Creativity has to start somewhere

Suck is a default starting point for almost all truly great work.

From Ed Catmull’s great book, Creativity, Inc.:

“And yet, candor could not be more crucial to our creative process. Why? Because early on, all of our movies suck. That’s a blunt assessment, I know, but I make a point of repeating it often, and I choose that phrasing because saying it in a softer way fails to convey how bad the first versions of our films really are. I’m not trying to be modest or self-effacing by saying this. Pixar films are not good at first, and our job is to make them so—to go, as I say, “from suck to not-suck.” This idea—that all the movies we now think of as brilliant were, at one time, terrible—is a hard concept for many to grasp. But think about how easy it would be for a movie about talking toys to feel derivative, sappy, or overtly merchandise-driven. Think about how off-putting a movie about rats preparing food could be, or how risky it must’ve seemed to start WALL-E with 39 dialogue-free minutes. We dare to attempt these stories, but we don’t get them right on the first pass. And this is as it should be. Creativity has to start somewhere, and we are true believers in the power of bracing, candid feedback and the iterative process—reworking, reworking, and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its throughline or a hollow character finds its soul.”

You don’t need to be a kid or have a kid to go see Pixar’s latest sensational film, Inside Out. It’s so good and has a depth that has you pondering its message long after you leave the theater.

But it started out sucking at first, too. The Pixar team kept at it, though, and ended up making remarkable art.

Start somewhere. Awful is a good place to begin. In fact, try to be as dreadful as you can, as laughably bad as you can imagine, just to take the pressure off.

Then see how you can make it just a little better.

Then keep going.

ht Parislemon