Mark McGuinness tackles one of the most vexing questions for creatives: how to tell when to persist in the development of a seemingly “useless” (to others) idea or project. He provides a number of examples of famous successes that drew skepticism at their inception and provides two very good benchmarks for judging your idea or concept.
Sue Smith, an Oregon artist and author of the Ancient Artist blog, tells an insightful story about getting a new dog (who turns out to be a little different than first advertised!) and what this has taught her about the expectations we put on ourselves as artists.
An interesting guest post by Kevin Buist of ArtPrize. His supposition is that artists should not forget about connecting with dilettantes, whom he defines as smart amateurs who are interested in everything. He shows how science and other disciplines are beginning to cultivate their dilettantes, and has this to say on why artists cannot leave this cultivation of their amateur audience to museums and educators:
“Why should artists care about dilettantes? What does it matter if interested amateurs can’t understand what we’re doing? Dilettantes, as opposed to the apathetic masses, are smart people who want to know what you’re trying to say, but they don’t know the language you’re speaking. If they begin with that desire and are unable to penetrate a wall of jargon or prerequisite knowledge or dense art historical references, something is seriously wrong.”
Michael Nobbs interviews Baldwin, author of the Zen at Play blog and a new e-book “Take a Nap,” about her life philosophy, how it’s changed over the years, and how her nap-friendly mindset relates to creativity. So many great quotes in the piece it’s almost too hard to pick just one, but here’s one of the best:
“Our responsibility as artists is to hold the space for our curiosities to reveal themselves. The creative impulse is right there in our DNA – it’s not something we need to trick, train, or beat ourselves into. And when we cram our days beyond our capacity, or fill our heads with unhelpful hurry-up talk, we’re pushing our attention away from the very things we care about.”
Chunka Mui, author of “Billion-Dollar Lessons,” discusses a forthcoming study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology by Jennifer Mueller, Jack Goncalo, and Dishan Kamdar found that open expression of creative ideas was negatively correlated with perceptions of leadership potential.
Mitch Ditkoff, writing on the Heart of Innovation blog, lists 6 roles you need filled on your “team” when you’re ready to act on your great idea: a brainstorm buddy, a researcher, a marketing maven, a finance person, a writer and a lawyer.