Creativity & Deadlines: Phases of Creative Work (Rick Rubin)

Drawing on Rubin’s profound experiences and insights, we delve into the phases of creative work and the delicate dance of bringing projects to fruition. 

From the initial gathering of ideas to the final execution, Rubin’s philosophy sheds light on the art of balancing freedom with structure. 

Additionally, we’ll uncover the concept of ‘the source,’ a deep well of inspiration rooted in the essence of existence itself, and the emotive transition from creation to completion. 

Creative Work Phases; Structure & Deadlines

Rubin spoke of a balance between structure and freedom in creativity. Huberman, like most, thought structure meant deadlines. But Rubin’s insights were a game-changer. He taught us that creativity isn’t just about watching the clock.

He introduced us to the ‘seed collecting’ phase first. It’s about being curious, collecting ideas, and feeling no rush. Rubin compared it to an artist’s life – always open, always searching.

Then comes ‘experimentation.’ Here, creators act on their ideas. It’s like a gardener tending to seeds, setting the stage for growth without controlling it.

Next up, the ‘crafting phase.’ Creators mold their ideas into tangible form. They turn a simple thought into something real, a critical step in bringing ideas to life.

Finally, Rubin talked about the ‘completion phase.’ This stage can handle deadlines. They can even help wrap up a project. 

Rubin had an eye-opener here – he realized deadlines could coexist with creativity as a project nears its end.

Rubin and Huberman’s conversation revealed a truth. Insights came from looking back, not planning forward. 

Rubin found that the creative phases often blend together. He’s always gathering ideas, with the phases flowing in and out of each other.

Rubin concluded with a tip on deadlines. Use them, but keep them flexible. Let them guide you, but don’t let them limit you. Set rules, including timelines, but be ready to break them if it helps the project.

Finishing Projects; The Source & Nature

Rubin shares insights from his new book about “the source.” This term goes beyond mere location or mindset. Instead, it signifies the very foundation of all existence.

Huberman sees the source as an internal guide anchored in our physical and emotional signals. It nudges us towards what feels right. But creativity isn’t just about ideas. There’s a crucial shift to execution. 

Rubin speaks to this, acknowledging the joy found in creation and the unique satisfaction of completing a project. The emotional turn to finish a piece is also a commitment. He suggests leveraging the excitement for future works to help finish the task at hand.

Rubin believes the source isn’t just within us. It’s a universal energy from which all inventions, art, and machines spring. We’re merely channels, translating this force into tangible forms. 

Huberman adds to this, stating that while physical laws bind the world, our imaginations are limitless. The final product lives in the space between the physical world and the boundless imagination.

The two discuss the wonder of nature’s vast variety, which human creativity tries to emulate. Despite our limitations, striving to capture nature’s essence is a nod to its grandeur. 

It demonstrates our spirit’s connection to the infinite. Huberman and Rubin’s dialogue captures the delicate balance between creation’s earthly aspects and the ethereal urge to create again.

Collaboration, Art & Rigorous Work

Andrew Huberman and Rick Rubin explored chaos and discipline in art, science, and sports. 

Huberman highlighted the contrast. He showed us the structured world of scientists next to artists’ perceived chaos. 

He pondered, is chaos a key to creativity? 

He reminded us that scientists, often pegged as dry, actually lead intricate lives. They operate systematically within academia’s rules. Yet some, like Richard Axel, play with these rules while keeping their discipline.

Rubin chimed in with insights from his world. He shared a surprise: the artists he works with rarely show chaos. He sees musicians and comedians as seriously dedicated craftworkers. This is a side the public doesn’t see when artists shine on stage.

Then the talk shifted to sports. Huberman brought up Floyd Mayweather—yes, the flashy boxer. He shared a tale from a sparring partner. Despite Mayweather’s showy persona, he trains with intense discipline. He spars tirelessly, runs multiple sessions daily, and never lets up.

Rubin mused on the psychological angle. A star like Mayweather, by seeming casual, could shake an opponent’s confidence. This dual image masks a fierce commitment to training.

The conversation went deep into the psychology of seeming effortlessness. Huberman and Rubin revealed the unseen hard work in art and sports. 

It’s a dance of discipline and disruption, a mix powering the success and creativity of many. While chaos isn’t universal in the creative process, it plays a part for some. And often, the ease we witness is backed by hidden intensity.

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