Friday, December 21, 2012

This week in creativity (Dec 21)

The world hasn't ended, so far.

Elizabeth Gilbert on writer's block and running out of ideas.  She looks into why people expect her to be anguished and worried about her future as an artist.  She compares her work to that of her father, a chemical engineer and wonders why people never asked him if he ran out of chemical ideas.  I might have stretched the metaphor too much, but I found it weak: the work of an engineer, I imagine, might be similar creatively to my own work.  Each class I teach is subtly different but the broad and even middle strokes are codified and repetitive rather than entirely creative.

Isaac Mizrahi
I'm marking exams while watching but I can't find anything really exciting or interesting in it.    "Being slightly bored all the time is what makes a great fashion designer."
An ad for Isaac Mizrahi?

Amy Tan
She is a skilled writer and must have real insight into how it works. Still, it seems to airy-fairy for me- too pseudo-scientific.  Am I too cynical?  Is this a case of using whatever works, even a placebo?  Placebo or not, she is more famously creative than I and marmots certainly more creative than I.

Steve Johnson
Coffee came to Europe and creativity took off.  Before that time, people drank alcohol - the healthy choice as water was polluted or carrying parasites.  Switching from a depressant to a stimulant drove creativity.  --probably a joke.
Cool example.  In Africa, people couldn't repair incubators but many could fix cars.  So, people made an incubator from car parts.  The heat came from headlights.   - I like the ideas of using car parts but also using lights as heat producers. Everyone knows lights get hot, but few look at that as a positive.   Well, these guys and the makers of EasyBake!
Talk is about hunches and long incubation times.

Janet Echelman
Interesting and inspiring, but no input on how to be creative.

Kirby Ferguson
Embrace the remix
Patents: To promote the progress of useful arts.  Copying is not theft and nearly everything is copied in one form or another.

This talk was an interesting contrast to the next, by Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren (50:41?  I am not against long videos , but I thought TED videos were to run around 20:00
From written blurb, it seems he is rebutting Ferguson's claims:  "McLaren shares his fears about what he calls “karaoke culture,” where success is about mimicry rather than emotional honesty. Because as McLaren sees it, no one should be shielded from the messy, difficult struggle of creating something new."
The excerpted idea is interesting, but the majority of the video is politics.

Tim Brown
Tales of creativity and play
Draw a picture of the person beside you.  "Sorry" is a common remark.
I should try this at the next camp. Young children are more eager and proud of their work, but older people are less so.

These are eight talks, I don't think I missed any on that page.

Writing and writers
Don't ask a pro for free labor - Scalzi

Secrets of storytelling: interview of Tim Powers.
Drawing and painting


Refurbishing a hatchet: I don't think the idea or design choices were particularly difficult but the way Diresta masterfully handles the tools and works without error is beautiful to watch.

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