ‘The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship’ in only one sentence, and its a good 6-7 page story. That kind of creativity is only possible when you force yourself to create the best work out of a very small subset of resources at your disposal.

So when in doubt or when you don’t know what to do or how to improve your craft, try to work with less not more.

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"The only thing I know is that I know nothing" - Socrates