Don’t think big!

Pick a small topic for your creative project!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your creative project is to pick a topic which is too big.

As an artist and designer I keep making one mistake time and again. So if this article sounds like me giving advice to other creatives… it is actually an attempt to keep myself from making this mistake yet again.

Big topics often lead to small results, small topics foster great results.

And here is why: Your project is limited by the time and energy you have.

These are the boundaries of your project. If you pick a huge topic then there is not much room for your creative efforts. On the other hand, if you pick a small topic you have time and energy to make a great creative contribution.

What happens when you pick a big topic

Let’s take a closer look at what is going on there. When you pick a big topic, a lot of time and energy will be sucked up by research. And worse yet, during that research your big topic seems to bear children — important aspects which you can’t ignore and require yet further research. You don’t want to come up with superficial ideas after all! So you have to dig deeper.

Once you are on that slippery slope you start burrying yourself in research material. And by the time you get a rough grip of your topic your project is over — and your own solution is superficial at best.

What happens when you pick a small topic

If on the other hand you choose a small topic then you have enough time and energy to explore several solutions, create connections among them and to embark on a journey which might even lead to unexpected discoveries.

A small topic works like a catalyst for your ideas and leaves you enough room to come up with great results.

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3 comments On Don’t think big!

  • Thank you for your posts! I enjoy reading them and am inspired to keep drawing and thinking!

  • Found your blog (is this a blog? are there still blogs?); anyway, I saw you on a TED (I think) and “clicked” and will start here. I appreciate your views and this first one–I’ve stopped compiling research on this project (on and off for years) and pulling out my canvas and paints.

  • Thanks for this post ~ this is a big help for me right now as I have been spinning around this big idea for a project that hasn’t had any progress. But I think with this mindset I could do more now. Love the drawing!

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