The Cult of Done Manifesto is really a 13 phrase mantra written to exorcise the demon of perfectionism that possesses many creatives. I imagine most people encounter it through the striking visual poster by James Provost which ironically does not have the manifesto written on it. Instead, “getting done” is represented through the completion of a Rubik’s Cube.
Below is my animated version of this poster:
The manifesto is as follows:
- There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
- Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
- There is no editing stage.
- Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
- Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
- The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
- Once you’re done you can throw it away.
- Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
- People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
- Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
- Destruction is a variant of done.
- If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
- Done is the engine of more.
As can be seen in the video, I did use many of the principles of the manifesto: there’s strange rotations, the pacing is a little too fast, there’s too much text etc. But that doesn’t matter, because done is better than perfect, and my list of projects I want to do grows faster than my ability to complete them.
Here’s the creative reasoning behind the animations:
- Easy, there’s three states of being just like the poster.
- Again, simple. Just left the Rubik’s Cube unfinished at the end.
- Animated a falling sticker, with the prohibition symbol over the top.
- This one was more difficult to conceive. I opted for the solution to be reflected in a mirror as a way of demonstrating approximate equivalence.
- This was a fun one, showing the Rubik’s Cube bouncing along the days of the week before being finally tossed away.
- Rather than showing two as in the poster, I instead opted for an infinite line of unsolved cubes, just like my to-do-list.
- This is another one that is difficult to interpret from the poster. Good thing I always look for an excuse to play with physics.
- Easy, almost a carbon copy of the poster.
- Another fun one to animate, with the same hand revealed to be clean (or wrong) and dirty.
- This is one that always escapes me. The poster has a clever web browser window in the shape of a ghost, but I do not fully understand by what the manifesto means. Translating the ghost into an animated form was difficult, so instead I opted for an empty computer monitor with an eerie glow, and a Rubik’s Cube that solves itself… (woooooo).
- My absolute favourite line, illustration, and animation. The completed Rubik’s Cube is an engine that generates more improved (4 × 4) and completed Rubik’s Cubes.