Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bill Watterson on Creativity

..the mind is like a car battery-it recharges by running - Bill Watterson, Creator of Calvin & Hobbes

 Here's an excerpt from a speech Bill Watterson gave at Kenyon College, Gambier Ohio, to the 1990 graduating class

Bill Watterson - Kenyon College Commencement - May 20, 1990

If I've learned one thing from being a cartoonist, it's how important playing is to creativity and happiness. My job is essentially to come up with 365 ideas a year.

If you ever want to find out just how uninteresting you really are, get a job where the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood. I've found that the only way I can keep writing every day, year after year, is to let my mind wander into new territories. To do that, I've had to cultivate a kind of mental playfulness.

We're not really taught how to recreate constructively. We need to do more than find diversions; we need to restore and expand ourselves. Our idea of relaxing is all too often to plop down in front of the television set and let its pandering idiocy liquefy our brains. Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery-it recharges by running.

Out in the world, you'll have to find the inner motivation to search for new ideas on your own.

as bright, creative people, you'll be called upon to generate ideas and solutions all your lives. Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems.

 I've been amazed at how one idea leads to others if I allow my mind to play and wander. 

A playful mind is inquisitive, and learning is fun. If you indulge your natural curiosity and retain a sense of fun in new experience, I think you'll find it functions as a sort of shock absorber for the bumpy road ahead.

Read the transcript of the complete speech at

Bill Watterson's short autobiography -

No comments:

Post a Comment