Discover Your Creative Type With This TED.Com Creative Quiz.

I think you’ll find this little quiz curiously interesting. Though I don’t recall how I came about it, I’m glad I did.

Creativity comes in a variety of forms as does “being creative.” But it’s not like we have a switch that we can simply flick on and off to control our creative flow. Although, at times, I wish it were that easy.

According to writer and professor Meta Wagner, “by discovering what drives you and your art, you can tap into your deepest motivations and achieve your full creative potential”.

Do any of these sound familiar?

— You believe you have a great creative talent, but you think your dreams of pursuing it full-time are childish and impractical.

— You spent months on a creative project. Then, you couldn’t decide if it was brilliant or worthless so you. just. stopped.

— You’ve sold a drawing/song/podcast/story/web series, and you’ve got more under way. But even though you’re succeeding, you find yourself waking up at night, worrying about competitors.

If you can relate to one or more of these scenarios, welcome to the creative life. Any artist you’ve ever heard of has had something besides talent, dedication or luck behind them: Most of them knew why they created. When you know what drives you — and what encourages and discourages you — you’re better able to keep yourself on track and enlist friends and colleagues to rally you during dry times or tough times.

The five creative types here grew out of the extensive research and thinking Ms. Wagner has done for the “Creativity in Context” seminar she teaches at Emerson College. Her students have responded enthusiastically, and she realized she’d tapped into something valuable for anyone creative.

Click the “start” button, take the quiz,* discover your type, and embrace a life fueled by your imagination and art. Let me know what Creative Type you are!

Meta Wagner writes about pop culture and creativity, and she’s been published in The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Salon and other outlets. Wagner teaches creative and communications writing at Emerson College and Boston University, where she was a 2017 TEDx speaker.

*BTW, when I took it, the results say I am a “game changer”. . .

“You’re looking to produce something new and different with your creativity. You don’t understand people who churn out variations of the same thing or who imitate other artists. Nothing pleases you more than smashing conventions, and the highest praise you can get is when someone says, “I’ve never seen or heard anything like this before.”
Just remember:You’re going to encounter a fair amount of criticism and rejection, so try not to let it derail you or make you too dejected. When you receive constructive criticism, see if it resonates with you and make changes as you see fit. But keep in mind that what you’re doing may make people uncomfortable or threaten anyone who is conventional or risk-averse. So, when you receive a rejection letter or email, do one of the following with it: burn it, frame it, delete it, spear it or save it so you can later send a note back to the rejecter saying ‘I told you so.’ Just don’t give up.”

TED

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
Advertisements

Can Good Friday Actually Be “Good”?

This blog usually highlights creativity and various aspects of innovation and imagination. On this Good Friday, I’m wondering if we as a society have what it takes to make it, and subsequent days, actually a good Friday.

Are we innovative and creative enough within each of us to make positive for civil discourse? Especially on those topics we disagree?

Though it would be a nice gesture to love our fellow man and woman, many don’t see that as reality. Treating one another with respect, however, is another matter. It’s one in which we should take to heart and do. All the time. Everyday.

Politics and religion don’t mix; at least, that’s what used to be said. Nowadays, one seems to feed off the other. If one person doesn’t like another’s religion, based in part of oft times misguided prejudices, that person ridicules, insults and basically treats that other person, whom he/she may not even know, like a second class citizen, if even that.

That’s wrong. That’s racism. That’s really being stupid.

I’m sure Jesus is looking down upon us all, shaking his head and thinking, “People, people what in Heaven’s name are you doing? That’s your brother; that’s your sister. Didn’t I teach you better than this?”

This is Friday. We’re at the end of the week, and what a week it has been. The sports world was stunned when we witnessed Tiger Woods win his fifth Green Jacket at The Masters (and his 15th major). No sooner than the celebration began did we learn about the horrific fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. And now the Mueller Report has been released, redactions and all.

Emotions have run high and low all week. Plus, this is Holy Week to boot. Jesus was crucified today and on Sunday (Easter) He rose. Let’s not forget Passover this weekend, too.

Given all that has gone on this past week and is yet to come, I pray that as a civilized people we can continue to come together; just a heck of a lot better than we’ve done thus far. It’s okay to disagree, folks; it’s not okay to berate, insult or make fun of someone simply because you don’t like what they said or how they look.

Alas, we seem to stray from true civil discourse and prefer to argue, sometimes violently rather than engage in calm rhetoric. We’re supposed to be creative individuals. Why not think in terms of possible solutions based upon our strengths and commonalities rather than our differences and negativity.

God blessed us with a brain. Let’s use it constructively along with our imagination to better our cause. But when we see injustice or something we don’t understand, it’s also okay to raise questions and challenge the status quo. We will never all see eye to eye.

But we all need to be moving forward. Onward and upward is not merely a catchy phrase, it’s a belief system. We have different and various beliefs, coming from disparate backgrounds and experiences. That’s a good thing.

So let us picture ourselves posing in a multinational, multiracial, multigenerational photo, arms crossed with hands clasped: Christians, Jews, Muslim, Arab, Israeli, Indian, LGBTQ, Martian (with and without antennae), Saturnite. That would make for a nice cover photo of Time’s Persons of the Year.

It would bring about a smile on Jesus’ face and put an extra bounce in the Easter Bunny’s hop. Let’s all try and have a truly good Friday and a blessed Holy Weekend.

 

And the Easter Bunny Went Hop. . .Hop. . . Fart. . .Hop Along the Way!

