Ira Glass’ Advice on Achieving Creative Excellence Presented in Two Artful, Typographic Videos

”All of us who do cre­ative work,” says Ira Glass, cre­ator This Amer­i­can Life, quite pos­si­bly the most respect­ed pro­gram on pub­lic radio, “we get into it because we have good taste.” Yet despite this dis­cern­ment, or indeed because of it, “there’s a gap: for the first cou­ple years that you’re mak­ing stuff, what you’re mak­ing isn’t so good. [ … ] Your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re mak­ing is kind of a dis­ap­point­ment to you.” For this rea­son, Glass argues, the taste­ful often fail at their cre­ative endeav­ors entire­ly. “Most every­body I know who does inter­est­ing cre­ative work,” he con­tin­ues, “they went through a phase of years where they had real­ly good taste, and they could tell what they were mak­ing was­n’t as good as they want­ed it to be.” This astute diag­no­sis of a “total­ly nor­mal” syn­drome comes extract­ed from Glass’ talk on the craft of sto­ry­telling, pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture.

For­tu­nate­ly for those of us strug­gling with the very taste-abil­i­ty mis­match Glass describes, a solu­tion exists. If you want a quick fix, though, pre­pare for dis­ap­point­ment. “Do a lot of work,” he flat­ly advis­es. “Do a huge vol­ume of work. Put your­self on a dead­line so that every week or every month you know you’re going to fin­ish one sto­ry. Because it’s only by actu­al­ly going through a vol­ume of work that you’re actu­al­ly going to catch up and close that gap.” These words have proven inspir­ing enough that they’ve sure­ly spurred lis­ten­ers on to plow paths of sheer pro­duc­tion through their cho­sen rocky yet fer­tile cre­ative fields. Two lis­ten­ers in par­tic­u­lar, David Shiyang Liu and Frohlocke, appar­ent­ly found them­selves imme­di­ate­ly gal­va­nized to work with the words them­selves, result­ing in the typo­graph­i­cal­ly focused video inter­pre­ta­tions above. Only one ques­tion remains: how large a vol­ume of typo­graph­i­cal­ly focused video inter­pre­ta­tions of Ira Glass’ words did they have to cre­ate before they could make ones this impres­sive?

via Vimeo Staff Picks

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ira Glass, the Host of This Amer­i­can Life, Breaks Down the Fine Art of Sto­ry­telling

Ira Glass on the Art and Craft of Telling Great Radio Sto­ries

Hen­ry Rollins Tells Young Peo­ple to Avoid Resent­ment and to Pur­sue Suc­cess with a “Monas­tic Obses­sion”

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, Asia, film, lit­er­a­ture, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on his brand new Face­book page.

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