Marketing 101: Niche Markets Part 10
TED Talks to Inspire You When You’re Down
Have you had the artistic slump hit you? Have you felt sometimes that you just are missing inspiration in your work? You’re not alone. Sometimes we need a boost and our personal communities are either silent, away, or otherwise unavailable (see post #9, The Importance of Community). We live in an amazing time, when inspiration can be a click or two away on our own computers.
Take a click and go to TED.com – TED Talks: Riveting Talks by Remarkable People, Free to the World. I went through the site just recently, looking for some talks on creativity, and I found a couple of very interesting ones that are bound to inspire us…as well as just make us feel good.
You need 90 minutes to make yourself inspired and feeling great, ready to plunge in to some new creative activities. When we operate in niche markets, when our product seems to reach such a narrow group, we can sometimes feel very alone and questioning our every action. It helps to know we are not alone! Here are five talks guaranteed to give you something to think about.
We’ll start with Charles Limb and “Your Brain on Improv.” He’s a surgeon AND a musician. “He has two titles on his official website: Associate Professor, Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, and Faculty, Peabody Conservatory of Music. He combines his two passions to study the way the brain creates and perceives music. He’s a hearing specialist and surgeon at Johns Hopkins who performs cochlear implantations on patients who have lost their hearing. And he plays sax, piano and bass. In search of a better understanding of how the mind perceives complex auditory stimuli such as music, he’s been working with Allen Braun to look at the brains of improvising musicians and study what parts of the brain are involved in the kind of deep creativity that happens when a musician is really in the groove.” (Video)
Because of all our new technology available to us, we can study the brain in ways never thought before. You’ll see actual scans of the brain doing rap and musical improvisation. It’s absolutely fascinating.
Now visit with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. “She faced down a pre-midlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home. She’s a longtime magazine writer – covering music and politics for Spin and GQ – as well as a novelist and short-story writer.” (Video)
Her talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, touches on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk. She’s fascinated witht he idea of genius, and where genius might be – within us…or outside of us.
For a change of pace, Sir Ken Robinson argues that schools kill creativity. Based on my own experiences as a student, I – and I’m sure many people – would agree with him. He says, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
“Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences….A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009.” (Video)
I need to get this book!
Now for final inspiration, a twelve-year-old young lady, Adora Svitak, with What Adults Can Learn from Kids. She is an astonishing speaker, very poised, and looks at why we all should still be “childlike.” “A voracious reader from age three, (her) first serious foray into writing — at age five — was limited only by her handwriting and spelling. (Her astonishing verbal abilities already matched that of young adults over twice her age.) As her official bio says, her breakthrough would soon come “in the form of a used Dell laptop her mother bought her.” At age seven, she typed out over 250,000 words — poetry, short stories, observations about the world — in a single year. She has since fashioned her beyond-her-years wordsmithing into an inspiring campaign for literacy — speaking across the country to both adults and kids. She is author of Flying Fingers, a book on learning. ” (Video) You can’t help but be inspired!
There are hundreds of TED talks on just about any topic you can think of. Spend some time treating yourself to energizing ideas, and your own work will be better because of it.
Dean and Linda Moran are the owners of Marble-T Design and have been marbling for 20 years. You can see their work at “The Art of Fabric,” follow their adventures on their blog, see examples of their marbling in their Etsy shop, and watch their updates on Facebook.