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Your Work Must Captivate

by Nate St. Pierre on July 7, 2014

The world doesn’t care how many followers you have, what your website looks like, whether you’re a pro or if you do this on the side. We don’t even care about the quality of your work . . . we care about the impact of your work. Millions of people do quality work, but few dazzle.

Give us something we can get excited about, something we can be a part of in some small way, something we can share with others – those are the things we’re looking for. We want to be captivated by you.

Inspire us to be better in our own creative endeavors. That’s the mark of genius.

Some of my favorites:

Gavin from Zen Pencils
Gavin started off drawing original comics to illustrate famous quotes. That’s still the core of Zen Pencils, but Gav’s unique style is turning what started as a hobby into something much bigger. Seriously dozens of fantastic ones. I particularly like this one from C.S. Lewis.

David from Raptitude
No matter what topic he’s covering, David’s writing always leaves you thinking a little bit harder about life and your place in it. Very deep thoughts wrapped in very accessible language. Not one of his most popular, but still my favorite: How To Walk Across A Parking Lot.

Gen Ip from . . . I don’t even know where
Gen is something of an enigma. I don’t know her, I’m not even sure if she has a website, and she only has a few videos posted on her YouTube channel. But her Filmography 2010 movie mashup is so well done and equal parts intriguing and inspiring, I used it as a full-screen intro to one of my projects.

Devin Supertramp
This guy thinks up all the fun, crazy, dangerous, awesome things we’d all like to do, but then actually goes out and sets them up . . . and then films everything. And he’s really, really good. Start with the most insane rope swing ever, then go down the rabbit hole of his other videos. Oh, and if you think it’s all fun and games, check out the work and the hustle in this one.

Chris Guillebeau
Writer. (Every country in the) world traveler. Philanthropist. Connector. Educator. All-around great guy. Chris does it all, he does it well, and along the way he constantly helps others. He’s the one example I always point to when talking about web entrepreneurs doing it right. Check out his site for a ton of stuff, or see an example of the content of his character.

Hugh MacLeod from gapingvoid
Hugh’s work won’t appeal to absolutely everyone, but none of the best work does. He’s a cartoonist who started off drawing on the back of business cards, and has gone on to bridge the gap between business and art like no one else. Miles of brilliance in a few inches of space . . . his work is the featured image (above) for this article. You may enjoy his manifesto on How To Be Creative.

Tanya from Razorberries
Tanya hasn’t “made it” yet like these other guys have, but I’m keeping an eye on her. She’s an illustrator who brings a unique color and texture and depth to all her work, and I find myself lingering on her portfolio every time I come across it.

When I roll up my sleeves and get into creative work mode, these people and their projects wander through my mind. While they do produce quality work, more importantly they always remind me that quality isn’t actually Job One. Being totally f**king amazing is Job One.

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