From the Bunker: Quality Inputs Make Great Creative

Now watch this – as a creative, you’ve slowly expanded your pool of creative raw material. Find out great names in your field and go dig to find how what/how they made their stuff. And get deep into stuff that doesn’t exactly touch your field – you will find surprising overlaps along the way.

Nobody creates from scratch – everything is a remix, but now you’re working with some choice components instead of whatever second hand stuff you find in your curated ‘feeds.’

You hold within the palm of your hand the most potent device that a common person has ever had access to – in all of history. Your smartphone gives you instant access to more information than my grandfather could have ever imagined as a boy. Landing on the moon to a child in 1928 would have been less staggering than saying, ‘you will have instant access to almost anything you could ever want to know because you will have a magic glass, a screen, in your hand when you are an old man – a portal to infinite knowledge that fits into your shirt pocket.’

But that isn’t how we use these devices.

We consume TikTok vids, watch movies, make emojis, and message friends. Nobody thinks: ‘I’m going to self-educate my way into way more knowledge about nuclear engineering this year.’ 

We don’t do that

When all the information is available, it becomes an intimidating warehouse we rarely (if ever) enter – especially when there is a flashing carnival next door with bumper cars (social media), exciting lights that zing and flash with explosions (whatever Marvel is pushing out), hype music (thanks Kanye), and your friends waving you in.

You aren’t going into that warehouse of knowledge – it might as well be a tomb where your precious hours might die a slow death – and for what, really?!

But you – well, you are a creative person and you are responsible for your own trajectory and making yourself as creative as possible. Nobody can do that for you.

You desire to generate the best ideas and create the most impactful, meaningful kinds of things: design, copy, musical score, video production, mixed-media installations – whatever you do, you are concerned about being…


You need to leave that carnival and start exploring warehouses. There is gold tucked away in those warehouses and you need to take active steps to go dig it out. Why? Because the carnival is stupid and loud and people wind up posting, creating, shouting the same things over and over and over again. It’s all rehash and retread stuff out there in the digital carnival land. If you consume what everyone consumes, your creations will be reductive, redundant, and boring.

By contrast, if you spend hours and hours digging around in old warehouses, you will have a unique understanding, a truly peculiar and thus intriguing point of view, and you’ll gain access to stored gold collected over millennia.

Now, I’m not saying get rid of your iPhone (but I would high-five you if you did – and you would buy me a beer if you did – one day you would say, ‘thank you, kind sir!’) – but if you only rarely joined the carnival and instead started mining through old films for example (Ingmar Bergman films from the 1950’s– or watch all of Hitchcock’s films – every one of them), if you were to deep dive into Vivaldi’s music for 9 months and then go on a total bender through British New Wave that lasts two years as you study up on Rafael Viñoly the Latin American architect’s buildings. Well. Then you could draw from quality – those are some golden inputs.

A note: I’m not talking about your inspiration boards or just ‘hunting’ for stylized inputs – no.

I’m describing a bigger effort – a way of shaping something in you on the molecular level. You become what you eat. This wide and deep consumption becomes part of your cognitive DNA and you’re putting in that good stuff from your warehouses of knowledge. All these quality inputs amassed over decades will mean that you will truly have insight and vision for solving specific creative problems that will outpace all your friends who keep eating the same carnival fare year after year. These are cotton candy and soda people. Not you. You will stand out.///

I declare it thus!

 Here’s my guest today – welcome, JT.

You’re a creative fella here at Fidelis – I’ve known you for like 15 years and worked with you for about 18 months or so – you are an award winning video producer, prolific musician, and went to university for design – so you are a CREATIVE in many arenas.

What does this livestream do in you/awake in you?

What additional thoughts do you have – is it true?

What warehouses do you dig around in – to supply your creative raw material?

Do you need help
talking to your
perfect clients?