TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment and Design) feature some of the world’s most intriguing speakers, who share ideas worth spreading. Recently, I discovered four speakers whose experiences with the creative process, while distinct, have commonalities.
You’ll find the first part of the series today — highlighting an artist and an educator. The second part will focus on a writer and a film director.
Michelangelo saw the form of his statue David inside a block of marble. He remarked that creating the masterpiece was as straightforward as chipping away the pieces that didn’t belong.
Similarly, paper cutter and artist Béatrice Coron sees her finished work before starting. “I just have to remove what’s not in that story,” she says about her creative process. As a visual storyteller, she notes that each of us tells stories to make sense of the world.
Coron grew up in France and is now based in New York. She creates worlds using the language of silhouette. The technique is economical and allows her to get to the essence of the subject. Although her stories come from everywhere, her passion for both images and words threads them together.
The artist got serious about her art as she neared age 40. Today she finds inspiration in everything she reads or sees. Her eclectic background adds to her range of subjects. “In life, and in paper cutting, everything is connected,” she says. “One story leads to another.” See the amazing work of Béatrice Coron, including the eye-catching paper cape she wears to introduce her presentation.
We can’t predict what the world will be like in five years, let alone decades ahead when today’s children are adults, says Sir Ken Robinson. An arts educator, he questions an educational system focused on only one form of intelligence — academic.
Sir Ken’s mission is to spread the idea that creativity is as important as literacy in education.
When he speaks about creativity, he means original ideas that have value. He points to the natural creativity of children, which diminishes over the years as they move through school. He shares this belief with IDEO’s David Kelley, who believes we lose confidence in our creativity sometime between second and fourth grades.
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you won’t have creativity,” Robinson says, referring to the concept that mistakes pave the way to improved results.
This leads to his recommendation to rethink the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children. A humorous speaker, Robinson makes the case for nurturing creativity to prepare children for a world that has moved well beyond the industrial age and needs the talents of our natural innovators more than ever.
Do you like the idea of making creativity as important as literacy in a child’s education?
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