Dear Young Arab Creative - It’s always about you.

So you want to create? You have an itch to express yourself? You have a need to stand out and be someone unique, to be yourself and show your unique colours to the World?
Writer, dancer, painter, director, musician, and many others… these are the paths that we desire. Having been down some of these paths, let me offer you some advice. 

RULE No. 1:

Stop talking and start doing. 
Stop critiquing and criticizing.
Stop thinking of conspiracies.
Don’t let the tentacles of gossip drag you down into suspicion and inaction.
Remember, and oh boy oh boy, you need to remember: You are the source and the most I can do is throw a very small light along your way. Nothing matters but what you output, what you finish and what you deliver.

If you are hesitant because you feel your work is shit, then don't be, just get it out there. Your work will not reach a mastery unless you do more and more ,and with each work, with each exposure, you’ll learn your faults and become better the next time around.

If you keep your work to yourself, it doesn't exist.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 2

Don’t try to be cool or fashionable.
Don’t ever get mesmerized by the facility and easiness that new technology gives you. It has always been and will always be about you expressing yourself. These tools only make it easier. Remember:  all art is really about storytelling and is ultimately about what's inside you.

As for fashions and trends, hey, you create them…

It's about you and will always be about you. Even when it's someone else's written story that you're for example, turning into a film, or that piece of music that you are dancing to, it’s always about you and your interpretation.

Now before you think it's vain for this to be always about you let me explain: It's about your interpretation, your vision, your personal view, your take on things etc.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule 3. 

Always play.
Go back and revisit your definition of what being in a ‘state of play’ means.
If you think every painter knows where the paint will flow, or where every film director knows exactly how every shot will look in the final film, when they start a project, you are mistaken. Creativity will always be a mystery and a discovery.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 4

Cultivate doubt. Fear the comfort of knowing.
Let me repeat this: Cultivate doubt. Fear the comfort of knowing
You are not your teachers. If you studied your craft in a school, good for you. If you did not, it doesn’t matter because all knowledge is now on the internet. Interaction is most important. Real growth comes from interaction with like-minded creators and teachers.

As for your teachers, here is the best judge of how good they are: if they are teaching you the craft, the technique, the history of creativity, then they are great. But the minute they influence your song, your film, story or painting to tell you what to 'say', leave them. Yes, leave them in a hurry.
And don’t EVER let the feeling that you know it all creep into your mind. It's a cancer that'’ll stop you from creating.
Doubt everything. Doubting makes you question. Questioning opens doors.
But note: there is a difference between doubt and suspicion.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 5 

Learn English. Yes, you read that right.
99.99 % of information to help you in your creativity is on the internet and is in English. And it's absolutely free,

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 6

Don’t wait for the muse. She is waiting for you.
Work harder than anyone you know.
Dare to dream. Imagine.
Be afraid and fear the feeling of creative comfort. If you feel good about your work, destroy it. Love yourself when you are creating and never fall in love with what you create.

Don't be labeled. Don't label yourself.  The minute you call yourself an artist, you are dead as an artist or at the very best you become a creative midget, cursed to live up to that expectation.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 7 

Don’t worship creative heroes.
Admire and see them as people who are further down the river from you. You will get there one day. Perhaps you'll go further.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 8

What’s your wildest dream? Pursue it. 

Wanna love in china? Get over to the Chinese embassy….
Want to climb mountain? The mountain is waiting for you…
Want to be the best actor, then act, act, act.
Do what it takes, whatever it takes.

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 9

Print this and put it on your wall:

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working”
Pablo Picasso

So you see, it’s always about you.

Rule No. 10

Accept that your viewpoint will continue to change as you mature.
Because we are not robots. Rather, we are explorers, and the terrain that we are discovering is ever changing.

So you see, it’s always about you.

See for yourself. Read for yourself. Make your own judgements.