Bob Baker's Artist Empowerment Blog

An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

If you ask me, designer Bruce Mau has some pretty cool ideas about creativity and personal growth, which he has capsulized in his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.

There are a total of 43 ideas. Here are my seven favorites:

Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

Don't be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

Stay up late. Strange things happen when you've gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you're separated from the rest of the world.

Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else ... but not words.

Power to the people. Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can't be free agents if we're not free.

Thank heavens there are inspirations like Bruce Mau among us.


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