We love TED Talks for just about any occasion — when we need inspiration, when we want to learn about money and when we have 10 minutes to spare and could use a little pick-me-up. But these six TED Talks below focus on the creative process: where to find it, how to maintain it and, if you lose it, how to get it back. More importantly, they teach you how to be flexible while finding your next big idea. Prepare to be inspired, friends.
1. “Taking imagination seriously” — Janet Echelman
What it will teach you: To persevere through any creative setback — even theft of your art — to achieve more than you ever did before. Also, make sure to look at art in a new way every so often. A change of perspective is hard to do, but if you commit to it, you could just find your next huge idea.
2. “Where does creativity hide?” — Amy Tan
What it will teach you: That all artists — from novelists to painters to musicians — need to look within themselves to find their most pure creative energy. Sometimes, finding outside inspiration is key, but you can’t achieve your biggest creative dreams without internal reflection.
3. “Your elusive creative genius” — Elizabeth Gilbert
What it will teach you: The author and thought leader pays homage to all brilliant artists of the past by dissecting the creative process and the societal criticisms that come with seeking creativity at all times. Most importantly, she attempts to shift the expectations of society away from a handful of “creative geniuses” and challenges the audience members to find their own genius within themselves.
4. “The surprising habits of original thinkers” — Adam Grant
What it will teach you: Though original thinking may seem intimidating (what hasn’t been thought of before?), Adam Grant suggests the audience accept the fact that not everything has been discovered or thought of. He takes the audience through the process of generating incredible ideas and running with them by introducing general habits of successfully creative people.
5. “Tales of creativity and play” — Tim Brown
What it will teach you: Designer Tim Brown talks the audience about finding your creative process through “play” — trying out different things at home with nothing to lose. He even suggests role play tactics to dig deeper into yourself and find what you’re looking for.
6. “Creativity is a remix” — Kirby Ferguson
What it will teach you: That no matter how original an idea is, it’s likely influenced by others’ great ideas. Moreover, it’s okay to borrow and use others’ achievements as inspiration for your own. Kirby Ferguson explains that, in reality, nothing is original, and creatives should lean on each other to achieve their greatest goals.
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