With the constant pressure to create new ideas and fresh content, anyone in the creative industry can relate to the importance of ‘inspiration’. Yet instead of motivating, this pressure often stifles creativity, making the process more difficult. So what different approaches can we take?

You will know all about TED (if not, why not?) but we’ve saved you some leg work here by cherry-picking six of what we think are the most inspirational talks that might help you see the creative process from a different angle…

#1

How to find a wonderful idea – OK Go

The American rock band is known for its incredibly creative music videos and are often asked ‘how did you come up with this?’. OK Go explains that it’s less about the idea and more about experimenting – putting yourself in an environment where you can play and allow things to come together in a unique pattern.


#2

Why we need to imagine different futures – Anab Jain

Planning for the future in a fast-paced, constantly evolving world can seem a daunting process rather than inspiring. Anab challenges herself by constantly trying to envisage what different scenarios of the future are. For instance, she asks: ‘what would it feel like to live in a world run by drones?’

Yet the truth is that many elements of that scenario already dominate our lives – facial recognition, targeted marketing etc. Anab helps us realise that the future is even closer than we think, at the same time as being completely different…


#3

The Puzzle of Motivation – Dan Pink

In the creative world we are often faced with having value put on our work, which Dan argues makes us less creative. The drive behind creativity needs to go beyond the monetary and focus on “autonomy, mastery and purpose”. By making the creative process more individual and focused on our own goals and values, the output is likely to be more successful. The question becomes, how do we go beyond these mainstream motivators and work for a different purpose?


#4

Your Exclusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert

In this talk, Elizabeth talks about the way in which we discuss creativity and artistic success. After experiencing a massive success in response to her book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth has constantly been confronted with the question: “what if your best work is behind you?”

This talk encourages us to distance ourselves from our creations, viewing inspiration and creativity as external forces that influence us rather than something intrinsic to our being.


#5

The danger of a single story – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What is the role of the stories we are exposed to? Chimamanda considers how the stories we surround ourselves influence the way we see the world. This is particularly important when we consider the creative sphere, as people in such industries may view their creativity as their doing rather than the product of their surroundings.


#6

Why videos go viral – Kevin Alloca

This video is a great throwback to viral culture at the beginning of 2010. Kevin explores the importance of unexpectedness, the influence of tastemakers and the participation of the public in relation to the success of viral content.

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