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Tag / creativity

Miles Davis, So What, and being in accord no matter the chord

This story that opens jazz great Herbie Hancock’s memoir, Possibilities, is profound: I’m onstage at a concert hall in Stockholm, Sweden, in the mid-1960s playing piano with the Miles Davis Quintet. We’re on tour, and this show is really heating up. The band is tight—we’re all in sync, all on the same wavelength. The music […]

Louis CK, the Carlin strategy, and inviting the awful

Plateaus happen. Regularly. Years ago, in the midst of what was at that point an unremarkable career in stand-up comedy, Louis CK was frustrated with the creative rut he found himself in. And then he learned the Carlin strategy, and everything changed. It turns out that George Carlin would record a comedy special every year and […]

Billy Collins on finding your voice

The poet Billy Collins was speaking at a White House poetry student workshop and was asked about “finding your voice”. Here’s a portion of his response as shared by Austin Kleon: Your voice has an external source. It is not lying within you. It is lying in other people’s poetry. It is lying on the […]

Consume good stuff to make good stuff

Austin Kleon on what he does if he’s feeling blocked creatively: “When I stall out, it’s time to start taking things in again: read more, re-read, watch movies, listen to music, go to art museums, travel, take people to lunch, etc. Just being open and alert and on the lookout for That Thing that will […]

Don’t wait

True. The best way to know something is to try to express it. I’ve heard people say they don’t want to pursue a relationship until they figure themselves out first. There’s nothing like being in a relationship, though, to reveal yourself to yourself. And don’t wait till you feel inspired to start creating. It’s the […]

Conan O’Brien on creativity and perspective

After listening to the Brian Cox episode of the Nerdist podcast, I came across an older episode featuring a long conversation with Conan O’Brien. So good. I’ve come to think that most really good comedians also are some of our most insightful philosophers. They actively explore the absurdity of life. Imagine being on a constant […]

“Talent is not stopping.”

This interview with Everything Is A Remix creator Kirby Ferguson is solid. Love his advice for those just getting started: What would your advice be to the 20-year-old version of you, who’s just starting their career? I wish I had Everything Is A Remix when I was younger. I wish I knew that you can […]