Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “creativity”

Chinua Achebe on Art as a Form of Citizenship: Lessons in Creativity as “Collective Communal Enterprise” from the Igbo Tradition of Mbari
Chinua Achebe on Art as a Form of Citizenship: Lessons in Creativity as “Collective Communal Enterprise” from the Igbo Tradition of Mbari

“There is no rigid barrier between makers of culture and its consumers. Art belongs to all and is a ‘function’ of society.”

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Creativity as a Way of Being: Poet and Potter M.C. Richards on Wholeness, the Measure of Our Wisdom, and What It Really Means to Be an Artist
Creativity as a Way of Being: Poet and Potter M.C. Richards on Wholeness, the Measure of Our Wisdom, and What It Really Means to Be an Artist

“The creative spirit creates with whatever materials are present. With food, with children, with building blocks, with speech, with thoughts, with pigment, with an umbrella, or a wineglass, or a torch.”

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Edward Weston on the Most Fruitful Attitude Toward Life, Art, and Other People
Edward Weston on the Most Fruitful Attitude Toward Life, Art, and Other People

“I feel towards persons as I do towards art, — constructively.”

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Robert Browning on Artistic Integrity, Withstanding Criticism, and the Courage to Create Rather Than Cater
Robert Browning on Artistic Integrity, Withstanding Criticism, and the Courage to Create Rather Than Cater

A countercultural serenade to the wellspring of the creative spirit against the tidal forces of commerce and criticism.

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Astrophysicist and Author Janna Levin Reads “Berryman” by W.S. Merwin: Some of the Finest and Most Soul-Salving Advice on How to Stay Sane as an Artist
Astrophysicist and Author Janna Levin Reads “Berryman” by W.S. Merwin: Some of the Finest and Most Soul-Salving Advice on How to Stay Sane as an Artist

Tonic for living with that sacred, terrifying uncertainty with which all creative work enters the world.

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John McPhee on Writing and the Relationship Between Artistic Originality and Self-Doubt
John McPhee on Writing and the Relationship Between Artistic Originality and Self-Doubt

“Never stop battling for the survival of your own unique stamp.”

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The Art of Centering: Potter and Poet M.C. Richards on What She Learned at the Wheel About Non-Dualism, Creative Wholeness, and the Poetry of Personhood
The Art of Centering: Potter and Poet M.C. Richards on What She Learned at the Wheel About Non-Dualism, Creative Wholeness, and the Poetry of Personhood

“Centering is a verb… an ongoing process… a way of balancing, a spiritual resource in times of conflict, an imagination… an alchemical vessel, a retort, which bears an integration of purposes, an integration of levels of consciousness.”

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Trailblazing Writer and Feminist Margaret Fuller on the Social Value of Intellectual Labor and Why Artists Ought to Be Paid
Trailblazing Writer and Feminist Margaret Fuller on the Social Value of Intellectual Labor and Why Artists Ought to Be Paid

“The circulating medium… is abused like all good things, but without it you would not have had your Horace and Virgil.”

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Visionary Photographer Edward Weston on the Importance of Cross-Disciplinary Curiosity in Creative Work
Visionary Photographer Edward Weston on the Importance of Cross-Disciplinary Curiosity in Creative Work

“In this age of communication… who can be free from influence, — preconception? But — it all depends upon what one does with this cross-fertilization: — is it digested, or does it bring indigestion?”

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Art and the Nocturnal Imagination: Painter, Poet, and Philosopher Etel Adnan on Dreaming and Creativity
Art and the Nocturnal Imagination: Painter, Poet, and Philosopher Etel Adnan on Dreaming and Creativity

“The logic of dreams is superior to the one we exercise while awake. In dreams the mind at last finds its courage: it dares what we do not dare.”

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