How many of you have self-help books? Okay, that’s your first problem. You can’t help yourself, because your *self* sucks!

That’s the only line and only thing I took away from the movie School For Scoundrels other than the fact that Billy Bob Thornton is simply exceptional at playing someone vile. But it’s that line that stood out, because we are living in an information age, as Bill Gates would likely say of the time, ‘information at the speed of thought,’ and everyone seems to be on their own path to enlightenment in some form or fashion, often with the help from someone established with something to say. So can we really help in administering help to ourselves? I think so. That is to say, I think that line makes for a great soundbite, but a weak punchline.


You’re reading this probably not because you have time to give away, but rather because you are on a relentless quest for self-improvement, for self-optimization, and I dig that. Self-help can seem somewhat an amorphous concept (and delivered preachy if I’m honest), and that quote above is in direct contrast to the other adage that growth comes from within. I don’t care for most self-help ‘gurus’, but between the noise there’s good to be found, and I’ve grown a bit fond of Chase Jarvis for that within our field of photography. He’s a working pro and delivers the goods in a casual and practical way, and serves up just enough motivation when you’re down, to get you moving again. One of this latest projects through CreativeLive is a strange one, typically the kind of thing I abhor, but I’ll bite, and you may want to also.

Being down, being in a creative rut, is horrendous, and any writer, photographer, creative of any type knows it, but probably not the way out. We lose the forest for the trees often in that case, and the 28 To Make project could actually help you find it, your creative voice – and in a day where originality and differentiation are king, this is massively important. What is it?


The premise is simple, CreativeLive, whom we are now so pleased to be working with, working with some influential creators devised a free program to help you find or maintain or stretch your creative side by creating. It’s based on the idea it takes 28 days to make something a habit, the habit, in this case, is creating and/or facilitating a creative mind. Here’s what the page lays out:

Week 1
Celebrating everyday objects through drawing with Kate Bingaman-Burt

Week 2
Exploring line, form, and texture with Ryan Putnam

Week 3
Hacking visual language and creative thinking with Lara McCormick

Week 4
Connecting to your context through observation and lettering with Erik Marinovich

You’ll get the same two videos every weekend when you’ll be encouraged to take in the sights and relax with Brooks Chambers


Some of it sounds cheesy, but just because something is trite or cheesy doesn’t make it ineffective. That said, this may not be your particular brand of brandy, and that’s fine. I think it’s a very interesting way to address the functioning capability of the creative facility within us, and has a simple but profound effect much like daily journaling and planning can have. I live by a planner, and I know what a difference seemingly stupid or innocuous things can make. In this case, it takes a few minutes a day to view a video that is sent to your inbox with a little project to do that takes about 20 min or less.

Check it out and see how, it’s free, and you get all the material you may have already ‘missed’ by heading over and RSVPing here.