Creativity: Listening List
This listening list on creativity was curated by Erik Jones. Erik is the creator of the Hurt Your Brain website and newsletter, which explores the best places to learn on the internet.
I used to think creativity was something you either had or you didn’t. If you were creative, you would be drawn to something like writing or playing an instrument at an early age and continue to practice until you were really good. And if you weren’t really good at something creative by the time you were an adult, it simply meant you didn’t have the right passion or the right DNA. I failed at pretty much every instrument I tried growing up and nothing “creative” seemed to stick. Fortunately, I now know this binary view of creativity is complete hogwash, thanks in large part to podcasts. In an interview in one of the episodes below, author Elizabeth Gilbert says that the term “creative people” is redundant. All of us are creative, and sometimes you just need some permission to see yourself that way and to re-frame to yourself what creativity even means. My aim for the below list is to explore how the idea of creativity has evolved over time, what it actually is, and how we can use it everyday. I’m also hoping these episodes spark a little creative inspiration for you to follow your curiosity, like they did for me.
Listening List on Creativity:
99 Percent Invisible: The Mind of an Architect
(24 minutes, July 2016) Creativity wasn’t always the mini-industry that it is today. In the 1950’s, the thought of systematically studying something as nebulous as creativity was seen as absurd. This episode explains how studying the minds of leaders in creative fields (particularly architecture) changed all this and opened the doors to using science for exploring the creative process.
TED Radio Hour: The Source of Creativity
(49 minutes, October 2014) A good TED Radio Hour episode is like getting a crash course on the landscape of an idea, and this one on creativity gives you four completely different perspectives to help you navigate. You have Sting the musician, Charles Lem the scientist, Ken Robinson the educator, and Elizabeth Gilbert the author. I liked what Gilbert had to say so much I even checked out her own podcast, which I loved and featured below.
Magic Lessons Se 1, Ep 12: Brené Brown on “Big Strong Magic”
(35 minutes, July 2016) This show is from author Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) and serves as a promotional lead up to her upcoming book on creativity, “Big Magic” (which came out last fall). The first season is comprised of five different conversations with people who need some creative inspiration in their lives, with each followed by a conversation with one of Gilbert’s famous pals to get some additional thoughts. These are all pretty great and feel like free life coach lessons, but this season ending episode with Brené Brown (who has researched shame for over a decade) contains a fantastic conversation on creativity from two people who have thought and written extensively on the topic. Lots of amazing quotes to be found.
PBC Podcast: Discussion about the Creativity Listening List:
Listen to a discussion about the Creativity listening list between Adela (the founder of Podcast Brunch Club) and Erik (the curator of this listening list). This is the June 2017 theme. If you have your own comments or discussion points to share and want to be included on a “community commentary” episode of the PBC podcast, send in a voice memo or email to [email protected] by June 25, 2017.
PBC Podcast: Community Commentary episode from PBC-Bristol
This is our first ever “community commentary” episode of the Podcast Brunch Club podcast! Emily Knight, audio ninja and chapter leader of our PBC-Bristol chapter, put together this episode for us. She recorded PBC-Bristol chapter members’ reflections and comments on the PBC podcast playlist on CREATIVITY.
Conversation Starters about Creativity Listening List:
How would you have defined creativity before listening to these episodes vs after?
Has your view on how creative you are or what you are capable of changed at all?
Which professions do you see as most creative and which ones do you see as the least creative? Do you think your job allows you to be creative?
Part of the joke at the beginning of the 99 Percent Invisible episode is that the best general who ever lived was actually a baker, but would have been the best general if given the chance. Is there anything that you think you would actually be great at if circumstances had been different? Is there someone you know who you feel totally missed their true calling?
IPAR found that creative people tend to be non conforming, interesting, interested, independent, courageous, and self centered (with emphasis on tend to be). Who is the most creative person you know? How closely does this set of descriptors fit them?
But seriously, what really would be the best place for a third arm?
Elizabeth Gilbert during the TED Radio Hour says don’t follow your passion, but follow your curiosity. What has you curious these days?
Sting says that when he is creatively productive, he is tapping into something that he can’t quite take credit for. Do you think creativity ever involves simply being the vessel for ideas that are out there and that you need to be tuned into them to receive them? Or is that too new agey?
Ken Robinson during the TED Radio Hour said that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, and that the school system is largely guilty of causing this. Do you agree with this? What do you think could be changed in our schools or even in our culture overall to prevent this “growing out of creativity”.
Charles Lem, the scientist in TED Radio Hour, explained that a large part of getting into the creative flow is lowering your inhibitions. What is the specific environment (location/time/mood/etc) when you feel most creative?
Podcasts can serve as great creative inspiration. Even if it’s something minor, are there any podcast episodes that caused you to get fired up creatively about something?
What would you do creatively if you knew you couldn’t fail? And what do you think is worth doing creatively even if you do fail?
Play a quick game. Someone name something really boring and someone else come up with a way that creativity can still be expressed within or during that thing.
When you think back to the origins of any of your creative outlets, what was the catalyst that gave you confidence? Did someone’s compliment or seeing someone else doing it give you some sort of permission to yourself to keep doing it?
Brené Brown says that 85% of people she interviewed for research said that they could remember an event in school that was so shaming that it changed the way they saw themselves for the rest of their lives, and that 50% of those involved something creative. Is there anything you would like to share that fits into this category?
DJ RuggedAngel’s Music Playlist
DJ RuggedAngel has put together a music playlist to go along with our podcast playlist! Enjoy!