Sure, art is subjective, but it never feels that way to you. It is rare that you have an immediate conflicting feeling about whether a piece of art that you see is good or not. Either you like it or you don’t, at least at first glance. So in order to create art, you have to obtain a strange mindset. When you create the first few lines of a sketch, there’s almost no chance that something that rises to the level of your tastes will appear in front of you. …


Being alive in the 21st century has its perks. We live relatively risk-free lives, at least where I live in the UK. There’s no wild animals trying to eat me, nobody executing me for being a witch, and I’m not being sent down into a mine every day in order to make a living. So it’s hard to find anything to complain about.

However, I can’t help but think that while we have monstrously safe lives compared to people throughout the history of mankind, there’s a few things that they had that we could do with more of: boredom, loneliness…


If you’re someone who creates anything in any capacity, I’m sure you’ve been on both sides of this situation: Person A has done something that they believe could be worthy of recognition. They ask Person B for feedback on their work. After hearing Person B’s feedback, Person A proceeds to regret ever asking them for anything.

You could argue about who’s fault it is that this situation becomes so sorry, but it’s probably down to the fact that asking for feedback is one of the broadest things you ask someone. When you ask someone, “would you be able to give…


Being creative comes naturally to a lot of people, but does not serve all of them well.

The psychological trait Openness to Experience is one of the key indicators of creativity in an individual. Psychologists Robert McRae and Paul Costa Jr., who are heavily associated with the Five Factor Theory of Personality, wrote, “As neurotics can be used as exemplars of high scorers on the dimension of Neuroticism, so artists can be considered prime example of individuals high in Openness to Experience. Few people have the gifts needed to be a creative artist, but many people have the dispositions. …


What is the main job of scientists in our society? They carry out experiments, to find out out more about the world. The parameters of a fair experiment are very strict; you ask a testable question, form a hypothesis, identify the variables, perform the experiment, collect the data and then form a conclusion.

Most people in life, however, only do the performing of the experiment, without the necessary steps sandwiching it to be able to learn anything from their experiences; first, because they do not seek to test a hypothesis they may make in their life, nor do they collect…


“I don’t like vomiting, but there is a time when you say, ‘I’ll feel better if I finally throw up.’” is what filmmaker Warren Beatty said about his creative process. As I begin a large personal project of my own, it’s affirming to know that I shouldn’t have any guilt in not “finding the joy in every moment”, as some insist you must do if you are in any kind of creative endeavour. Not every moment is going to be fun, and that’s okay.

Some of the most successful people in modern history are on record spouting the same truth…


Now that we’re a couple of weeks into 2021, I expect that many people who have made resolutions at the start of the year have broken them by now. Whether it was a new diet, exercise regime, money saving habit or quitting a bad habit like smoking, I have no doubt that millions of people have failed to uphold the new standards they hoped to.

I think there are many reasons that this happens. Sometimes the habits are too big, too vague, maybe they try to start too many habits at once and can’t keep them all up. However, I…


From the ages of about 9 to 18, I played basketball for my team Brentwood Fire. I wasn’t very good compared to my teammates to start with; I was small for my age, crazy skinny, and not very confident.

Around the age of 14, I had a huge growth spurt and shot up to around six feet. With the newfound height — more importantly, confidence — I became a starting forward for the team.

We trained a couple times a week and played games on the weekends during the season. Spending so much time playing a team sport was great…


I like that in martial arts, you have different “disciplines”. Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Judo… for me, it separates it from the woo-woo, up-for-interpretation subjectivity that comes with other types of art. On the other might use the word “medium” to differentiate a musician from a sculptor. This word, which has more spiritual and metaphysical undertones, certainly has its place; however, I think there is something great about the way that martial artists define their skills.

“Discipline” might sound harsh, it might sound difficult, it most certainly might not sound creative, but I tend to disagree. I think poets, or artists…


In his documentary Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld stands on a New York street and says, “One day I was watching these construction workers go back to work. I was watching them kind of trudging down the street. It was like a revelation to me. I realised these guys don’t want to go back to work after lunch, but they’re going. That’s their job. If they can exhibit that level of dedication for that job, I should be able to do the same. Trudge your ass in.”

If you’re someone who loves their work, it’s easy to excuse yourself from it, because…

Rob Davies

Artist and father on the South Coast of England, writing about creativity, productivity and philosophy.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store