Manifesto love: three manifestos for creatives

I love manifestos.

I love the certainty of them, the optimism of writing out your aspirations as faits accomplis, the boldness of life plans deeply rooted in personal values.

I’ve been collecting them for a while in a file called Badass Manifestos, and I’ve decided to start sharing them periodically as inspiration, reminders of what we can do when we simply decide to. Today, I’m sharing three very different, very cool manifestos about living creatively and making art.

The first is from Sandra Belegi, whose manifesto I discovered after I posted a butterfly picture on Facebook and she shared this post with me. I loved both her art and her behind-the-scenes account of its making, complete with misgivings and surrender and, ultimately, triumph. When I stumbled across her manifesto while planning this post, I knew I had to share its unapologetic, shout-it-from-the-rooftops, totally badass declaration of self:

I am an ARTIST. I am tired of ignoring my true calling and my god-given talents for the sake of conformity and pleasing others in a world where so few dare to live their dreams…

~ Read the entire manifesto here.


The second is from Frederick Terral of Right Brain Terrain. I love his manifesto as much for the messy, handwritten notebook pages as I do for the words themselves. That said, the words themselves are straightforward, reassuring, and utterly inspiring. Here are just a few of them:

“… create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself.”

~ Read the entire manifesto here.


The last one is from writer-blogger-internet force, Justine Musk. I’m a big fan of Justine’s and her blog about finding and wielding your unique, creative voice. Her manifesto-in-progress starts with:

“Become your own revolution.”

It ends with:

“Your voice belongs to you. No one has the right to take it from you, though some will try. In the end, you love or you die. Love is better.”

In between is a whole lot of hard-won wisdom about committing to a creative, art-producing life. Read the whole manifesto here.


So, what about you, are you a manifesto geek like me? Have you ever written  one? Do you like reading them? Do you have one you want me to see? (I am collecting them, after all, feel free to share.)


p.s. Recently I wrote about some words I wanted to rescue from their undeserved bad reputations. One of the words was “nice.” Justine Musk has a whole different take on that one. I’m not sure what the lesson here is… maybe “when in doubt, agree on your terms.”



  1. Amanda Lewan (@Amanda_Jenn) on August 23, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Love manifesto’s. So inspired by some of those that I wrote my own…

    • j on August 23, 2012 at 8:49 am

      I love yours. I so agree that our stories connect us. I read recently that the human brain creates stories around EVERYTHING. It’s how we understand our world. Their point was that we need to check our stories periodically or risk that we fail to see reality through our constructs. My point (and yours, I think) is that through story we can identify with each other, which leads to meaningful connection and growth.

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Milli Thornton (@fearofwriting) on August 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Wow, I love all these. The deep and gorgeous creativity of one another’s that we all have access to through the Internet can only be classified as part of the true wealth of the world.

    Just before I came here and saw your post I finished writing a new blog post for tomorrow. It’s not in the format of a manifesto, but it definitely shouts from the rooftops stuff I usually keep quiet (or, at least, more muted) about. It felt so great to write! The powerful me. The Powerful Me.

    My blog is entering a new era: about to get the benefit of me finding a whole new layer of my voice. (It’s weird how you can find your voice, and be practicing it for years, but still have those whole new layers to get to.) I don’t often do things that would qualify as badass (or maybe I’m just not seeing it), but I think tomorrow’s post does qualify. Feel free to tag it in whatever way you see fit!

    P.S. I love the name Right Brain Terrain! And I love that he put a page of his journal up for all to see and read.

    • j on August 24, 2012 at 8:19 am

      “The Powerful Me.” Yeah, I like the capitalized one best! Hopping over to read your new post!

  3. Pam on August 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    “…boundless exploits of the unfamiliar”– that’s fabulous.
    (Frederick’s is my favorite.)

    Hurrah for manifestos! It’s so good to remind ourselves where we want to go, what we want to do. (Getting lost in the everydayness is so easy.)

    • j on August 24, 2012 at 8:21 am

      I think so to. I actually do read AHT’s manifesto on a fairly regular basis. And i wrote my own during the Hiatus. It’s grounding… and artistic at the same time, which is sort of like a magic trick.

  4. den on August 24, 2012 at 6:02 am

    This is a great post. As a writer, I’m thinking I might need to create a manifesto of sorts as well. Thanks!

    • j on August 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Do it! And then make sure I see it because I’m thinking I should curate a library of manifesto badassery. (I might need to work on the name.)

  5. Sandra Belegi on August 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Flash of the (not so) obvious: a manifesto will help you manifest your intentions!! Thank you for featuring mine here, Judy, and for introducing Frederick’s and Justine’s. And I love the name “library of manifesto of badassery” 🙂

    • j on August 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Good enough for me! Among my other superhero titles, I’ll add “Curator, Library of Manifesto Badassery” to my business card.

  6. Alizabeth Rasmussen on August 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I love these, and I also really love Robin’s Blogger Manifesto at Farewell Stranger:

    The closest I’ve come to creating a manifesto of my own would have to be “How To Be A Writer: An Unfinished Poem In Ten Point Five Rules” at the home/only page of my website:

    Thanks for gathering this great collection!

    • j on August 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      i love them both (and filed them both in the badass manifesto file)!

      I’ve been working all day (Saturday!) because I know my goal to send out the 52 Weeks, 52 Ways To Love (Your) Wild Self e-guide by the end of the month is crazy aggressive. I reached this point of not being able to churn out anything else, so i took a break. Your links were like a jolt of energy. Thank you!

    • Robin | Farewell, Stranger on August 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, Alizabeth!

  7. Belle Wong on August 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Library of Manifesto Badassery sounds pretty good to me, Judy! Thanks for sharing these ones from your files.

    • j on August 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I’ve got the Belle Wong certificate of approval, so I am ready to rock! Thanks for stopping by, Belle. It is always so nice to find you here. xo

  8. Clare Flourish on August 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I can move so quickly from saying something pretty damn Profound, actually, to mere platitude, that I hardly dare a manifesto. Perhaps an aphorism.

    • j on August 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      That made me laugh. With recognition. (This writing thing is so hard to get right.)

  9. Clare Flourish on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Ooh, ooh, here’s one, though I am not sure what to make of it:

  10. Something Good « A Thousand Shades of Gray on August 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    […] Manifesto love: three manifestos for creatives on Zebra Sounds. I love a good manifesto, and I love Judy Clement […]

  11. Estrella Azul on August 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I’m starting to catch up on my reading and you’ve instantly added three manifestos to my list. I love that, thank you!

    To answer your question, yes, I love manifestos and would love to write one. I will, too, and need to set aside time to do it. A few minutes here and there while catching up on life after vacationing just doesn’t cut it, I believe.

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