Tag Archives: creative

Beethoven drank buckets of black coffee – Creativity advice from 90 artists

It’s nice to have creative friends, especially when you hit a creative block. You can call them up and ask them for advice. That’s exactly what Alex Cornell did and he turned it into BreakThrough! 90 Ways to Spark Your Imagination.

Each one is a personal thought from an artist, writer, or musician – like the one below from Alexi Murdoch. Browse the book on Amazon or visit Brain Pickings for more quotes.

From Alexi Murdoch:

Beethoven drank buckets of strong, black coffee. Beethoven was creatively prodigious. (He also went deaf and, perhaps, mad.) Sound syllogism here? I’d like to think so.

The idea that creativity is some abundantly available resource waiting simply for the right application of ingenuity to extract, refine, and pipe it into the grid seems so axiomatic at this cultural juncture that the very distinction between creativity and productivity has been effectively erased.

And so it is that, when faced with a decreased flow in productivity, we ask not what it might be that’s interfering with our creative process, but rather what device might be quickly employed to raise production levels. This is standard, myopic, symptomatology-over-pathology response, typical of a pressurized environment of dislocated self-entitlement.

At the risk of going off brief here, can I just ask: What’s wrong with creative block? Might it not just be that periods — even extended ones — of productive hiatus are essential mechanisms of gestation designed to help us attain higher standards in our pursuit of creative excellence?

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WordCamp – attend a WordPress mini-conference – #geek

With 17% of the web using WordPress it’s no wonder there is a WordCamp every week. More than that with 75 scheduled for this year. These ‘unconferences’ are informal gatherings of like-minded people from bloggers to developers to creatives. The content is based on those attending and has a heavy bias towards the local community.

From WordCamp Central:

WordCamps come in all different flavors, based on the local communities that produce them, but in general, WordCamps include sessions on how to use WordPress more effectively, beginning plugin and theme development, advanced techniques, security, etc.

 

Definitely worth attending for the networking and geekery alone. To find one close to you here is a list of WordCamps. I found mine and it is in Los Angeles on September 15, 2012.

I’m excited to attend, get my geek on, and learn a ton about WordPress. Hope to see you there!

 

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John Hughes Never Stopped Writing Until His Heart Stopped Beating

John Hughes, one of my favorite, most beloved screenwriters and filmmakers, passed away three years ago, on August 6, 2009.

That his work has managed to stand the test of time, a feat so many writers fail to achieve, is a remarkable phenomenon in itself.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is now over twenty-five years old. But the line, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” is as relevant today, if not more so, as it was in the 80s.

Even more impressive than his writing, however, is how Hughes did it. Constantly. Fervently. With passion and vigor.  He was never without his moleskin (of which he left behind over 300) and he never ceased to observe, edit, and synthesize everything around him. For him, writing was not so much a profession as a condition of life. It was his ethos.

On the day of his death:

[His wife], Nancy awoke in her Manhattan hotel room to find her husband’s side of the bed empty, which was not unusual. It was Hughes’s custom to get up early and enjoy a morning constitutional when staying in New York. The routine provided him with an opportunity to get a head start on his relentless observing, sketching, and note-taking.

Hughes had collapsed on a sidewalk a few blocks from the hotel. He was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, near Lincoln Center, and pronounced dead of a heart attack. (from Vanity Fair)

What’s truly inspiring is that when Hughes passed away, “…he was doing something he loved. He was out note-taking and observing.” This, I believe, was the key to his talent and his genius. He wrote, and wrote, every day, until his heart stopped beating.

I can’t imagine Hughes penning a more fitting ending to the story that was his life.

And so, to appreciate his death is to celebrate his life. Thanks for the movie memories, John.

 

 

 

Get your Masters (Fine Arts) in Paris – low-residency creative writing program from NYU

This sounds like pure torture…

 

The MFA Writers Workshop in Paris constitutes an intimate creative apprenticeship that extends beyond traditional classroom walls.

