9 Rules of a Creator's Life

August 7, 2023

By Kory Cousins

I’ve been a cog in the advertising machine for the last 15 years. Along the way, I’ve gotten familiar with some of the marketing jargon and concepts, but I don’t pretend to know anything about Google Analytics, SEO, conversion or click-through rates. That’s not where my interests lie or where my strengths are best utilized. Let the smart kids figure that out. My passion is for creation. Taking a kernel of an idea and creating anything from a :06 bumper ad to a full-blown ad campaign. Tugging on those heartstrings to sell you a breakfast sandwich or wow you into buying the all-new 2024 Toyota Camry. That’s what I’m about. That’s what I love to do. 

Making movies was the ultimate dream. Advertising and marketing were something I fell into, and it happened to help scratch that creative itch. It’s allowed me to create day in and day out whether through writing copy, shooting video, or creating motion graphics. I’ve been lucky enough to harness the power of my imagination on a daily basis. And here’s the thing, I didn’t know anything about working with clients or writing concise and pithy scripts. Hell, I didn’t even really know how to edit using a computer. Up until then, everything had been tape-to-tape or reel-to-reel. In other words, I’m old. But none of that stopped me. I dug in and became a sponge, soaking up everything and anything I could find online from blogs and articles to videos and tutorials. I picked the brains of my co-workers. I was easily the least experienced person in any room I entered 10 to 15 years ago. It was challenging and intimidating but I kept pushing forward and each project got better than the last. I stopped comparing my work to other’s and started comparing my new work to the old. Continue your path of growth. Learn new things. Get inspired.  

Over the years I’ve found inspiration from Motionographer and This Old House to Ink Master and The Great Discontent. I’m a sucker for any show, video, blog, article, interview, conversation or website that dedicates itself to showing or displaying the creative process any artist or creator undergoes to breathe life into their work. 

I’ll leave you with this. Years ago, I ended up on, a blog created by Tanner Christensen that centered around what “creativity” means. On it, I found “9 Rules of a Creator’s Life.” I printed it off and hung it in my office. It’s simple but it's been a good guide during my journey over the last 15 years: 

9 Rules of a Creator’s Life 

  1. Do more than what you’re told to do. 
  2. Try new things. 
  3. Teach others about what you know.
  4. Make work into play and play into work. 
  5. Take breaks. 
  6. Work when others are resting. 
  7. Always be creating. 
  8. Make your own inspiration. 
  9. Love what you do, or leave. 

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