Christoph Niemann is an artist, author and animator.

His Sunday sketches are a series of free-thinking experiments. He takes an everyday object, then twists and turns it, until he starts to see it in a new light.

He refers to these sketches as creative life insurance.

I think creativity is, you take what you know, you take like the things that you are comfortable with, and you throw them in a situation of new things, of things that you are uncomfortable with, and all of a sudden, connections happen, new connections happen…

Christoph Niemann

I discovered today, that he did a talk about his thoughts on creativity for 99u four years ago. The video is embedded at the end of this post.

The whole talk is an absolute delight; in it, he explores what he describes as ‘creative self-pity’, namely, the following fears:

  • I’m not good enough
  • My work is irrelevant and soon I’ll be broke
  • I’m out of ideas

It occurs to me that these fears perhaps aren’t just particular to creatives – but to everyone.

Something that resonated particularly for me, was this – towards the end of the talk he speaks about how nonlinear good ideas are:

You have to start with something. You have to have a goal in mind but then you have to be very open to letting something else happen…

…it’s not about an ‘aha’ moment. I think the ‘aha’ moment is totally overrated. It’s about small steps.

Christoph Niemann

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