09 Sparks: Creative Inspiration from Damian

Trust your instinct When it comes to “making it” in any creative field, especially music, there’s no one right way to do it. The path forward is being constantly redefined, so don’t worry what others have done in the past—trust your gut and keep your eyes on the prize.

Keep a plan B “I kept one foot just close enough to plan B, and it let me take a lot of risks.” Living your creative dream can come with a lot of uncertainty, so it’s not a bad idea to have a backup plan to support you until you’re ready, and to be there just in case.

Find YOUR creative style You don’t have to be a totally off-the-wall thinker to be considered “creative.” Everyone is creative in their own way, so honor your personal set of strengths, and find a creative style that works for you.

Be your own toughest critic “You’re not expected to be the world’s best singer or songwriter right away, but if you don’t think the work is good enough yet, you can be damn sure other people aren’t going to be interested.”

Set clear expectations When OK Go works with brands, they make sure they get everyone on exactly the same page before starting. That way, the band is free to execute their creative vision, and the brand feels comfortable and excited about the outcome.

Be honest with yourself What makes you happy and fulfilled? While you may not have the freedom to do those things 100% of the time, it’s important to be true to yourself so you can set goals to get there in the future. “The feeling of accomplishment when you’ve made something that makes you feel good, I couldn’t have gotten it anywhere else.”

It’s not all glamorous “Nobody starts playing guitar and is like, I really want to rethink the way people distribute music.” The management and business side of your art may not be the most appealing, but it’s just as important as all the creative elements.

ANGELA JONES