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Top 10 Inspirational TED Talks to Empower Your Creative Growth

Top 10 Inspirational TED Talks to Empower Your Creative Growth

IWhether you’re somebody starting your creative journey or somebody that has been creating art for many years, it can be tough finding the inspiration you need to improve your art or create something new.  These are the top ten inspirational TED talks to empower your creativity. 

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1. Graham Shaw – Why People Can Draw

This is an inspirational TED talk that teaches everyone has the potential to draw.

There are 3 things needed to draw: 

  • Open Mind
  • Prepared to go at it

Drawing is more about your belief in yourself versus your talent. Graham Shaw teaches an easy to understand drawing sequence that will have you drawing faces in less than 1 minute. He proves that people who didn’t believe they could draw at the beginning of the talk later realized they can draw. He encourages people to imagine what impossibilities they can achieve.

2. Amy Tan – Where Does Creativity Hide?

Amy Tan shares her insights about where creativity hides via her past experiences. She talks about how the universe aids you in being creative. 

In order to create something from nothing you must learn to question things. There are no absolute truths. There is never a complete answer. If there is an answer there is uncertainty in everything. This uncertainty is a good thing because it leaves an opportunity to discover something new.

3. Maira Kalman – The Illustrated Woman

I love how Maira Kalman talks about her start when she created her M&Co business. She and her colleagues didn’t know anything and they decided it was ok to not know anything. This allowed them to keep progressing.

She talks about how good things come out of incomprehension, and how she went to a conference and she didn’t understand 95% of the talks. She wasn’t proud that she didn’t know. What came out of that were beautiful notes, gifts from the conference and lovely doodles from Jonathan Woodham’s talk. She then did a painting of this and it became part of her work.

4. Danielle Feinberg – The Magic Ingredient That Brings Pixar Movies to Life

This inspirational TED talk teaches a valuable goal to bring your creative art to life. The goal is not to create a real world imitation, but a believable world. 

Artistic freedom is amazing, but can result in tremendous chaos. You want to use science and physics to help control the chaos. At the same time, don’t be a slave to it. 

Use science to create something wonderful. Use story and artistic touch to get us to the place of wonder. 

Interweaving of art and science that creates a place of wonder, a place of soul, a place we can believe in, a place where the things you can imagine become real. 

5. Alexa Meade – Your Body is My Canvas

Alexa Meade teaches us you can find the strange in the familiar. Be willing to look beyond what has already been brought to light. Interesting new things await below the surface, often hiding in the shadows.

6. Dustin Yellin – Journey Through the Mind of an Artist

Be willing to explore different creative paths. There is no wrong direction. This inspirational TED talk will teach you how your journey will be a culmination of these different paths that lead to a beautiful destination that you can never imagine.

7. Young-Ha Kim – Be an Artist, Right Now!

In this inspirational ted talk I love how Young-ha talks about how we are all artists. You were born as an artist. If you have kids you know that almost everything a kid does is art. They use crayons on a wall. They’ll dance to a song. They might even perform a play.

As time passes, you may meet an oppressor of art. The oppressor of art may say things like “you can’t make a living from art”, “you don’t have any talent for art”, etc. This oppression may persuade you from choosing a career path in the arts. 

Later in life you watch more and more tv. TV is full of people who do things that you never got to. They dance, they act, they do more and they get praised for it. Subconsciously you start to envy them.  You become a dictator of the remote and start to criticize people and say things like, “they can’t act”, “they can’t sing”, etc. 

You say these critical remarks not because you are evil. It is because you have this artist imprisoned deep within you that never got to roam free. 

The cure to this is to do art, right now. Go and create something. 

8. Julie Burstein – 4 Lessons in Creativity

Julie Burstein talks about 4 powerful lessons in creativity, and how creativity grows our of everyday experiences. 

These 4 lessons are:

  • Be open to an experience that might change you.
  • Most powerful work comes out of the parts of life that are most difficult
  • Push up against the limits of what you can’t do.
  • Embrace the loss that you’ve encountered 

9. Shea Hembrey – How I Became 100 Artists

What I love about Shea Hembrey’s talk is he is a great example of having persistence and grit, which are not only two important traits as an artist but in life as well.

Shea had a problem with the contemporary art world. He came up with two things he wasn’t seeing in the contemporary art scene: More accessible work that appealed to the broad public and more craftsmanship and technique. 

In addition, he wanted to solve this problem, and to do so he decided to create the perfect biennial. He would direct and organize it. He came up with two main criteria for the show, and this biennial would feature international artists. 

Soon he discovered there was another problem. He didn’t know where to find the artists. To make it easy on himself, he decided he would make all the art himself. He created bios of 100 international artists.  Then from those bios, he created all of the 100 artists’ work.

10. Vanessa Ruiz – The Spellbinding Art of Human Anatomy

What seemingly starts as a journey of visual anatomy in the medical field transforms to an ever exciting way how medical anatomy is integrated into paintings, sculptures and street art. 

Vanessa talks of artists Fernando Vicente, Federico Carbajal, Nychos, SHOK-1, Danny Quirk, Noah Scalin, Jason Freeny, and Michael Reedy as individuals pushing the bounds of creativity. The way these artists create a new look is completely creative and an inspirational TED talk you will remember!

Final Thoughts

Make sure to keep these videos on hand whenever you need to empower your creative growth! If you want more tips on how to improve your art or creativity, check out more of our posts about creative life