Over two years, students and faculty convene regularly in Paris for five intensive ten-day residency periods (held biannually in January and July). While in residency in Paris, students participate in a vibrant community engaged in all aspects of the literary arts, including workshops, craft talks, lectures, individual conferences and manuscript consultations, as well as a diverse series of readings, special events and professional development panels. The city of Paris itself—with its storied literary history and rich cultural attractions—provides an ideal opportunity for students to learn the art and craft of writing, immerse themselves in the creative process, and live the writer’s life.

During the intervals between residencies, students pursue focused courses of study, completing reading and writing assignments under the close supervision of individual faculty members. These ongoing dialogues with faculty are tailored to specific student interests and needs; students are mentored by a different professor each term and work closely with four different writers during the two-year program.

Unlike the traditional MFA, the low-residency program offers both freedom and rigor, and provides a productive and inspiring balance between the intense and stimulating community of each residency and the sustained solitary work completed in the intervals between. Students are expected to complete substantial writing and reading assignments each term, regularly submitting packets of work in exchange for detailed feedback and critique. Graduating students leave the program with four new literary mentors and a portfolio of letters written by acclaimed writers in response to their work.

Tuition (per year): $23,000

Housing: up to the individual – “accommodations in Paris are available in a variety of different neighborhoods, configurations and price points. ”

 

Learn more: NYU Creative Writing - Announcing the New Low-Residency MFA Writers Workshop in Paris

 

 

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Alfred Hitchcock’s definition of happiness

“A clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive… I can’t bear quarreling, I can’t bear feelings between people — I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all non-productive. I’m very sensitive — a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close for me, hurts me for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something — I think that’s as happy as I’ll ever want to be.”

 

// Thx – Paul Ringger, Jr.

The Hobbit – behind the scenes production video #6

Peter Jackson’s first video production blog for The Hobbit for 2012.

Looks like they’ve started shooting part 2 of The Hobbit now which will be coming out in 2013, while the first part comes out this Christmas 2012. There’s also some cool footage of Andy Serkis directing the 2nd unit as well.

via ThinkHero

 

 

Previous production videos (#2-5) can be found at IanTeanStreet

For more on the special effects check out the WETA Workshop

Also, visit Peter Jackson on Facebook for more personal details.

DC Goes to CES 2011

CES 2011 is approaching and the DC Tech community is representing. A quick round-up shows at least 10 of us going. Here is the robot’s guide to the best keynotes, sessions, parties, awards, showdowns, and private events. Let me know if I missed anything!

DC Tech Representing

With a ton of us going it would be great to keep us united to for chatting and support. Here is my shortlist of those attending, please, comment if I left you out:

  • Amy Senger & Steven Mandzik
  • Alex Priest (works for CEA)
  • Shana Glickfield (for NextGenWeb)
  • Rachelle Lacroix
  • Peter Corbett (of iStrategyLabs)
  • Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas (of Jess3)
  • Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber (of Techcocktail)
  • Amy Phillips, Amy Webb, & Mario Armstrong (from Baltimore!)

Conference Tracks

Amy and I will be attending for the Digital Hollywood and Technology and the Environment tracks. This year seems to be the year of digital media at CES with so much going on around Movies and TV. Here are my potential favorites:

Our next reason for attending is the green side for the non-profit, A Clean Life. Strange that this track only has two events considering that the conference sells itself as the greenest conference on the continent. Those two sessions:

Last but not least is the TweetHouse. Sure to be the powerhouse of the conference due to the sheer amount energy social networking brings to the table. The sessions:

  • Social Media In Action: Philosophies, Strategies and Tactics
  • Measurement and ROI: How To Quantify Costs and Results
  • Campaigns that Connect: What Drives Engagement, Traffic, and Goodwill?
  • Growing your Community: Fans, Followers, Members, and More
  • Monitoring and Mining Social Data
  • Workflow and Staffing: Maximizing Impact While Minimizing Effort and Expense
  • Apps, Geo and Mobile: Critical Arenas for 2011

Events, Parties, and Keynotes

The rest of CES is where it’s at with the showroom floor and the events galore. The top hits I’ve dug up so far:

Other

Finally, there is a CES iphone app for the conference and if you want to catch some quiet time join Amy and I in the press or blogger lounge.