Make it hot
Finding the energy to make your work great can be hard – sometimes it feels impossible to even begin. How can we create our best artworks? How can our work be as great as the work we love? People, I think I’ve cracked it. Greatness is hotness.
Wait, what is hotness?
Let’s start with what hotness is not. Hotness is not technical ability, nor is it high-level agility, and it’s certainly not a diploma. Hotness can be a layer on top of these things, but the hotness can also be present in someone who’s less technically able. Hotness is a layer of not-giving-a-shit, going-all-out game face that anyone can apply to their work. It’s humanness, sexiness, realness, braveness.
Let me put it on the record: all art can be hot. Writing can be hot, like when you have a book you just never want to put down because the characters are so rich and engrossing. Music can be hot, like when you get filled with energy by a dance tune or sadness when your old favourite song comes on. Painting can be hot – like the picture in the gallery that you just can’t take your eyes off. I’m telling you: art is hot.
Great artwork is great because it attacks us at our roots, at our souls. How? It digs its claws into our sensation of being human and displays it back at us – a beautiful little snapshot that we recognise. It’s feeling. It’s not hard to describe a sensation that almost everyone can connect to – love, shame, joy – the hard part is making it hot. And hotness can’t be faked. The hotness rises up from the humanness that is embedded the work – it’s raw.
Your creative work, just like the work that inspired you, should make you feel like it’s an exciting romance. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says art should feel like an affair. For example: when two people are in the throes of lust, they will find a place to do it – even when they’re busy and tired. They will think about each other all day and when they see each other, they’ll make a real effort because the whole situation makes them excited and eager. You should feel that way about your art. Find that hotness, and keep it hot.
Do you wear your most badass clothes while you’re creating? Or steal time late at night? Or daydream in the shower? Do you give extra guts when you’re rehearsing? Or warm up to the song that makes you feel like a boss? Are you sensitive with your tools? Explore these things. Sometimes you have to dig deep. Experiment. See how you can make it hot.
The best bit about keeping your work hot is that you lose yourself. Time flies. When we’re locked into the process – ‘flow’ as some call it – then we are at the heart of a creative life. We are truly alive and our work can flourish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is so important that you do your work. Creating a good energy and atmosphere just makes it easier and more enjoyable. And at the end of it all – if you found it hot, who cares what came out?