Weekly Design Links — 05/09/23

John Freeborn
4 min readMay 9

In the spirit of the times, I’ve used chatGPT to help me write this week’s intro. You’ll find that it’s longer than what I usually write. Why? Because I didn’t write it. I did edit and curate the output into something that I’m comfortable with. I also used Grammarly, to fine-tune at the end. Here goes.

Creative futility, or the feeling that our creative efforts are pointless, is something we’ve all experienced at one point or another. There are times when we feel like we’re not making any progress.

However, I believe that there is actually a positive side to futility. When we feel like we’re not making progress, and you are discouraged and want to give up we may actually be on the verge of a breakthrough.

One of the most inspiring examples of creative futility is the story of Vincent van Gogh. Despite producing over 2,000 works of art, he only sold one painting during his lifetime. He struggled with mental illness and poverty, and at times he felt like his creative efforts were pointless. But van Gogh never gave up. He continued to paint, even when he wasn’t sure if anyone would ever appreciate his work. Today, his paintings are some of the most beloved and valuable works of art in the world.

We may not always know where our creative efforts will lead us. We may not know if our writing will be published, our music will be heard, or our art will be displayed. But that doesn’t mean our efforts are futile. Every time we create something, we are expressing ourselves and connecting with something deeper within us.

So, the next time you feel like your creative efforts are pointless, remember that you are not alone. Many great artists and creators have experienced those same feelings of frustration and doubt. If you keep working, keep making, you may just be on the verge of something amazing. Who knows what kind of impact you might have.


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John Freeborn

designer, artist, skateboarder and video gamer