Embracing Inconsistency

A middle finger to consistency and the rewilding of true creativity


In the world of art and creativity, there is a pervasive obsession with consistency. I’ve noticed it progressively being touted as the secret to success, suggesting that being reliable in output equates to being a dependable creator. However, that may be aligned with a robotic world, but the truth is that consistency is not a friend to creativity. The constant worry about whether our work aligns with our previous creations is a self-imposed restraint we can cast aside. Anything that hampers the creative process unnecessarily becomes a barrier, even if some may find comfort in such restrictions.

When we talk about consistency, we primarily refer to maintaining a consistent style and output, much like a branded product range. However, if we’re truly exercising our creativity, this should not necessarily be a primary focus. Instead, embracing the freedom of creative inconsistency and allowing it to unfold naturally, free from our attempts at control, is a more honest approach. We have the license to liberate creativity as a free spirit that roams, explores, and wanders without the chastity of external influence or the constraints of consistency. Creativity is a kinetic process that requires the freedom to explore uncharted territories on its own terms. It needs to venture into new realms to breathe; in the absence of creation, it suffocates and becomes merely doing.

We must nurture and encourage our creativity’s exploration, much like guiding a child as it learns to walk, talk, or simply be. It’s an often noisy journey that involves stumbling, grazing, touching hot and cold things, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with various forms of expression. Consistency is not a concern in this continuous exploration process. When we force the conceptual boundaries of consistency onto creativity, we risk creating robots.

True creativity naturally seeks to explore diverse avenues, often overlooked by the forces that prioritise risk aversion and rigid consistency. Few spirits have the liberty to fully explore these adjacent potentials but we creatives do. Consistency resides in the journey, the stories, and one’s unique and relentless pursuit of bringing the previously unimagined into the world. We cannot stifle the path that creativity chooses to take, whether it seems consistent or not.

Look around and reflect on the ever-compounding forces that demand consistency and contemplate the profanities at play. Recognise that consistency can be a silent killer of genuine free-flowing creativity. Embrace the noise and chaos, ride the irregularities, and let your creativity meander – for it’s in this uncharted territory that we discover the truth of the creative journey.

Consistency may be lovely for building Volkswagens, but it’s simply the tacit preference of an ever-overreaching left-brained and ever-tabulated culture that’s counting on us to keep it in its place.

Image: VW Beetle, 1957 , Austrian National Library