I love this TED Talk! The opening solo bit from Liberty City is a powerful message about telling your own story and not letting others limits, limit you. Something that isn’t easy. The world is filled with “Boundaries, shoulds, woulds, and supposed tos…” The only real boundary is the breadth and scope of your imagination. Now THAT is something to remember. Check it out and let us know what you think.
The only real limitation is the breadth and scope of your imagination.
Okay, I admit it. I’m backdating this post to Saturday. It’s been one heck of a week and with rushing back from Ocean City, Maryland it didn’t get posted. BUT…Julie Burstein’s TED talk is too good NOT to put up here. Julie is a radio producer, author, and public speaker. She interviewed many artists, writers, sculptors and many other “creative types” – probing, guiding, and creating public radio programs about them and their work. All of this culminated in her book Spark: How Creativity Works, which is pretty darn awesome.
In this talk, Burstein identifies four lessons that creative people should embrace (the list I’ll admit I gaacked from Kate Torgovnik who has a great blog post about creativite TED videos that is a definite must-read):
Pay attention to the world around you, and be open to experiences that might change you.
Realize that the best work often comes out of the life experiences that are most difficult.
Get comfortable with the fact that pushing up against a limitation can actually help you find your voice.
Don’t be afraid to explore loss — be it rejection, heartbreak or death — because making beauty out of these things is so powerful.
Whew, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of weeks. First our power was out here in DC and we were part of the mass exodus north; ended up spending a couple of days with friends. And then the following weekend, my work has kept me relentlessly travelling. Although I will say, I really rather enjoyed Oklahoma (hence the photo).
So, today’s video is from Elizabeth Gilbert and for those of you scratching your heads and wondering, “Who is Elizabeth Gilbert?” I shall mock you and tell you to look up, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Regarding today’s video – from the description on the TED talks site: “Eat, Pray, Love” author, Elizabeth Gilbert, muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.”
The part I really like best is how she opens with the idea of creativity and suffering and how when it comes to creative endeavors we’re warned away. We’re told horror stories of how we will, “die on a scrapheap of broken dreams with your mouth filled with bitter ash of failure.” I love the line below and it really made me think:
Is it rational, is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of what they feel they were put on this earth to do?
No one ever asked her dad if he was afraid to be a chemical engineer. She taps into these fears that we are fed, along with the ideas that we’ve heard so often and for so long and that we’ve intenalized (artist and public both) that “creativity is connected to suffering. Artistry will lead to anguish” and then challenges us to examine those assumptions and ask if we’re really comfortable with that. Gilbert goes on to look at a variety of views on creativity, genius, that spark that makes people light from within and makes the parallel with being touched by Divinity.
Occasionally I like to just pass along a video with limited comment. Last time was Amanda Palmer talking about the fraud police. Today it’s Andrew Stanton. Stanton wrote three Toy Story movies, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc. In February he delivered a talk at TED Long Beach about the art and craft behind story telling. At points it does turn into a commercial for his upcoming John Carter movie, but it also explains how a teller of stories millions love learned how to tell stories. So give it a watch, it’s a good use of 20 minutes. I’ll warn of one f-bomb in the first 70 seconds, otherwise it’s clean.