Under what conditions can we lead fulfilling, creative lives?

In a complicated world that often feels overridden with entropy and decay, what does it take to see past the darkness into a brighter space of light and possibility? Here at The Creative Independent, we have spoken to hundreds of practicing artists about how they’ve pushed past external (or even internal) forces that could limit their potential to make the things they’re driven to make. And while it’s often said that art can’t save the world, its ability to give purpose to a life—to bring into being momentum, peace, connection, and a sense of care—cannot be underestimated, or undervalued.

As creative humans, we are driven to improve ourselves. We want something better, more fulfilling, more daring—more us. Living a life is like walking a path, where we are motivated to explore how different ways of thinking and being can take us to ever more satisfying places. But as we each forge our own paths, how do outside forces affect us? What social, environmental, financial, political, mental, and physical conditions seep into our lives and help or hinder our creative (or spiritual, or intellectual) evolution?

Welcome to Conditions, a new series exploring the forces that affect our ability to live fulfilling, creative lives. Through commissioned essays and other thoughtful creative works, we’re looking to understand what factors contribute to a thriving creative practice, and in turn, how (and if) art can improve the collective conditions under which we all live.

Stay tuned here for new additions to the Conditions series. And, if you’d like to, feel free to share your thoughts on how you’re working towards the optimal conditions for manifesting new ideas, creative work, and personal evolution for yourself and others. You can send an email to with your input.

— Willa Köerner, TCI’s Creative Content Director

Background images for this series come from public domain photography of the sky and weather balloons.


Approaches & Questions:

Creative Wisdom:


Interviews & Essays: