Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is on the 18th of January, and in a tumultuous time in our country, all people, creatives alike, can take lessons from MLK as we continue into the uncertainty of 2021.
As a preacher’s son, MLK himself grew to be a preacher and gained lifelong practice in being an eloquent public speaker.
Though he’s most known for his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech and ‘Letter from A Birmingham Jail,’ there are other lesser-known quotes and speeches from MLK that can teach creatives old and new valuable lessons about any craft. As MLK day comes and passes, remember these.
Practice Makes Perfect
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”MLK
We create because we want to bring something new to the global conversation. This MLK lesson must always be remembered during the grind.
Sticking to the same techniques, without growing and improving in your craft is a disservice. Life is worth learning and continuing to grow into a better artist.
Look up new techniques, ask artists you admire for tips and tricks. Sooner than later, you’ll be glad you did.
Embrace the Struggle
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”MLK
Nothing feels more debilitating than artist’s block.
Sometimes taking a step back from the piece you’re struggling over to start a new piece, or remix an old one, is the solution. Occupy yourself with something different for a change until you’re ready to look at your frustrating piece with fresh eyes.
Lean into Change
“There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.”MLK
As a creative, you have to be willing to try new things. One of the best ways to get past artist’s block or writer’s block, or any other block is to try a new medium.
Usually work in watercolor? Try pen and ink! Usually stick to photography? Try writing a song! Sometimes you can find a new love just by trying new things. Throw a few different creative ideas at the wall and see what sticks.
With MLK day approaching, we owe it to the iconic activist and freedom fighter to keep creating and do so with our virtues intact. Remember, practice makes perfect, embrace the struggle, and lean into change.
MLK, while not our first thought of a creative, most certainly was, with his beautiful prose and oration. Thus, his lessons are paramount for creatives to always remember.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s spirit lives on, and these days we need to remember his words urgently.