future islands

This video of Future Islands performing on David Letterman has gone viral. Why? It’s a great song and a great performance. But what made this stand out and make people not only share it, but also watch it multiple times in a row?

It’s the ‘What The Fuck’ moments.

Like the minute he starts dancing, and the way he looks which doesn’t fit with any current trends. And wow. The dancing.

And then.. the bit where he pulls his t-shirt down and starts doing a black metal guttural growl that you really didn’t expect on an otherwise fairly upbeat synth-pop track.

And how much he looks like he means it. It makes you wonder if everybody else is just faking it.

It’s fucking great.

(By the way, Future Islands are your typical ‘overnight success’ – they’ve been going for 8 years).

It was the same when HAIM played on Jools Holland last year and I watched because someone shared it because of the facial expressions of the bassist, and yes, I laughed. But it was just enough for me to hear the song and for it to get hooked in my brain, and become a fan and even go and see them live.


Haim – Forever – Later… with Jools Holland… by Emptysou1

Of course anyone who’s watched Game of Thrones or read the original Song of Ice and Fire books will know that George RR Martin is the king of the WTF moment (no spoilers).

game of thrones spoiler alert

I could go on.

Think about it. We think we’ve seen it all before, but maybe you can do something we haven’t seen before.

Because if your work doesn’t have a WTF moment, why is anyone else going to give a fuck?

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Your Hard Work Isn’t Wasted

If you’re creative but feel like success has so far eluded you, it’s important not to forget or discount the things you’ve already done.

Even if they don’t feel like things that would impress anyone else, they’re part of what has made you what you are now. Everything you’ve done has contributed to your unique mixture of knowledge and skills.

None of your hard work is ever really wasted – unless you decide to disregard it.

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You must believe in yourself

Photo: sweetonveg

“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys”.

Dan Pink, A Whole New Mind

One of the big things we need to overcome as creative professionals are self-limiting beliefs. In my experience, we all have them – and just when you’ve broken through one self-imposed glass ceiling, you usually find there’s a whole other level to challenge you!

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You are not alone

February 5, 2014 — 2 Comments
You Are Not Alone - Pierre Wolfer

Photo: Pierre Wolfer (Creative Commons)

Clear-minded Creativity is possible, if you’re willing to work at it. The fact is though, it’s a work in progress, not a permanent state of mind.

Most importantly though, and here is the real secret to being a Clear-Minded Creative – you cannot do it alone. Neither can I, or anyone else.

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Your Voice Matters

January 29, 2014 — 2 Comments
Your Voice Matters

Photo: mindaugasdanys (Creative Commons)

Being creative is in many ways about having a voice and wanting to express ourselves. We all have a unique perspective, and we can share that with the world through our creativity.

Don’t underestimate how important it is that you do this.

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Accept Yourself

January 24, 2014 — 2 Comments

Eels and Dog

One of my favourite autobiographies is “Things the Grandchildren Should Know” by Mark Oliver Everett who is the main man behind the band Eels.

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