Easter’s coming and with it the crunch of candy selling. Most will be customary and traditional, with some even being kinda cute. Yet, customary and traditional are not exactly what this blog is about. Innovation and creativity, with a tip ‘o the hat to weirdness, is more in line with what we like to showcase.

This year I’ve come across a bit of untraditional marketing, via a Business Insider article, utilizing Mr. Bunny and his, uh, hopping. Yet, kids should get a kick (hop?) out of the Bunny’s candy while parents should get a bit of a chuckle out of the Bunny’s offering.

Both would agree it’s a bit silly, but so what?

What am I talking about? Why it’s Bunny Farts, that’s what. What are Bunny Farts, you ask? Well . . .

Bunny Farts

According to the description for the fruit punch-flavored pink cotton candy, the Easter Bunny consumes a “magically unique diet of apples, carrots and candy […] known to produce farts that are sugary and delicious.” Sorry, but that just sort of makes me grimace a bit.

Little Stinker, the maker of Bunny Farts, also sells products like “Unicorn Farts,” “Dinosaur Farts,” and “Reindeer Farts.” The company pledges to donate 10% of profits from each product — including those purchased on Amazon — to a specific cause.

This type of marketing, though, makes me wonder. What if the company approached the Charles Schultz Foundation (you know, Peanuts) to see about a tie-in with you-know-who for a possible product named Beagle Burps? However, the connotation here suggests that  the famous feline Garfield might be better suited for the promotion. Just a thought.

“We are proud to have donated over $130,000 to various charities since we began three years ago,” Little Stinker Vice President Melanie Simpson. told INSIDER via email. “Our mission is Making the World a Sweeter Place, one bag at a time.”

Sales of the Bag of Bunny Farts along with sales of the Bag of Unicorn Farts have benefited children through donations to the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, The Next Step Academy, Ovarian Cancer Connection and KultureCity.

You can buy a package on Amazon for $8.95, or on Little Stinker’s online store for $9.95.

More information on this and other Easter related and interesting news can be found at Business Insider.

 

Dreams . . . Cancer . . . Nightmares . . . Sleeplessness . . . What of Insomnia?

Note: This week begins a celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15-21. I thought it appropriate to highlight some intriguing, insightful and, hopefully, entertaining bits and pieces of creativity and innovation from around our globe.

My initial offering deals with Insomnia and how, for some people, it can be truly nightmarish. This post includes information and images from both a presentation on insomnia and select photos by a photographer who has severely suffered from insomnia.

In this excerpt from an issue of Adobe Create Magazine, the photog takes us into his bizarre world of striking, nightmarish illusions.

And his fight with insomnia.

Photographer Nicolas Bruno has suffered from sleep paralysis since he was seven years old. In Bruno’s case, when he enters REM sleep, his mind becomes conscious, or awake, but his body remains asleep. During these recurring episodes, he experiences shortness of breath or pressure on his chest and the feeling that he’s being choked or is going to be killed. Screaming shadow figures menace him in bed. He’s unable to move, and the state seems to last hours. Sometimes it stops because he awakens; other times he moves into another dream. All of it is out of his control.

And you thought you had nightmares!

BrunoSleepless-3

When Bruno was fifteen, he began experiencing sleep paralysis almost every night. To help process the resulting stress, he kept a dream journal and then turned to drawing and photography. At first, he photographed mostly landscapes and abandoned places. Over time, he started making work directly inspired by what he goes through during sleep paralysis.

“Transforming my experiences with sleep paralysis into artwork not only helps me understand the dreams,” Bruno says. “It gives me a universal voice to speak about something almost impossible to describe with words. After I complete a photo shoot and see my final image, I feel so relieved to have transformed a once uncontrollable nightmare into something positive and tangible.”

BrunoSleepless-1

“The characters I portray within my work are figures I’ve documented within my sleep paralysis episodes. Faceless men in suits often stand at the foot of my bed, and women in dresses might float across my bedroom to shriek in my ear. Sometimes I’m grasped by hands that attempt to drag me off of my bed. These characters reoccur, transform, and sometimes reveal more about themselves as time goes on,” explains Bruno.

Though Bruno still suffers from regular episodes of sleep paralysis, he has learned to minimize the contributing factors, which include excessive stress, too much screen time before bed, an irregular sleep schedule, and sleeping in unfamiliar locations.

BrunoSleepless-2

“As I’ve become used to the feelings,” he says, “I’ve found that riding out the experience subdues the terrifying nature of the dream and can leave room for analysis, and even a quick exit. If you allow the fear to win, you’ll never have control of the situation. My advice is to build up your courage to face these dreams head on, whether it be through strength, religion, logic, or spiritualism.”

I struggle with sleeplessness and insomnia, too. Strange dreams of partially true vignettes of moments in my past life sometimes intermingle with “newly scripted” happenings, making for a weird combination of mental nighttime gymnastics.

I’m a cancer survivor as well as a caregiver to my wife. No stress here!

When I consider the various meds I take daily as well as the numerous decisions and judgement calls my wife and I make on a daily basis, it’s probably no wonder why I have insomnia. And weird dreams.

I was interested when I heard about a lecture recently given by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston relative to sleeplessness and insomnia. Here’s a link to a presentation I received that evening so you, too, can gain insight into this all-too troubling disorder.

Please don’t hesitate to share your own insomnia stories, especially if you have learned some techniques to counter or offset this malaise.