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The ABC’s of a Creative Manifesto

Digital Photo and Design Creative


At some point in your life, you will be presented with the question of “Why?”

“Why are you in business?” “Why don’t you just get a good job and forget about this business thing.” “Why bother with the headache of owning your own business, you probably won’t make it anyway.”

Here’s a glimpse into the personal and business life of a creative and why we must do what we do.

* * * 

Admit

You are a creative being. It’s not a title or a monicker. It’s in your bones. Your genes. Your core. Your soul. You create because you can’t help it.

Brainstorm

Ideas rain down at the weirdest times and strike at the strangest moments. Strive to be featured in the next episode of Jim Cantore’s “Thought Tsunami.”

Create

All creation is inspiration.

Daydream

Promptly discover and dwell in your own happy place. Embrace the whimsical, feed your quirkiness. Rinse. Repeat.

Embrace

It’s okay to feel out of control and chaotic.

Fun

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself. Create fun and laugh until you tinkle a little in your britches. 

Grow

Be a knowledge sponge. Being stagnant only works for icky pond water. Plus it smells bad and attracts disease carrying mosquitoes.

Half-Assery

Give it your all. If you can’t then don’t do it. Crap begets crap.

Interruptions

Embrace being sidetracked. It can lead you to the most wonderful of places.

Journey

During the journey, you’ll sweat, chaff and eventually fall off the horse. Pick yourself up, pull your undies out of your crack and carry on until the cows come home.

Knowledge

Not all learning comes from a book. Common sense is underrated. This thing called life is DIY. You can teach yourself anything.

Life

It’s messy, invigorating, unorganized, beautiful, crazy, stressful, incredible, (add about a zillion more adjectives here). It’s also meant to be enjoyed to its fullest extent no matter where you are. 

March

Someone needs to fire up their LoJack and find out where that drummer marching to his own beat went to.

Never

Never miss the opportunity to be someone else’s cheerleader, especially those who’ve lost their pom-poms.

Observe

Observe the masses, do the opposite. Look. Rethink. Turn Upside Down. Go With It. 

Partnership

Let “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” be your motto. Collaboration is key. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Quirky

Contemplate what Andy Warhol would have told Leonardo da Vinci about his painting technique on the Mona Lisa.

Reassure

Reassure yourself that it’s okay to take chances.

Stop

Choose to not be paralyzed with the possibility of getting it wrong or someone not liking me. You can’t make people like you. It’s impossible. You’ll always have haters.

Time

Take the time to let your creatives juices flow. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

Upside Down

Look. Rethink. Turn Upside Down. Go With It.

Value

Contribute your work to the world by making something new, right now.

Walk

There’s no wrong path because it’s the journey that counts. Learn from what it can teach you.

X-ray

Break open the Cracker Jack box, whip out those x-ray goggles and examine your own “Why.”

Yes

Retrain your brain to say “Yes.” Say yes to creativity. Breath it in and let it fill your heart with joy.

Zzzzzzzz

Don’t be boring. Let all you create produce Ooooohhh’s and Aaaahhhh’s, no ZZZZZZZ’s.

Colleen Conger is owner and lead pixel alchemist at Digital Photo and Design, LLC. She’s a self-confessed Starbucks addict, font freak and geeky tech girl. Connect with her personally on Facebook and Google+. You can also follow Digital Photo and Design on FacebookGoogle+, PinterestYouTube and Dribbble.

  • Colleen,

    This is a manifesto for pinning on the wall to remind me to not let business be boring, to be prepared to stand out from the crowd, take risks, make changes, be happy and put colour into my day.

    I made a new Pinterest Board for Manifestos, just so I could keep this one.

    Julia

    • Colleen Conger

      Julia,

      This manifesto is completely opposite of what I initially planned to write. The first draft was snooze-a-rific and plain jane. No life or spunk, just “business-y.”

      With all the talk in the writing world about finding your voice, I think I’m finally becoming comfortable with what mine is saying.

      Thanks for stopping by 😀

  • Love this page and your abcs….AND I should definitely have this on my Pinterest boards – why didn’t I think of that!

    • Colleen Conger

      Tammy,

      Little did I realize that when I wrote this manifesto, it could be applied to my own business but could be used as a template for anyone else who finds themselves in the creative space.

      When you get done with your board for manifestos, please come back and post the URL. I would love to see it.

      Colleen

  • This SCREAMS picture-book, btw. I can see beautiful letters in different fonts on one page, then the words on the other side.

    I’m being excessively tempted to take a creativity-break from video-planning and indulge in some typesetting by creating the book myself. 😀 :>

    Will respect the ownership, but may I have the book at some point? Please&thank you! 🙂 :>

    • What a fantabulous idea Birdy! I’ve been itching to create a flip-type book for my website and you’re idea would be just perfect.

      And yes, when it’s done, I’ll probably make it available under Creative Commons so you’ll be able to use it. It’s meant to not only be my manifesto, but a manifesto for all creative types (like you!)

      • Oh, awesome!!! 🙂 :> Will eagerly await it, then! 🙂 :> (btw, still looking forward to chatting with you as you have a mo’. 🙂 :> )

        And I am toying with the idea of an ABCDarium for some part of the Empire. Will go & ponder as I type up my revised video script. 🙂

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